Everyone, at one point or another, has said that they don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish all that they wish, whether it is completing some tasks at work or finding time to go to the gym. At work, time management is critical to productivity, which leads to increased performance. Studies have found that it almost always takes twice as long to complete a task as what we originally thought it would take.[i] With that in mind, here are three tips to improve your time management skills at work.
1. Daily Goals
Start planning your day out as soon as you get to work, and perhaps even the night before. Something as simple as setting aside 10-12 minutes in a day to schedule and plan out what you wish to accomplish can save you at least two hours of wasted time and effort throughout a day.[ii] Creating daily goals or a task list can help organize your day visually, as well as make yourself accountable. Having goals for yourself also allows you to prioritize your work and see if certain items are time sensitive. From a larger picture perspective, taking five minutes per day every day of the week to improve your job performance will create 1,200 little improvements over a five-year period. [iii]
2. Avoid Distractions
Blocking out distractions at work is also vitally important in the world of time management. Being able to concentrate on your goals improves performance, so figuring out what you can do to not become distracted is paramount. If you need to put your cellphone on Airplane Mode, listen to music, or work alone in a somewhat isolated area, then so be it. Even scheduling five to ten minutes at the beginning of each hour to check notifications and emails can be beneficial. Just remember that not replying to emails or communications from colleagues can be harmful. Studies have found that 66% of people read their email seven days a week, and expect to receive a response the same day.[iv] Finding that right balance between avoiding distractions and continuing daily communication with your coworkers is something that you’ll need to discover over time.
3. Keep your House Clean
Housekeeping and making sure your work is organized and tidy saves you unnecessary stress, as well as taking precious time searching for things. Organizing particular emails in certain folders and taking good notes at meetings and webinars are just a few examples of ways to make your work life easier and improve workflow. Setting aside some time at the end of each workday – or at the end of each week – to do some housekeeping will benefit you in the long run.
These three tips are just a few that can help you manage your time more efficiently, and hopefully lead to more productivity at work. Visit our workplace productivity page for more information on how we can help your business.