Did you know that the average person is interrupted in their work every 8 minutes? That translates to about 50-60 times per day! How does that affect your work and personal life? Managing time properly is not something that’s only beneficial on the clock. Taking the time to review and learn these time management tips is something that will benefit your work and personal life throughout 2021. If you need help understanding how to manage your time, here are six powerful tips to get more done in your twenty-four hours.
When you’re on the clock, everything can seem like the most important task of the day. The key to effective time management is discovering which assignments actually need to get done first. It might seem intimidating to ask your manager to prioritize your tasks, but in the end, it is easier on you. Most managers or bosses might not even realize that they are asking too much of you until you bring it up to them. Our Time Management course provides resources to help write out tasks to better understand them. It is recommended to use these resources at least once a month to understand where your time is going.
Focus On Influence
For most people, being busy and having lots of things to do makes them feel like they are being productive. What if there was an easier way to be successful while focusing on time management? Instead of being reactive to the work in front of you, strive to be proactive. Instead of spending your day answering emails, phone calls, or requests, spend your time on what is most important. It can be easy to get caught up in busy work and think that we’re knocking out our to-do list, but most of the time the easiest things are not the most important. Our Time Management course provides resources for being proactive. These resources help you figure out what your top priorities are, and help keep you accountable for completing them. Obviously, priorities change, but this resource is a guide on where to focus your efforts right now.
Create A To-Do List
As people plan out what they hope to accomplish in a day, sometimes they overshoot what can realistically be accomplished. This is why having a to-do list is crucial to effective time management. For an efficient to-do list, it is important to put everything on it, and that means everything! Small things that might seem insignificant, whether personal or professional tasks, should be included. Get in the habit of putting a time next to the task to make sure that at that point of the day, you are focusing on that task. If you aren’t, you may be overloading your day. By holding our list in our heads we can distort the timeline of the day and convince ourselves that an impossible workload is very much possible. The only outcome of this is burning yourself out.
Follow The 80/20 Rule
The Pareto principle states that for many outcomes roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of the causes. You may have heard of this as the 80/20 rule. It is relevant to time management. 80 percent of your results should come from 20 percent of your effort. A Pareto approach means you need to understand which projects are most important and which specific tasks do you need to focus on. 80% of your time should be spent on these. Spend the remaining 20% on less significant tasks. When reading that for the first time it can seem far-fetched and unrealistic, but the more you hold yourself accountable to this the easier it becomes. Following this rule to manage time means you don’t drain yourself to get the best results.
Cutting Out Time Wasters
How many times a day do you check your email? The average person checks their email about 15 times per day. When it comes to time management, time-wasters sometimes seem productive but they really aren’t. To optimize your time you should limit the number of times per day you check your email. This goes for other time-wasters too – do you scroll on your phone, or strike up conversations with a co-worker? These things aren’t inherently bad, they only become problems when they take large portions of time away from productive work. The objective of this is not to take away all the fun things at work, and we aren’t saying to ignore all your coworkers, all things should be monitored evenly.
Jumping from the topic of cutting out time wasters, we land on the discussion of batching. What is batching? Instead of checking your email every time you get a notification, wait until a designated time to check it. By granting an allotted time to work on smaller tasks, you reduce the chance of getting distracted throughout the day. Batching is a major key to time management because it allows for small breaks at designated times. This time management tool is also extremely important because it doesn’t prohibit you from doing things at work. You are still able to check your email, it is just on a regulated schedule so you prioritize your time.