Time Management Tips
Time management skills are a must in the workplace and lead to a more productive and less stressful lifestyle. Using your time wisely to plan your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals are the keys to success in the workplace and can be carried over into other areas of your life. Here are a few tips for developing a more productive and healthier lifestyle.
Track all of your daily activities in a pocket notebook or digital calendar for at least three days. This will enable you to clearly see where and how you are spending your time. You can identify areas where you have been wasting time or working on things that are relatively unimportant and begin to schedule your life in a more productive manner, giving precedence to needs over wants and deciding which tasks are more important and deadline-oriented.
Prioritization is key. You should arrange your life around priorities and not time. It's important to pick the aspects of your life that are important to you. Family, work, love, friendship, recreation, children. Find your top priorities and arrange your daily task in accordance to how they will benefit you and your work load."Life only works if you establish your priorities first and fit life around them," says Karen Kingston in her book Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui.
Take a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day to plan future activities. This ritual enables you to stay on task and accomplish things in an organized manner. You can schedule sufficient time to ensure the task is completed right the first time, freeing up time used correcting mistakes on work that was done quickly and without planning.
Plan for the unexpected should be the motto for the busy working professional. You have not experienced the “real” workplace if you have not been interrupted to complete additional tasks or answer a few questions. Block out additional time for each task just in case you receive critical interruptions or need additional time to complete a task.
Schedule time to check and answer e-mails. Plan to only check your e-mail 2 to 3 times per day and do not be compelled to immediately answer unimportant messages. Schedule a short block of time each day to respond to unimportant e-mails and phone calls. Disconnect instant messaging unless you absolutely need it for work.
Delegating work is not an easy task for many, but it is an important quality to have if you want to be successful in the workplace. Allow support staff, co-workers, and others to assist you in completing tasks, remembering to give them credit whenever possible.
Know your limits and avoid being a "yes-sayer." Saying yes to every task that comes your way can become overwhelming and stretch you thin. It is okay to turn down tasks. Limiting your workload gives you the chance to dedicate the right amount of time toward each task.
Eating healthy and exercising are integral parts of a productive day. How can anything be accomplished with your full attention and brainpower if you have not given your body what it needs to succeed? Plan and prepare healthy meals. Take breaks every hour to stretch and get your blood flowing. Schedule time to exercise daily.
Taking time off is crucial to your well being and staying productive in the workplace. Getting away from the workplace enables us to free our minds and release unwanted anxiety over deadlines and priorities. Giving yourself the chance to relax and unwind gives you a necessary mental break.
- Time Management Study Guides and Strategies
- Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston
- Time Management Techniques for Adult Students
- Reference Guide to Time Management Skills *
*This helpful link was suggested by a Youth Development class in Colorado.