Time Management Tips
We all struggle with utilizing our time appropriately. By incorporating effective time management skills, you can become more efficient and realize these benefits:
- Opening up bandwidth to take on additional workloads and increasing your value to your employer
- Freeing up more time for activities outside of work
- Limiting your risk of forgetting action items, which may occur when you switch back and forth between tasks
This all sounds great, but how can you better manage your time? Try incorporating these concepts into your day for a significant step in the right direction:
Audit how much time you spend on given tasks each day:
You may think you are employing only a half hour each day on responding to emails. However, after an audit, you may notice that you are spending significantly more time on that task than anticipated. While auditing the amount of time spent on different tasks will not fix time management challenges, it is a great place to start.
Start your day early:
Instead of thinking, “the early bird gets the worm,” we believe the early bird gets more focus time! By starting your day earlier than your peers, you create more time in your day free from distractions and disruptions from teammates. We love working together, but we also all need some quiet time to complete our tasks.
Prioritize essential tasks:
People tend to have more energy and a better ability to focus in the morning, so use your most productive time slot to accomplish your most important tasks.
Learn to delegate:
Passing off responsibilities onto your peers may be a struggle. Perhaps, you fear losing the quality control by passing off a task; or you worry that the amount of time it takes to train your colleague to take over a responsibility hinders a productive outcome. It is just the opposite. While it may require a time investment upfront, the time you spend now will pay dividends. This is the same reason many buy in bulk; the upfront cost might be significant, but the value is worth the initial costs.
Leave a buffer time between tasks and meetings:
It may seem like running right from one task to the next would be a more efficient use of time, however, the human brain can only remain optimally focused for about 45 minutes at a time. It doesn’t need to be a long break. But, by giving yourself 10 minutes to recharge, you can become more productive on your next task. You might use this 10-minute break to take a quick walk around the block, do some squats or push-ups by your work station, or to meditate. By leaving a gap between tasks and activities, and to ensure you aren’t late to your next event, you give yourself a buffer in case your meeting prep takes longer than you anticipated.
Many of us waste time looking for a resource or file. By organizing your content, you can eliminate this time drain and exercise your time more efficiently.
Incorporate Efficient Applications:
Tools like Microsoft Teams and other office software can be utilized to boost productivity among both individual and team projects.
Utilize “The four D’s of Time Management”
- Do: Work on tasks that don’t take as much time before tasks that require a larger time commitment. By checking off these easier and less time-consuming tasks, your list of action items will shrink as well your stress levels!
- Defer or Delay: Temporarily pause a task that doesn’t need to be handled right away and schedule time in the near future to pick the task back up
- Delegate: Reassign tasks to someone else
- Delete or Drop: Avoid unproductive meetings and ignore unnecessary emails