How much time do you waste in a typical day at work? If you are having trouble with time management at your workplace, whether you are a business owner or an employee, the following nine tips should help you to get a better handle on your time. When you do this, it can help you concentrate on the tasks and boost your productivity, and actually give you more free time.
Always Have a Plan
One of the big sins in the workplace, and one of the main reasons you can fall behind with your work is simply not having a plan. You always need to have a plan, and you need to prioritize your work for the day. Combine the small and simple tasks that you do each day so you can do all of them at once and get them out of the way. Create a plan and see how well it works. If it isnâ€™t working for you, rework the plan until you find one that does. Keep in mind that those who have changing schedules and projects will need to learn to rework their plans each time out for the best results.
Organize the Desk and Get Rid of the Clutter
When working in a cluttered area, it can cause the mind to have trouble concentrating. It might not be something that you notice at first, but trying to work in a messy environment really can slow you down. Take the time to put everything in its place and keep organized. This ensures a better work environment, and it actually simply makes things easier to find when you need them.
Break Down the Projects
Whether a project seems simple or is obviously complex, it is always a good idea to break it down into different manageable chunks. This allows you to take care of the most important aspects first. It also lets you have smaller, easier to attain goals that can help to push you and motivate you through the course of the project. When you break the projects, or your day, into separate parts, you will find that coming up with a schedule is much easier.
Write Out Distracting Thoughts
Sometimes, you may have distracting thoughts that fill your mind. They are the only thing that you can think about, and it makes it very difficult to concentrate. Not all people have issues with this, but those who do know just how distracting they can be. In these instances, it can actually help to take some time to write out those thoughts. This way, you can â€śremoveâ€ť them from your brain, at least for the time being. This makes it easier for you to concentrate on the actually work you need to do. Just make sure that you do not spend too much time writing those thoughts down.
Learn to Say No
Perhaps you have requests from friends, coworkers, and even managers that are distracting you from your current work. You have to learn to say no when the requests will interfere with your current work. You have to prioritize what you need to do and what can wait. In the case of a manager who needs you to change tasks, be sure to talk with the manager rather than just refusing. See what they need and explain to them how that will affect the current project.
Shut the Door
Having an open door policy can be good, but it can also be distracting. Sometimes, you simply need to turn away drop in visitors. If they arenâ€™t there for anything important, then let them know that you are busy. Give them a time of the day when they can come back though.
Stay Away from the Web
The web, whether you are surfing pages, checking your social media sites, or even checking your email can be a major distraction that eats up large chunks of the day. Set aside two or three times a day for checking email, and push your surfing and browsing to after work or on your breaks only. Even then, realize just how much of your time these technologies are chewing up. Try to schedule your time on the web, and then adhere to that schedule if you can.
Time Tracking Tools
One of the very best things that you can do is to start using time tracking tools. You can find tools that you can use on your computer as well as your mobile devices. These tools will let you see just where you are spending most of your time each day. It can also help you create better schedules now that you know where you are spending, and in some cases wasting, your time.
Get Exercise and Plenty of Rest
These tips are ones that few people really think about when it comes to time management, but they really can help. First, letâ€™s look at exercise. When you exercise, whether you are going to the gym, jogging and walking in your neighborhood, or playing basketball, you are boosting your health and your energy levels. Having more energy means you can be more productive through the day without getting tired.
Speaking of tired, you need to have plenty of sleep each night. Always strive to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. This gives your body the chance to recharge, and you will find that getting a good nightâ€™s sleep will mean you need less caffeine through the day. You will be able to start earlier in the day and have the energy and motivation to get through the rest of the day.
Start Using These Tips Today
When you incorporate these tips into your life, you will have much more control over your time as well as where it goes. Those who take control of their time management can find extra hours in the week, which can help to make them even more productive and successful. They are all quite easy to implement, so donâ€™t waste another minute.