Avoid Poor Time Management in 5 Simple Steps


Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Management pros

Thursday, April 13, 2017

How good is your time management? Read on to discover our five simple steps to better manage your time and be more productive overall.

Article 4 Minutes
Avoid Poor Time Management in 5 Simple Steps

Good time management can teach you great skills to progress in your career, such as self-discipline and your decision-making ability, as well as giving you a better work-life balance. Time is incredibly valuable to us, and learning how to use it wisely can be vital to helping you progress, inside and outside of work.

Delegate work

The key to managing successfully is delegating tasks to your employees, but when the team’s performance reflects directly on you, you may feel as though you want to complete all tasks yourself. If you are someone who struggles with delegation, it’s important to remember you don’t have enough time to do absolutely everything.

If you have trained your employees correctly, there is no reason why they cannot complete tasks, providing you pick the right person for the job. Consider the workloads of your employees, do they have enough time to complete all their tasks? Although delegating too many tasks might feel as though you’re not taking any responsibility, you’re still just as vital to the result.

Schedule your time

Do you ever spend hours on a certain task but at the end of the day feel as if you haven’t accomplished anything? You may be putting in extra hours or delaying other jobs because all your time is dedicated to this one task, but nothing is getting done. If this is the case, you might need to schedule your time better, even if it’s making a simply ‘To Do’ list.

Scheduling your time means prioritizing what work is more important to get done in the time that you have. This means being realistic about how much time something will take and what you achieve within this time. You should also consider time taken up by meetings, phone calls, last minute tasks that take up unexpected time you may have not planned for.

You also need to ensure you are achieving a good work-life balance by scheduling time to see family and friends, whilst also having time to yourself to do your favorite hobbies.

Use Anti-Procrastination Strategies

We often find ourselves procrastinating when we feel overwhelmed by a specific task, or we may avoid a task all together because its particularly unpleasant. However, procrastination can largely affect our productivity levels and waste a lot of time and energy.

You can avoid procrastinating by using different techniques that help you get over your hurdles and get the job done. These anti-procrastination strategies include breaking your work up into smaller tasks and focusing on one task at a time. This means larger projects don’t seem so daunting and once you have completed one task, you feel more motivated to carry on with the next.

Another way of beating procrastination is changing your environment to somewhere where you want to crack on and do your work, not curl up and fall asleep. If you feel your current workspace is dull, why not give it a revamp?

Set a deadline

When you have a lot of work on your plate, it’s easy to get stressed out. However, one of the reasons this occurs is because we often accept more work than we can handle and have multiple tasks to do at the same time.

An easy method to tackle this is to set deadlines for yourself, as this will help you accomplish your goals. If you set a realistic deadline and stick to it, you can avoid getting stressed and complete all your tasks on time. Try setting deadlines a few days before you are due to start the task in hand, as this way you will finish all other tasks that might get in the way beforehand.

If you need a bigger push to complete all your tasks, you can create deadlines with consequences and rewards in mind. If you achieve your deadline, celebrate by doing something fun or buying yourself something you’ve wanted for a while. If you miss your deadline, stop yourself from doing something you would normally enjoy.

Take occasional breaks

Some people thrive off being constantly busy, with short deadlines, endless emails and piles of documents to sort through. However, this doesn’t work for everyone and taking breaks are important when you are faced with a lot of tasks.

It’s impossible to stay focused when you are working eight or more hours straight and not taking time out, so make sure you give yourself occasional breaks. If needed, set an alarm to remind you to take a short break, whether this be a walk or grabbing a coffee. A break could even count as a short five minutes of meditation at your desk.

As long as you are taking a break every hour or two, you are going to feel better and get more work done in the time that you have.

Overall, it’s important to remember there are only 24 hours in a day, and only a certain amount of work can be achieved within this time, without driving yourself into the ground. Managing your time better can be critical to having a happier work-life balance and creating a more successful career for yourself.

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