Everything in your life depends on what you do with each and every minute of it. Work keeps piling up no matter how nicely you plan it. Then, before you know it, you’re eating lunch on the phone on a conference call. If you don’t have time management at work, it only makes sense that you’re afraid of drowning in your responsibilities. Here are some tips for managing time effectively at work to help you deal with work stress better, organize your day, and get more done.
- 1. Get Up Early
- 2. Stick to a Daily Plan, and You’ll See Results
- 3. Consider Your Week’s Plan on Sunday.
- 4. Focus on What You Can Do to Achieve Your Goals
- 5. Wait a Few Moments Before Responding
- 6. Organize Similar Tasks Together
- 7. Prioritize Your Least Favorite Tasks
- 8. Keep Mornings Free for Your Most Important Tasks
- 9. Stay Away from the Temptation to Multitask
- 10. Make Use of Time Management Apps
- 11. Use a Calendar to Keep Track of Appointments
- 12. Take a Few Short Breaks Throughout The Day to Refuel and Re-energize
- 13. Set a Goal of Finishing Early
- 14. Prepare for Meetings by Deciding on the Outcomes You Hope to Achieve
- 15. Waiting Time Can be a Valuable Resource
- 16. Make Sure You Don’t Get Bogged Down in the Nitty-gritty
- 17. Become Comfortable with Saying No
- Summary: Managing Time Effectively at Work
1. Get Up Early
Mornings are a great time to get things organized for the day, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, stretch, and work on anything that got dropped the night before. Use this precious peaceful time to explore your own projects and begin your day with less stress and more joy before you start being pummeled with emails and the inevitable daily must-dos.
2. Stick to a Daily Plan, and You’ll See Results
This is a critical step in mastering the art of time management in the workplace. Avoid starting your day without a well-planned list of tasks. Make a list of the most urgent chores before you leave the office for the next day. Thanks to this step, you can immediately work on your project once you get to work.
Your mind won’t be racing at night, worrying about all the things you’ve got on your mind if you write them down. Instead, your subconscious works on your goals while you sleep, allowing you to wake up with fresh ideas for the workday.
If you can’t accomplish it the night before, make sure you write out your to-do list the next morning. Time spent planning is little compared to the time you’ll waste hopping from one project to the next without one.
3. Consider Your Week’s Plan on Sunday.
When you have a game plan in place for the week, you’ll be better able to stay on track with what’s important. It also makes it easier to go from a relaxed weekend mindset to a productive “work brain” on Monday mornings, too.
Spend a few minutes on Sunday planning out your entire week. By dividing your weekly goals into daily chores, you can increase your odds of achievement. Create a daily schedule to make it easier to see what you need to do each day. Plan low-priority work for Fridays and other low-energy times of the week to ensure success. Remember that your energy and creativity levels change throughout the week. During Tuesday and Wednesday, work on challenging and creative projects. If possible, hold meetings on Thursdays when your team’s energy is at its lowest point. Spend your Fridays and Mondays thinking and planning.
4. Focus on What You Can Do to Achieve Your Goals
In order to achieve your goal, you need a clear path. Setting small, attainable objectives each day is a great way to get started on the path to larger goals. You’ll be more motivated to keep going if you achieve even the smallest of accomplishments.
Keep a list of your long-term goals somewhere where you can see them. For example, you might want to acquire that promotion you’ve been hoping for or gain 500+ Instagram followers for your small business. Small everyday chores like contacting ten new potential followers or initiating new project opportunities can be broken down into smaller, more manageable ones.
Every day, you should aim to accomplish no more than three or four primary objectives. Determine what works for you and raise or reduce depending on how well you can manage your time.
5. Wait a Few Moments Before Responding
Don’t immediately respond to emails or Slack messages. You can go through your emails and phone calls during your downtime and get them all done at once. Close your email and messaging apps while you’re focusing on a high-priority project to avoid distractions.
6. Organize Similar Tasks Together
Save time and mental energy by completing one type of task before beginning a new type of task. For example, set up a specific amount of time each day to respond to emails, make phone calls, or file paperwork. Don’t respond to emails and messages as soon as they arrive because doing so is a form of distraction. Turning off notifications on your phone and email will reduce the temptation to check at a time when you’re not scheduled to.
