Why is it that some colleagues seem to be more organised and able to get more done in the same/less time? No, they’re not using Hermione’s time turner, or probably not cloning themselves, they’re more than likely using simple time management tools.
To help with time management, think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to get more done or to feel less stressed about the amount you have to do? There are many different approaches to time management, and with most things, what works well for some might not work as well for others. Poor time management can lead to increased stress levels, so don’t waste time worrying about how much you need to do, plan ahead and get it done. Waiting to be put up for that promotion you’ve been after? Good time management could help you appear more professional. Here are 5 easy ways to help.
You might want to spend the last part of Friday afternoon creating a plan for the following week so you know what you’re facing. But if you’re going to spend the weekend stressing about what a busy week you’re going to have, maybe shift the planning to first thing Monday morning so you know where your week is heading.
To do list.
Simple but effective. A handwritten list could suffice, or you could set yourself tasks/reminders in Outlook or whatever other software/application you prefer to use. You could take your to do list that little bit further:
- Prioritise the items to help you choose which to do first rather than wasting time trying to decide, or partially completing several tasks.
- Add an approximate time you think it will take for you to complete it. 45 minutes until your lunch break? Find a ‘quick’ job to complete and then boom, off you pop to lunch, nice and smug. You’ve then ticked something off the list and hopefully felt a little bit more motivated.
- Don’t leave the unpleasant/least liked tasks until the end, get them over with!
A to do list is a great visual representation and allows you to feel a sense of achievement when you see things being ticked off.
Could you be more efficient if you had training, or a better piece of software? Perhaps share best practices with colleagues to see if there is a different approach you could be taking to get your results. Don’t get left behind!
Do it or delegate?
Consider if this is a task that you have to do personally, or if it is a task you could pass on to someone else, outsource it, or even better, automate it? Just because it’s historically been one of your tasks doesn’t mean it always should be. Just be careful not to delegate too much too often.
There’s no point trying to get everything done in one go. We humans need rest to help maintain our concentration, as counter intuitive as that sounds. We all have different times when we reach our productive peaks so try and schedule in the jobs that need more concentration when you are feeling more alert. Morning person, night owl, permanently confused pigeon (just me?), do those jobs when you’re at your most efficient.