Everyone knows and operates their own form of time management. Some days we find ourselves more productive while other days we wonder how the time got away from us. We operate quickly and often times find the immediate information we want, right when we need it, so how are we still inefficient and not accomplishing our goals faster?
Here are some ways to awaken to your own time limitations and be aware of how you should be spending your time to increase efficiency and accomplish your goals:
Complete one task at a time
- Everyone tries to get as much done as they can, but in this process, often times it leads to multitasking where tasks are left partway completed by the end of the day. Sure, you may have started 20-tasks, but with 20 open tasks, you might find yourself swimming in feelings of being overwhelmed and increase your own stress level. Consider identifying which tasks can be completed quickly and efficiently and start there. Then start to tackle the tasks that require more time. If you need to stop one task to take on another, you will at least have knowledge of where you left off.
- Interruptions fuel multitasking, whether a phone rings or an email pops up on your screen, your desire is to immediately respond. If you are working on a project with a deadline, focus on the project at hand first. Write down the task that needs attention and address it when there is a good stopping point from your current project. There is no reason why a less than important call cannot go to voicemail or an email can be responded back to in a few hours, IF their level of importance falls behind your deadline for the current project.
- Sometimes hearing coworkers chatting at the water cooler makes focusing on your task at hand, harder. Listening and engaging in office gossip can really take a lot of time that you could better spend completing projects to take you to your goal. Know what is going on, but put hard time limits on how much you engage.
Relax during the weekend
- Find time to recharge. When you are autonomous in your position, you have a tendency to overwork. You find yourself thinking about tasks, solving problems and constantly working, even during vacations! Find time to let your brain relax and take a vacation from the stress and workload. If you have an amazing idea, write it down and then get excited about Monday when you can execute it!
- Knowing what tasks to focus on means knowing how they prioritize in your day. You won’t know how to accomplish tasks until you know what is allowed to interrupt you during the day. If a sales call comes in worth more than the task you are working on, you know whether or not to answer the call.
- Not everyone is going to respect you, but you can respect everyone around you. Working well with others, even others that some people don’t work well with, can truly decrease the amount of time you spend working with them and therefore save you time in the end—a WIN WIN situation!
Knowing these time management concepts and implementing them daily can really save you time. Remember that even the smallest tasks or actions you partake in daily can really add up. For example, an average person spends 135 minutes a day on social media, each consumed in little bits and pieces. That’s over two hours of time per day! If you had that time back, what would you accomplish in 2018?