Do you ever feel like there is just never enough time in the day? Do you often feel stressed out with managing your workload? Are you trying to do it all rather than delegate to others in your support circle or your work team?
Despite the fact that time is perhaps the most sought-after resource available, most of us are dreadful at spending it wisely.
As Benjamin Franklin once said—“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
The trick to getting more accomplished each day is to start by organizing and prioritizing your tasks and eliminating distraction. This can help you reduce stress and do better overall in the workplace.
Let’s get real here for a minute; there is a lot of competition for our time and not everything is of equal value even although it may seem that way when you look at the big stack of papers on your desk or all of the emails in your inbox.
Use the seven tips below for a few weeks and create new habits that will better your life by making just a few small changes:
- Identify Time Distractors: Spend some time identifying all of your major time distractors such as social media, surfing the internet, needs of family, watching TV, etc. and then create a plan to eliminate (or at least minimize) them for periods of time.
For instance, turn off the bell on your computer and phone so that you don’t hear every email and text that comes through. Set times to check your notifications and respond to emails and voicemails, such as mid-morning, during the lunch break and mid-afternoon.
- Start Early: To manage your time appropriately it is best to start as early as possible. When you get up early, you are more calm, clear-headed and creative.
This gives you time to sit, think, and plan your day before the rest of the world is reaching out to you. There are 86,400 seconds in each day – what is the best use of them for you?
- Schedule Tasks: Make a simple ‘To Do’ list at the end of the day for the following day so that when you begin your work day you will already have a plan. Prioritize each task, and make sure that they are attainable. Remember, not all tasks need to be completed the same day, some can be carried forward to another day.
To best manage your time management skills you should start creating ‘To Do’ lists for both your work and personal life.
- Avoid Procrastination: When we procrastinate, we squander away precious time, which can leave us feeling stressed out. Try making some small changes in your environment (office or workspace).
It could be as easy as tidying up your desk, moving or adding a piece of furniture, plant or picture. Remember, an environment that once made you feel inspired before, may lose its impact over time.
- Set up Deadlines: When you have a task at hand, set a realistic deadline and stick to it.
If your motivation is running a bit low, challenge yourself to meet the deadline. Once met, give yourself a reward.
- Take Some Breaks: If you are more of a morning person, as the day progresses your energy levels may start to drop, which can affect your productivity and performance.
By taking a quick walk, listening to some music or doing a couple stretches will help reset your focus.
- Learn to say No: Take a look at your ‘To Do’ list before agreeing to take on extra work.
Be honest with yourself and don’t feel bad when you politely refuse additional tasks. Stress often occurs when we accept more work than our ability. There are times, of course, when you can’t say no to a manager, so try negotiating a timeframe that allows you to complete everything on time and deliver your best work.
Generally if a manager knows you are balancing your workload, s/he will be open to moving out the date.
Is time management your nemesis? Quantum Ascendance helps small business owners and career professionals to systematically produce meaningful, measured results for our clients.
Contact us today for your performance management needs.