Work Smarter Not Harder – Time Management Tips

Do you find that you take little bites of the pie here and there throughout the day rather than getting down to business and finishing the whole slice in one sitting (or the whole pie)?

Do you find you need 36 hours in one day instead of 24 to get all of your tasks done? You are not alone. Time management sounds simple, sounds logical but you would be surprised how many struggle to be productive.

Effective time management helps you decide which items are “on-fire” and needs immediate attention and those that can easily wait a day or two.

1. Set goals:

when you have an idea of what your goals are for the week it is easier to follow and maintain and you know exactly what the priorities are an how to accomplish them. Many disregard this step because it appears to be time consuming. What is not realized is that a few extra minutes preparing saves an enormous amount of time, effort, and frustration in the future.

2. Prioritization

: Most people have a “to-do” list of some sort. The problem with many of these lists is they are just a collection of things that need to be done. There is no rhyme or reason to the list and, because of this, the work they do is just as unstructured.

3. Procrastination:

This one is a tough one and causes a great deal of unnecessary stress, “I’ll do it later” famous last words until you realize that later has come and gone and now your needing extensions or scrambling at the last minute with frustration, anxiety and the feeling of being overwhelmed comes knocking at your door. How does one avoid this? Acknowledgement is a start and then figuring what causes you to procrastinate. Maybe it is something that is not the ideal task, or is the most boring. Tackle through the seemingly “tough” tasks so that it is done and then move onto items of more interest to you.

4. Interruptions:

How many times do people poke their head in your office for a quick chat and totally throw you out of your groove? Probably more than you would like to experience. There are phone calls, emails, information requests, questions from employees, and a whole host of events that crop up unexpectedly. Some do need to be dealt with immediately, but others need to be managed. Select which is the best time to answer your calls, emails and close your door to your office, if possible, to let others know you are busy.

5. Scheduling:

Much of time management comes down to effective scheduling of your time. When you know what your goals and priorities are, you then need to know how to go about creating a schedule that keeps you on track, and protects you from stress. Schedule the time that it may take to complete the item on the list but also schedule the possibility of interruptions or unexpected events. By creating a schedule that reflects your priorities and supports your personal goals, you have a winning combination.

Time management is an essential skill that helps you keep your work under control, and at the same time, it helps you keep stress levels to a minimum. We need to work smarter on things that have the highest priority, and then creating a schedule that reflects our work and personal priorities, working smarter not harder.