Often it seems that there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get your work done. You are rushed off your feet all day and still you need stay on to complete your day’s work, or else you have to take it home with you. The workload leaves you exhausted and the pressure causes stress.
Fortunately there is a way to alleviate the problem – time management. If you can organize your day and make a schedule that you stick to, you will find that you can do more and go home in a much more relaxed state of mind. Here’s how.
Study your typical day
It may sound dull, but before you can create a time management plan you need to know what you do during the day. You need to keep a diary of all you do during the day and when you do it. Include time spent working on specific tasks, time responding to calls and emails, time at meetings and times when you are having a casual chat. In other words make a complete, accurate record of your day. If you do this for a week or so you will have a very clear picture of how you spend your time.
Create a daily plan
Your typical workday will usually have a number of routine tasks. Allocate a time to them and stick to it. You can create a list and tick tasks off as you complete them. This will make you feel good and save you time worrying about if you have forgotten something. You may even be able to spot areas where you can save more time.
Approaching deadlines can cause panic and stress. If you use a diary, electronic or otherwise, to keep yourself alert to deadlines, you will be able to focus on the most urgent tasks first. A color-coded calendar is a simple yet effective reminder.
Plan your projects
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” How true that statement is. How many times have you written a letter or a report only to throw it in the bin because you didn’t plan it properly? Formulating a plan for even the simplest of tasks will save you time in the long run. And, having a plan will help you avoid those times when you are stuck not knowing how to proceed.
Streamline your communications
It’s quite common for people to get caught up in modern technology and use it because it’s there. You send an email to a colleague in the office down the corridor or to a client and then wait for the reply. All this wastes time. Of course, you might get on with something else while you are waiting, but the task in hand is delayed. Sometimes it is quicker and more efficient just to pick up the telephone or to go along and chat to your colleague. If necessary you can prepare a record for everyone involved later.
Don’t waste time at meetings
Meetings can be great time wasters. People are late, agendas are not clear or don’t get to the people who need them and time is spent on gossip. Participants at meetings must be prepared and focussed, so that meetings are effective and take up the minimum of time.
Good time management will help you to become more productive without the stress. It’s well worth the effort.
This post was written by Steve who has become an expert at time management solutions for large and small businesses. Steve recommends companies such as Randstad who recruit for positions such as receptionist jobs and office vacancies. This site not only posts thousands of jobs but also contains lots of helpful information on the site for both candidates and companies looking for agencies.