Do you know the saying “Time is money”? It’s a pretty well known one, so how can you make your time work harder for you? The best way to do that is to manage your time. How do you do that nearly impossible task?
This is how we suggest you do it:
- Delegate Tasks: It is common for all of us to take more tasks than our desired potential. We believe that if you want something done right you need to do it yourself, that is not the case. This can often result in stress and burnout. Delegation is not running away from your responsibilities but is an important function of management. Learn the art of delegating work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities. If you know they are better at a task then you are then delegate that task to them.
- Prioritize Work: Ever have so much work to do that you just jump straight into it and then by the end of the day you realise that you missed other important tasks? That is why before the start of the day, you need to make a list of tasks that need your immediate attention as unimportant tasks can consume much of your precious time. Some tasks need to be completed on that day only while other unimportant tasks could be carried forward to next day. In short, prioritize your tasks to focus on those that are more important.
- Avoid Procrastination: “Oh, I’ll do that just now!” come the end of the day the task is not done and you are in trouble for it. Procrastination is one of the worst things that badly affect the productivity. It can result is wasting essential time and energy. It should be avoided at all costs. It could be a major problem in both your career and your personal life.
- Schedule Tasks: “I need to call Tracy and follow up with her, I also have the sales report due, and my boss wants the project report” 10 mins later you have forgotten all about Tracy, that is why it is best to carry a planner or notebook with you and list all the tasks that come to your mind. Make a simple ‘To Do’ list before the start of the day, prioritize the tasks, and make sure that they are attainable. To better manage your time management skills, you may think of making 3 lists: work, home, and personal.
- Avoid Stress: Feel like pulling your hair out or throwing yourself in your bed and staying there? Stress often occurs when we accept more work than our ability. The result is that our body starts feeling tired which can affect our productivity, mood and health. Instead, delegate tasks to your juniors and make sure to leave some time for relaxation.
- Set up Deadlines: When you have a task at hand, set a realistic deadline and stick to it. Try to set a deadline few days before the task so that you can complete all those tasks that may get in the way. Challenge yourself and meet the deadline. Reward yourself for meeting a difficult challenge.
- Avoid Multitasking: “I wonder if I can call the client while typing out the report?”Most of us feel that multitasking is an efficient way of getting things done but the truth is that we do better when we focus and concentrate on one thing. Multitasking hampers productivity and should be avoided to improve time management skills.
- Start Early: “Beep Beep Beep” the alarm clock goes off, you look at the clock and see 05:30am, you turn over to get 10 more mins in, next thing you look at the clock and it shows 06:30am, you fly out of bed in a rush to get ready for work? Most of the successful men and women have one thing in common. They start their day early as it gives them time to sit, think, and plan their day. When you get up early, you are more calm, creative, and clear-headed. As the day progresses, your energy levels starts going down which affects your productivity and you don’t perform as well.
- Take Some Breaks: Whenever you find yourself dosing or tired or unable to focus, for 10-15 minutes, take a break. Too much stress can take toll on your body and affect your productivity. Take a walk, listen to some music or do some quick stretches. The best idea is to take off from work and spend time with your friends and family.
- Learn to say No: Politely refuse to accept additional tasks if you think that you’re already overloaded with work. Take a look at your ‘To Do’ list before agreeing to take on extra work. It does not make you a bad person to say no to others.