Many people today believe that just ‘staying busy’ and consistently working hard in any format, (structured or unstructured) means you will be successful. While in certain cases this can be true, there is another way to achieve career success, without constantly having to try to be hyper-productive.
Time management is a way to effectively “work smarter, not harder”. It allows you to work in a more productive and structured format by giving you control over planning what tasks you intend to complete, and how long you will spend on each of these tasks.
At times where impending work can drown us in deadlines, it can be difficult to take a step back and see if a task can be completed in a more efficient manner, or if it is essential that it is completed at all. This can seem a daunting task, and there doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day, but by taking the necessary time needed to step back and plan, you will soon find yourself spending more time on the more important and essential tasks of your job!
Simply speaking about time management won’t fix the problem, you must try until you find the fit that suits you and your role. Below you can find some general tips to get you started!
- Complete the most important tasks first: This is considered one of the most important aspects of time management. Every day you should identify and commit yourself to the two or three tasks that must be completed. Once they are done, the day can be considered a success, and you can spend the rest of the working day on other tasks that require your attention!
- Give yourself time limits to complete tasks: A negative impact of completing the most important tasks first is that it can cause you to spend too much of your time on them. A way around this is to give yourself time limits to complete each task you assign yourself. Instead of saying to yourself, ‘I must work on this until I’m finished’ try and say, ‘I’m going to spend two hours on this task’. Even if after two hours you are not finished the task, the simple idea of a timing element will keep you focused to get the task done in the allocated time frame!
- Give each task 100% of your attention: It can be easy to get distracted due to how connected we have all become, but you must try to put the phone away, close the browser, and focus solely on the task you have at hand. By doing this, you will find yourself completing tasks much faster and efficiently than before!
- Create an organised system that suits you: Many organisations have created organisation systems that they feel is the perfect way for them to stay organised. But it is important to understand that everyone has their own personal way of staying organised. For me, I use Google Calendar, it allows me to easily add my daily tasks, and due to the connectivity of Google to all devices, I can add and view this calendar easily on the go!
- Group related tasks together: While this point may seem silly or common knowledge, it could be useful to sit down and see if there is any way you could organise your timetable in a more effective way. For example, in a large organisation, you may find yourself working across three floors across the week in a sporadic manner. There could possibly be a way for you to group all your work in certain days, so that you spend one day working on one floor of the company, the second day on another, and so on.
These simple yet effective tips are a great example of working smarter, not harder!
Do you manage your time? Have you any tips that you use that aren’t mentioned above? Let us know by commenting below!
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