Whether you are a fresh grad in the business world or an experienced veteran, time management is a skill that many struggle with. Everyone is familiar with the idea of time management – after all, it is the key behind productivity and the secret to promotion. Everyone knows that time management involves a number of skills, such as setting priorities, eliminating procrastination, and making weekly or annual goals. The challenge however , is cultivating these skills and making them a part of your daily routine. To help you hone these skills, here are 5 tips to help you better manage your time.
Tip 1: How to Increase Your “Actual Work Time”
Are you constantly bombarded by social media while at your work desk? Updating your status on Facebook or “Tweeting” with your friends may not take up much of your time, but the intermittent checking of your smart phone is breaking your concentration. Put your phone to silent and log out of Facebook. It is best to keep your social life out of your work. Even if you are not idly checking your text messages or surfing Facebook, you are not always “working” when you sit at your desk. Try using a timer to moderate yourself. Having a stop watch in front of you can help you focus on the task at hand and discourage daydreaming. After an hour, see how much real work you have accomplished.
Tip 2: Promoting Good Habits
A key to proper time management is to analyze your work habits and see which ones help you to focus better. Is it the morning coffee? Or, is it the way you organize your desk? Everyone works differently, and sometimes, even the same individual may have different approaches for distinct work projects. That’s why it is necessary to constantly evaluate what has worked and what has not worked, and continue to promote them.
Tip 3: Eliminating Bad Habits
It is common sense that bad habits which affect your time management and therefore your work efficiency, should be eliminated. Identifying these bad habits is easy, changing practices that have become second nature to you is a hard process. Start by making a list of bad habits that you are wasting your time on. Use sticky notes to remind yourself to avoid these bad habits. Are you spending too much time in the pantry? Place a sticky note on the fridge. Are your late night football matches making you tired and inefficient the next morning? Place a sticky note on your television.
Tip 4: Constantly Evaluate Yourself
Large corporations always hire professionals to analyze their business practices, constantly seeking improvement, and you should too. Put aside some time every week to pen down your accomplishments of the week. Also indicate the challenges you faced and things you could have done better. Soon you will see a pattern of how you work and what works for you. Take note of your success stories and how you succeeded, using the examples to replicate more successes in the future. Just like a diary, a weekly evaluation will not only help you with the first three tips, but also help you to set goals and plan for the future.
Tip 5: Setting Goals and Planning for the Future
Those who do not plan, plan to fail. The best way to manage time efficiently is to set goals for yourself and keep the end in mind. Instead of just giving yourself deadlines for projects, break down the project into smaller tasks and create a time table to see the project through step by step.
Time management is essential to our everyday lives as a tool to get more minutes out of an hour. Another way to milk your hours is multitasking. Multitasking however, is viewed as a double edged sword. Splitting your concentration in multiple directions could mean the simultaneous completion of multiple tasks, but could also result in reduced efficiency. By dividing your attention on multiple tasks, you could end up taking longer to complete all the tasks than if you had concentrated on each task one at a time. Multitasking should only be practiced if one is able to efficiently handle multiple tasks at the same time, if not, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits and the results could be disastrous.
By following these 5 simple tips, you will be on your way to making each day 25 hours long, but always remember, the greatest enemy of time management is procrastination. Never put off to tomorrow what you can accomplish today.