Time Management at Work
Do you often feel tired, nervous and feeling you seriously need an extra couple of hours in the day to get all your work done? If you do, then you’re probably having trouble with efficient time management. You’re not alone in this. Our days are becoming more and more hectic all the time, there’s always so much to do, but our capacity is, unfortunately, limited and it’s wise to make the best possible use of it without the side order of stress, that modern-day plague. In other words, better time management will not only make you better performing at work, it will make you healthier, too.
As the term itself suggests, time management is all about organizing your time in such a way as to reduce energy waste to the minimum. There are a few ways to help you do that and perhaps the most important among them is prioritizing. Draw up a list of all you have to do over a typical workday and highlight the most important tasks. These are your number one priority and keeping that in mind would make it easier to concentrate and not linger too much on things that are of minor importance but time-consuming. First things first — complete your most important work and then, if there’s time, go on to nonessentials. Or better still, cut the nonessentials from your working schedule altogether.
It may be important for your career to give off an attitude of efficiency and productivity, but taking on too much work is more likely to impede your excellence, rather than enhance it. So, be rational about how much additional work you can go through over a given period, and if you feel you wouldn’t be able to fit it in your schedule, don’t accept it.
Delegating is another way of improving your time management. You may very well be sure that you and nobody but you could complete a certain task in the most successful manner, but there’s nothing stopping you from passing some minor things on to other people. Remember — prioritize. Prioritizing also includes delegating, so that you can concentrate on the important stuff and not be distracted by the unimportant. Besides, you, like all of us, simply cannot be good at everything and trying to be is — yes, you guessed it — a waste of time. You probably know what your weak spots are and could easily find someone who would do a good job out of something that is both unpleasant (most likely) and difficult for you.
Now, all this is very good, but rather theoretical, wouldn’t you say? There’s a good way to see what works and it’s keeping a diary, the Mayo clinic advises. Do it for just a few days to see if you’re using your time in the most effective way. Just put down everything you do and how much time it takes you to do it. Then think about how to reorganize your time so you don’t waste it. It really is simple and it really will make you more efficient, and with the added benefit of leaving you time to do other things besides work, of course, finding that balance between your professional and personal life that eludes so many of us.