When you’re just starting out on a new job or if you’ve just taken on added responsibility, it can sometimes feel like the end of the day comes in the blink of an eye.
Before you run to your boss and complain about being overworked, try to adopt a few time management techniques and see if you can squeeze out a bit more productivity from your workday.
The biggest key to time management is knowing what’s important. Once you’ve done that, you can arrange your day around meeting the most critical objectives.
Identify your goals
Your daily plan should center around taking care of tasks and activities that specifically relate to producing income and adding value to the company. Ensure you’re participating in activities that support your company goals, both short and long term.
You should be focused first and foremost on “important and urgent” short-term tasks that must be addressed each day. Then, your workday activities should be centered on “important, not urgent” tasks, which are more long-term objectives.
Identify the waste
An effective way to better manage your time is to identify how you have been spending your time until now.
Start this process by having a schedule on you during the workday where you jot down all your thoughts, conversations and activities for an entire week. This will help you recognize what you get done each day. More importantly, it can be used to identify where your time is going. You’ll be able to see the length of time actually spent on generating outcomes and how much time is squandered.
Learn how to say ‘no’
Too many people find themselves falling behind in their work because they can’t say no to doing things for others. If you have “urgent and important” things on your plate, you have to decline a request from someone else. You should also avoid accepting requests from others if they get in the way of doing work on long-term goals. Only after you have taken care of all the important things on your schedule should you even think about taking on extra work.
Even the most planned out, waste-free schedule can be ruined by constant interruptions. Whether it’s checking email, going on social media or accepting phone calls, you need to be able to exercise will-power and resist the temptation to waste time.
Practice not picking up the phone just because it’s ringing and not clicking on emails just because you get a notification. Switch off instant messaging. Don’t immediately offer up your attention unless it’s essential to taking care of important tasks.
Instead, plan a time to answer all these potential distractions at once.
Are you looking for a new opportunity?
At Software Management Consultants, we support both our contract workers and their managers who feel they are constantly pressed for time. If you’re currently feeling overworked or you could use more staffing, please contact us through our website.