7. Prioritize Your Least Favorite Tasks
Get rid of any tasks that make you feel resentful straight immediately if they don’t bring you any joy. Having something on your to-do list in the morning will motivate you to work quickly and efficiently, and you won’t have to look at it and hate it as much. Once you’ve completed this one simple task, you’ll be sure to feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
8. Keep Mornings Free for Your Most Important Tasks
Prioritize the most critical items on your daily to-do list. While you’re still energized after a good night’s sleep, tackle them (and your least favorite task) first thing in the morning to get the day started right. Get the most difficult tasks out of the way as soon as possible to avoid burnout.
9. Stay Away from the Temptation to Multitask
This is one of the most straightforward time management ideas for work, yet it may be one of the most difficult to implement. Keep your mind on the task at hand and exclude any outside influences. You’re only making matters worse by trying to multitask. The time and effort it takes to switch tasks is wasted.
The same is true for having a never-ending list of things to do. Breathe in and out, and focus on one activity at a time; you’ll get there.
10. Make Use of Time Management Apps
The most excellent method to manage your time is to be aware of where your time is going in the first place. Procrastination patterns can be tracked with time management software. Setting a timer can help you stay focused and send a message to your brain that it’s time to work.
Toggle Track is an easy-to-use, free program that can be downloaded on nearly any device. It also provides detailed reporting, allowing you to track your procrastinating habits quickly. Clockify, Slack, and Time Doctor are just a few of the many available paid time management apps.
Read our previous article for more info about Time Management Apps.
11. Use a Calendar to Keep Track of Appointments
The benefits of using a calendar extend far beyond the mere ability to schedule meetings. You can use your calendar to block out time for focused work, keep track of deadlines, and automatically add locations to events.
A calendar can assist you in taking control of your schedule. You can simply cancel a scheduled entry if you don’t believe it will benefit your day’s goals.
Read more about Online Calendar Apps
12. Take a Few Short Breaks Throughout The Day to Refuel and Re-energize
Although it may seem paradoxical, breaks are one of the most efficient time management tools. How? Let’s consider two scenarios. Imagine a team member working on a task for 5–7 hours straight in the first scenario. Another team member is also working on the same assignment but taking regular short breaks. Who do you believe is making good use of his time? Obviously, the latter.
It’s not always about doing something or the other. It also underlines the importance of taking short breaks every hour to boost your productivity.
13. Set a Goal of Finishing Early
Running late or finishing work at the last minute is the most stressful thing that can happen to a person. Setting your own personal deadlines earlier than the intended ones can make you feel more productive and more in control of your time. In the event of any last-minute complications, this will provide a buffer. It will also help you build your self-esteem because you will always be ahead of the curve.
14. Prepare for Meetings by Deciding on the Outcomes You Hope to Achieve
Meetings are a well-known time waster, despite their importance. A Zoom meeting that went on far longer than necessary has been attended by all. Make sure the purpose of the meeting is clear before the meeting begins to ensure that it runs smoothly and on schedule.
Create a meeting agenda and distribute it to everyone attending the meeting in advance. You and your colleagues will be able to go back to work more quickly.
15. Waiting Time Can be a Valuable Resource
There’s no better time to get things done than when you’re waiting for something. Use them for brief activities like responding to emails or chat messages from coworkers. It’s also possible that you may utilize this time to work on your own interests (such as reading or writing) or do some stress-relieving activities (meditating, stretching, breathing).
16. Make Sure You Don’t Get Bogged Down in the Nitty-gritty
Our never-ending to-do lists are primarily due to our tendency toward perfectionism. To quiet your inner critic, try putting all of your attention on the broader picture. Don’t worry about the small stuff right away; you can always come back to it later. Focus on the most important things first.
17. Become Comfortable with Saying No
Working on your time management will never be possible unless you learn to say no. Just because someone else asks you to do something doesn’t mean you can’t say no if it’s in your best interest to focus on more essential things. Do not be scared to abandon a project that appears to be headed nowhere.
Summary: Managing Time Effectively at Work
It’s possible to live a better-organized life at work with the help of these techniques for time management at work. Don’t get too caught up in making sure you’ve completed every task on your to-do list. Everyone is entitled to a work-life balance. Completing a large workload today isn’t worth a sluggish, burnt-out workday the next. Continually strive to improve your performance. You can use these time management tips to reach your goals. You may have a happier life if you have the correct mindset and follow the right techniques.