Six Secrets of Better Time Management

If you feel as though you are wasting part of your day because you simply have trouble managing your time, you are like most workers out there. conducted a survey and found that the average worker was spending about two hours of each day on tasks not associated with work. They wasted and lost about ten hours each week, or forty a month. That’s an entire wasted week for a fulltime worker. Imagine just how much more efficient and productive the employees would be if they could better harness time management skills!

While everyone has ideas and techniques that can help with managing time better, few people actually put these into action. The following are six “secrets” to better time management. Each of these is very simple to implement, and when you use them, they could help you save a substantial amount of time.

Secret #1: Five Minute Focus

Throughout the day, you have many things weighing on your mind. You have worries and fear, and you have things you are anticipating, thoughts of what you will have for dinner and where you will go after work. Those thoughts, small as they might seem, will actually cause you to lose many minutes through the day, as they distract you from what you should be doing.

Take a five minute focus session to shake off those other distracting thoughts. This gives you time to get them out of your head and to get back on the right path so you can focus on the job at hand. Just a couple of minutes to “reprogram” is all you really need.

Secret #2:  Urgent and Important – Know the Difference

When you have a large amount of work you need to do, it can seem as though you need to do all of it right away. This causes you to jump from one task to the next trying to keep everyone happy. When you multitask though, it can cause more trouble than it is worth. It makes it hard to get anything done, and it can reduce the quality of work across the board. Instead, it is a much better idea to learn how to separate your work into different categories – urgent and important. The urgent tasks are the ones that you need to complete right away, while the important ones are everything else.

Of course, it does get more complicated than this. Different tasks may have different levels of urgency, and a supervisor may require that you jump onto a task right away, even if it steps in front of some of your other jobs. However, learning to organize your schedule based on priority will actually help you to better control your time and to relieve stress. You will have the biggest or at least the most important jobs out of the way first. This can often give you more time, and it can help you stay a bit more relaxed at work.

Secret #3: Say Goodbye to the Social Network…for Now

If you are anything like most people, you have a tab open for Facebook or Twitter on your computer, or you have apps ready to go on your phone at a moment’s notice. You don’t want anything interesting happening without you being aware of it. Of course, when you tell yourself that you will just take a minute to check your account, you know that it often turns into an hour long affair. Your best option, at least while you are at work, is to stay away from social media altogether. The only exception to this would be if social media is a part of your job.

You will have plenty of time when you can check your social media later. However, once you free yourself from the grip of Twitter and those other sites, you might find that you like it and not want to go back at all. Additionally, turn off notifications from the social networks on your phone. If your phone constantly reminds you that someone is talking to you on those social networks, there is a greater chance of caving in and going to the site.

Secret #4: Two Heads and Four Hands

If you are trying to do everything on your own, there’s a chance that it is simply too much to handle. When you are at work, if you feel overwhelmed and there is too much to do, sometimes, you need to accept help when someone offers it. Rather than “toughing it out” on your own, having another head and another set of hands can lighten the load and make the task easier for you. There is no shame in asking others for help when you need it. It is a far better option than trying to deal with too much work on your own and falling behind.

Secret #5: Just Say No

Sometimes, your boss or a coworker will ask to you do another task that takes you away from what you are doing. Sometimes, it is feasible to add to your schedule. Other times, it could cause a delay in completing your project. You have to weigh what you are and are not able to accomplish and let your supervisors know if moving to another task would cause a problem. They still may require you to change focus, but at least telling them will give them a heads up when one project is not complete.

Secret #6: Know Where It Goes

This is one of the best and most valuable secrets. Many people simply have no idea where their time goes. They might even be thinking they are working very hard and worry that they are just slow. By knowing where that time is going, you can reevaluate how you work and prioritize your tasks for the day. Simply track your time. You can do this with some easy to use software that will let you know where you are spending your day, and then you will be able to reschedule so you don’t have all of that waste!


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