Have you ever felt that there is never enough time in the day? That you are loaded with tasks and your boss is asking the “impossible” to finish the requested report in the time? That you are under pressure to the limit of even having extra 4 working hours a day you won’t finish your job? Since we all get the same 24 hours and almost the same working hours, why is it that some people achieve so much more with their time in comparison with the others? The answer lies in time management.
Yes, I know… you heard about this a lot from your seniors, internet bloggers and even in a lot of the best-selling books in the bookstore shelves. And you might say, “It won’t work with me as its only just a theories and my case is different!” Guess what I was saying the same until I experienced what I read and learnt from the professionals who know the real value of Time management. In this article, I will focus on the added value of a good understanding of the techniques and the practices of Time management in the workplace.
We need at the beginning to define what Time Management…. Simply It refers to the way that you organize and plan how long you spend on specific activities, evaluate the weightage of the activity in comparison with the time spent on it and restructure it based on the focus of the goal you need to achieve. The magic word in this content is being “Result Oriented”.
How to do this? Below are some techniques and methods of being an artistic in practicing the proper time-management in your workplace:
1- Prepare your own To Do list and the 20/80 rule
This sounds very common as considered one of the basics of the time management but the interesting part is that I developed my own concept of creating my To do list by spending 20% of setting up all the points to do, prioritize them and setting an action plan with a time line and sometimes a breakdown of milestones of every point before start executing my job.
2- Finalize the critical tasks first.
Everyday, identify the core 2 or 3 tasks that are the most crucial to complete, and complete those first. upon finalizing them, your day has already been a success. You can move on to other things, or you can let them wait until tomorrow. You’ve finished the essential.
3- Get enough Sleep!
Some people think sacrificing sleep is a good way to hack productivity and add a couple extra hours out of the day. That’s not right! Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep for their bodies and minds to function optimally. You know if you’re getting enough. Listen to your body, and don’t underestimate the value of sleep.
4- Define a time limit to complete each task.
Instead of just sitting down to work on a project and thinking, “I’m going to be here until this is done,” try thinking, “I’m going to work on this for three hours”. The time constraint will push you to focus and be more efficient, even if you end up having to go back and add a bit more later.
5- Concentrate on the task in your hand and commit to it.
One of my colleagues was snagging that he can never finish his work. His line manager was asking him to do different tasks 3-5 times a da. He never finishes a single task by leaving the work in his hand uncompleted and jump to the new task that his manager ask him for. Do not do this! If you start with a task that you already setup a particular timing for it, do your best not to do anything else till you complete the task in your hand.
Close out all other browser windows. Put your phone away out of sight and on silent. Find a quiet place to work or listen to some music if that helps you. Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist.
6- Don’t allow unimportant details to drag you down.
We often allow projects to take much, much longer than they could by getting too hung up on small details. I’m guilty of this. I’ve always been a perfectionist.
What I’ve found, though, is that it is possible to push past the desire to constantly examine what I’ve done so far. I’m much better off pressing onward, get the job completed, and revise things afterward.
7- Leave a buffer-time between tasks.
When we rush from task to task, it’s difficult to appreciate what we’re doing and to stay focused and motivated. Allowing ourselves down-time between tasks can be a breath of fresh air for our brains. While taking a break, go for a short walk, meditate, or perform some other mind-clearing exercise.
8- Don’t think of the totality of your to-do list.
One of the fastest ways to overwhelm yourself is to think about your massive to do list. Realize that no amount of thought will make it any shorter. Now, all you can do is focus on the one task before you. This one, single, solitary task. One-step at a time.
9- Create organizing systems.
By being organized saves a hug of time, you don’t have to be the most organized person in the world either. Systems aren’t complicated to implement.
Create a filing system for documents. Make sure all items have a place to be stored. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists if you don’t want to receive their content.
10- Enjoy what you do.
This point might sounds not related in the core subject but in the reality but in the reality it is.
We get ourselves so caught up in busyness that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. Even when we focus on being result-oriented, we’re still often too focused on getting things done.
This should never be the point. Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing? The goal should be to arrange your commitments in a way that you’re happy living out the details of your daily life, even while you’re working.
What you need to do now? Take a step back and stop working like work-alcoholic employee. The world will not fall apart. Practice the time management magic tools, achieve more in less time and get yourself a break in the saved time.
Finally yet importantly in order to touch the art of Time-Management always remember: “Work Smarter…. Not Harder”
“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.