How to Improve Time Management

Time Management"If your time management strategy involves a flow chart, then it's probably too complicated for everyday use."

Know your goals

Knowing what is expected of you goes a long way. Time is more efficiently spent on things that we can visualize and understand.   All too often many of us take a full speed ahead approach only to realize that hours have gone by, and nothing was accomplished.  If you are experiencing difficulty with a task, take a step back, shut your eyes and visualize what it is you are trying to accomplish.  By giving ourselves time and permission to think, we often gain valuable insight to how to accomplish the task at hand

Make a list

At the end of each work day, create a simple task list for the next day.  It is important to keep this list short, generally less than 5-6 items. Research has found that when people make lists, they are more likely to accomplish their goals.

Excuse Me?

Also known as Work Place Interruptions. A recent study found that people spend an average of 11 minutes on a project before they are interrupted.  Also, it takes a person 25 minutes to recover from an simple 11 second interruption.  So if that's true, how can we handle this serious issue?  For starters, we can turn off personal devices 'or turn off notifications', check email less frequently by minimizing the window.  You may also request that co-workers do their best to answer their own questions before asking someone else.  Every little bit can contribute to a more productive and relaxing workplace.

Don't be Reactive

Have you ever received an expected call from someone, and their problem becomes your problem? This is true for most of us, it happens all the time.  Our immediate response is to stop what we are currently doing and resolve their issue.  This is called 'Being Reactive', if done too frequently, it can rob us of our precious time.  The good news is there are a number of ways we can handle these situations by asking these questions. 

  • Evaluate the severity of the situation.
  • Determine if there are alternate solutions to resolve the issue that don't require your immediate involvement.
  • Ask yourself, is this a want or a need? In other words, someone is declaring their issue to be an emergency,  but is it really an emergency or a need. It's possible there may be some emotional tie and they need to get it off their task list, and their relying on you todo it for them.

Get plenty of Sleep

Nearly a third of Americans get less than the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep in a day. This is called sleep debt, and it builds up over time which causes us to lose our mental edge.  Getting the required sleep will allow you to be more productive in life.

Set realistic expectations

Let's face it, things come up, distractions occur, then we get stressed because our original tasks are not making progress. Nothing kills productivity more than being pulled in a million directions.  

 

Hopefully, the above items will help to refocus and re-balance your work efforts.

OnTheClock has been providing the business community with accurate time management software since 2004.