Do you ever feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything you’re supposed to do?
Why do some people achieve more than others in the same 24 hours?
Well, the answers lies in effective time management as time is one resource working professionals can never have enough of.
We’ve all been told to learn to manage our time effectively a million times as we grew up. But it isn’t easy as it seems theoretically. Perhaps, time management could be the most difficult task a person could face when he’s burdened with loads of work. But fret not, here’s an article with small yet effective time management hacks which you can implement one by one to increase your productivity over time.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the process of organizing and dividing your time between specific activities. It is one of the most important soft skills which makes you work smarter – not harder – to increase your overall productivity.
However, time management in the workplace can be a real challenge. Distractions like e-mails, meetings, demands, deadlines, requests etc. can be quite overwhelming for any worker, which often leads to pressure, stress, and anxiety.
But here’s the good news:
Effective time management isn’t impossible and can be mastered if you are determined and look at the huge gains it can provide.
Benefits Of Time Management
Effective time management results in holistic benefits which not only improves your productivity at work but also your life in general.
Greater productivity and efficiency: Productivity and efficiency increases as managing time helps you to achieve more in a day without compromising on the quality of your work.
Less stress and anxiety: Managing time effectively can reduce unnecessary stress and tension in your life. For instance, when you have too much on your plate and have no idea where to start, all that you will do is stress about it. On the other hand, when you prioritize your time between different activities, you will feel less stressed and will be able to do the work effectively and efficiently.
Improved reputation and more opportunities: Time management ensures your punctuality and thereby earn a good reputation at work. This, in turn, can bring you more promotional opportunities at work.
Fewer problems: Often in the workplace, you create your own problems when you miss a deadline or forget an appointment. Avoid such problems by planning and managing your time effectively.
More free time: It is a common misconception that time management requires extra effort. To the contrary, proper time management will make your life easier. You will have more leisure time in your hands when you no longer waste time by wondering what to do next, but already be a step ahead of your work.
Now, what if you could get all these benefits with the help of a few steps? Let us hence move on to the steps that will make you an expert in time management.
How To Manage Your Time Effectively?
Planning precedes time management. Time management without planning is just a dream. Author Brian Tracy once said,
Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 per cent Return on Energy.
The first thing you should do in the morning is to note down the tasks you need to accomplish that day. This can provide a sense of direction at work.
Prioritizing your daily activities will help you to focus on what is important. Decide what tasks need urgent completion and what can be done later. Here’s a perfect guide to help you prioritize your work.
Organize your files, documents, cards, keys, etc. so that you don’t waste your time searching for them.
4. Cut off distractions
Distractions cost us almost 3 hours every day in our life. This includes mobile phones, social media, chatting unnecessarily in the workplace, etc. Take a minute to learn about these distractions and allot fixed time in a day for social media or if possible cut off these distractions.
5. Devote your entire focus to the task at hand
Working with a mind preoccupied with the other tasks decreases the overall productivity. Try meditating and focusing entirely on the task in hand.
6. Know When You’re Done
Most professionals aren’t aware that they waste time by continuing to work on something even when they’ve reached the target for the day. Stopping when you’re done and moving on to the next task is important.
7. Know Your Goals
Sometimes, when your to-do list is extra-long, you end up procrastinating things. Make a time bound and practical to-do list every day to avoid the need of procrastination.
8. Learn To Say ‘No’
Most people fail to keep up with their schedules is because they can’t say no to any distraction or a new task even when they know it’ll hamper the overall productivity.
You should learn to decline opportunities and say yes to only those that you know you have time for and those which really matter.
9. Keep Buffer Time Between Tasks
You don’t always complete the tasks in the time assigned for them. Keeping buffer time between the tasks safeguards you from hampering your entire schedule just because of delay in one task.
10. Use Time-Management Tools
You can also take the help of time management tools such as Focus Booster or Instant Boss. Set the timer for specified tasks such as 30 minutes and it will serve as a visual reminder as it counts down and sounds an alarm when the time is up. You can also block websites if you have a tendency to visit them often in the midst of your work.
“You may delay, but time will not” – Benjamin Franklin
Completing a job on time is expected of every employee and without effective management of time, this cannot be accomplished. Moreover, proper time management can have a positive impact on your work and life in general.
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