Do you feel like to form better utilize of your time at work? If so, you are not unaccompanied. We all would like to be more industrious in order to get ahead in our careers; on the other hand, none of us want to waste every waking hour at work.
Time management is actually about managing yourself. It is about making a promise to be more organized, keep your focus and use your time to your best advantage.
Here are some guidelines to help you become energetic and positive with your time.
Stick to the plan
1- Maintain a to-do list
Make a to-do list and build it a habit to frequently update it. Include very important and less important items so you will never forget or overlook anything again. Carry your list with you at all times, either in your iPhone or your daily agenda. Also, be sure to break down your projects and assignments into specific action points. For instance, instead of noting "Prepare Performance Reviews," write:
• Research absenteeism records on employees
• Review personal files
• Read employee goals
• Assess performance
• Prepare "Performance Review" documentation
• Meet with employees to discuss reviews
2- Allocate your time
Include an estimated time frame for each action point and the date by which the task must be completed. If the order in which you perform the tasks doesn't matter, you might be able to accomplish something during unexpected pockets of free time. For instance, you could research information on the internet while waiting in your office for a conference call to begin.
3- Set and respect deadlines
Be realistic about setting deadlines and strive to meet them. It's true that any task takes the exact amount of time allotted to it. Have you ever noticed how quickly you can blitz through paperwork, delegate assignments and make decisions on the last day before your vacation? Although we tend to get a lot done when we're under pressure, it is a lot less stressful and considerably more professional to establish and stick to an action plan.
Avoid wasting time
4- Use your time wisely
Consider accessing your e-mail only at certain times of the day and let your voice mail pick up your calls to give you an uninterrupted hour or two. If possible, never touch the same piece of paper or e-mail twice. Do not open your mail unless you have time to read it and take action on it; that is, reply to it, delegate it, file it or discard it.
5- Get organized
Organize your desk, your hard-copy and computer files and your e-mail folders so you can find things easily. Far too much time is wasted searching for lost information. Benjamin Franklin said it best: "A place for everything, everything in its place."
6- Stay on task
Have a clearly designated "in" basket so people do not put things on your desk randomly. Have you ever returned from a meeting to find extra files, letters and documents all over your desk? Instead of following your own schedule, you probably became sidetracked by someone else's priorities.
7- Avoid disruptions
If you have a door, close it occasionally. Having an "open-door policy" for your staff is self-defeating if you don't have the time to really listen to their questions and concerns. If a coworker comes to your desk when you're too busy to chat, ask to set an alternate time to meet.
8- Collaborate and cooperate
Colleagues will expect your work to be done on time, so be sure to avoid any delays. You'll have the same expectations of them. To be safe, build extra time into the project time line to counteract unexpected snags, miscommunications or missed deadlines. If your presentation date is the 25th of the month, make sure you have everything scheduled for completion by the 23rd.
9- Avoid unnecessary follow-ups
If you pass the buck or assign work to someone else, let it go unless it is your specific responsibility to oversee it. Too many men waste valuable time listening to or reading reports about someone else's project. If your colleagues' research or business responsibilities do not impact your day-to-day work, job performance or career goals, you should only express an interest by way of supportive conversation.
10- Cancel routine meetings
Determine if meetings are absolutely necessary. If they are, establish an agenda and stay on track -- start and end on time. If your presence is not essential for the entire weekly operations review meeting, ask your boss privately if it might be appropriate for you to excuse yourself early.
Maintain your focus
11- Keep busy
Keep your skills sharp by having at least one project on the go at all times. Two or more is even better, as it gives you the opportunity to switch gears and concentrate on something else for a change of pace. Working on different projects simultaneously ensures that you always have something to work on. It also keeps your mind active and your perspective fresh.
12- Pick your projects carefully
Make confident your work has value for the company and that it makes the best use of your skills. There may be good reasons to decline a request to sit on a committee or to refuse to take on an additional project; successful business professionals know how to say "no." Ask yourself, "Will this advance my career?" and "Am I able to commit the necessary time to this assignment?" You will earn a lot more respect by collaborating with a colleague whose expertise complements yours than by taking on additional work on your own, overburdening yourself and burning out.
13- Discontinue procrastinating
It is human life to delay unlikable tasks. Schedule some of the more fun aspects of the project to follow the negative ones. If you hate working with figures, plan to do the accounting tasks first thing in the morning when you're fresh and there are fewer opportunities for distraction. If you continually put things off and miss deadlines, perhaps you should look carefully at your current job, your career goals, your strengths, and your interests. Habitual procrastination is often a sign of dissatisfaction.
14- Prize yourself
Time management is not entirely about occupation; it also involves scheduling some downtime to rest and recharge your batteries. Preparation rewards once your tasks are completed. This could mean taking a tea break as soon as you've finished reading the engineering specifications statement or planning a vacation once the new product has been launched.
Make time to succeed
Make your mind up to give faster attention to how you use up your time. Observe how the business professionals you respect assign their time and follow some of their business practices. Keep away from procrastination, maintain your spotlight and perform good organizational skills, and you will earn admiration and appreciation in your career. Achievement comes to those who work hard and know how to handle their time well.