What is “Time Management”?
Time Management is the way we determine our use of time in order to achieve a goal.
The first step to improving time management is to examine your current use of time. How much time do you spend reading emails each day, do you take several breaks throughout the day, are your conversations social or work related. What are your biggest tasks and how long do they typically take? When do you have the most energy or focus over the week?
Put a time limit on certain tasks. Doing the same things for hours at a time can be exhausting. If you have trouble retaining focus on data entry after an hour then set a time limit to take a break or complete another small task before returning to data entry. Make sure you schedule breaks into your day it increases productivity and avoids burnout.
Work on high priority tasks when you have high energy and focus and lesser tasks when you are in the middle of the afternoon slump after lunch. If there is a task you are dreading, do it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of the day.
Refer to your schedule to keep track of completed tasks or urgent tasks that are not yet complete. When you are finished check them off your list and watch your progress each day. Multitasking doesn’t work, focus on one task at a time until you are at a stopping point, then move on.
Organize your work-space. If you can’t find something within seconds of when you begin your search you are wasting countless amounts of time. When you have an organized desk, computer, and email inbox your efficiency greatly increases and you don’t have to scramble to locate information because everything has a place.
You don’t have to answer the phone because it’s ringing and you don’t have to immediately respond to every email that pops-up. Set aside time in your day to review unread emails and if you are in the middle of an important project let your phone go to voicemail.
As you continue to work towards better habits, they will come more natural to you.