Time flies – always. That makes time a variable that can be hard to control and monitor. And once time has slipped away, you never get it back. For companies, time lost equals money lost. Being conscious of time will result in self-improvement and goal achievement. That’s true in both your work and personal life. What’s the best way to manage time effectively? Applying these 7 tips is a good start.
Have a Time Check
Know exactly how you spend your time. In an office setting, you should know the tasks that are stealing your time. Then you can do something about it. For example, you may be spending an hour on email instead of completing important projects. Knowing exactly where your time is going can help you make decisions about delegating tasks or buying software to speed up some lower-level processes.
Set a Time Limit
Setting a time limit for a task can be fun. In fact, it can be like a game. Some companies actually divide employees into groups, and the group that finishes a project or task first gets a reward. You can apply this principle to any task. Set a definite time limit, such as an hour or two. Then try to finish the task within the allotted time, and feel the excitement as you do it.
Use Software Tools for Time Management
Technology is more sophisticated at managing time. Various apps even help track employees’ time so that you can monitor their check-ins and check-outs. The internet offers a variety of apps and tools, and some are useful for business management, especially for monitoring and assessing daily processes. For many apps, the advanced functions of the paid versions can also give you added control and better user experience.
Planning ahead is a critical part of time management. Ideally, you should plan ahead for the week or at least the day before. When you know exactly what needs to get done for the day or week, you’ll stay organised and focused. You can break tasks across days to see, in advance, how much time is needed to complete a project. Even spending just a few minutes planning ahead can transform how you work.
Start with Your Most Important Tasks
Do your most important tasks in the morning. All those stressful tasks, the big bulk of your work, the hardest tasks – do them in the morning. The reason is simple. You have the most energy in the morning, so you will be able to tackle the tasks efficiently and competently. Plus, the feeling of accomplishment at getting the most important stuff done first will make the rest of the day that much better.
Focus on One Task at a Time
If you have chosen to do a task, see it through to the end – finish it. Avoid doing half work, which means abandoning your current task and doing something else entirely. One example of half-work is writing a report then suddenly checking your email for no reason and writing replies. That’s not only bad time management but also bad for your concentration. You’ll lose your momentum. Focus on the task at hand, and avoid these pitfalls.
Delegate and Outsource
You can’t do everything by yourself, so cut yourself some slack and delegate. Maybe it’s time for you to train someone to do some simple processes in your work or office. That frees you up to focus on the bigger projects or the more complicated tasks. You can even outsource the work to an experienced freelancer and save money.