Positive time management is essential to career progress. Time is a limited resource and one that we cannot get back if it is wasted. We all work within the same time limits – only 24 hours in a day – so what can you do to improve your time management at work and make sure you’re getting the most from the hours that you have?
1. Learn to self-care
There is nothing more important than learning how to look after your body and mind so that you can perform at your best. No amount of goal setting or efficiency training will work if you’re sleep deprived and living off a diet of refined sugar. Regular exercise, nutrient-rich food and positive sleep patterns provide an essential foundation for positive time management.
2. Set your goals
If you want to make the most of every minute then you need to have objectives that you’re working towards. Without defined goals, both short and long-term, we can waste a lot of time going around in circles. Define your goals and then identify the activities in each day that will drive you towards them.
3. You don’t always need to say “yes.”
Being available to others in your team or office is going to be an essential part of your progress. But you also need to learn when to say no to tasks or requests that are either not essential to what you’re trying to do, or are just someone else passing on work they should be doing themselves. If you want to climb up the ladder to management level then the ability to say no is going to be even more important.
4. Master the art of delegation
Delegation is not about handing off the work that you don’t want to do to someone else. It’s ensuring that you have enough support so that a project or job is successfully concluded without you being overburdened in an unconstructive way. If you’re a manager or a boss then delegation will be a crucial part of effective team management – if you’re micro managing everything then little will get done and others will feel redundant.
5. Measure your minutes
How much of your time is spent productively each week and how much is wasted? It can be useful to audit the way you currently managing your time to see where improvements could be made.
6. Are you prioritising?
Effective time management depends on ensuring that you’re completing the most important tasks first. Structure your tasks based on urgency and importance, starting with important and urgent, followed by important and non-urgent and ending with less important and not urgent tasks.
7. Make the most of planning
A well-structured working day makes it much easier to use your time more effectively. Take 10 minutes at the end of each day to write your goals for the following morning and clear up any chaos on your desk. The next morning, spend 15 minutes creating a clear plan for the best way to use the time you have to achieve your goals.
8. Minimise your distractions
If you want to get the most out of your time then reduce the number of potential distractions around you. Put your smart phone aside, close your office door and redirect your phone. You’ll find you work much smarter and harder if you’re not constantly getting interrupted.
Our Time Management course provides a practical approach to developing time management skills and organising your time to achieve desired results.