How do you know if you have poor time management? If you are habitually late or always feeling stressed, these are two common characteristics of having poor organization skills. A lot of times in life and work, we can feel overwhelmed by the tasks we have to complete. This is something that everyone struggles with. These are the top 5 time management tips that will help you take control of how you spend your time.
Set SMART Goals
SMART goals help you check off certain criteria when it comes to different tasks. Our Bigger Brains Time Management Basics course covers the acronym in depth. In general, SMART goals help keep you accountable. When working on a task, what is the endpoint, does this task help further a cause? By using this method of setting goals, you get in the habit of clearly listing your tasks and priorities which helps with time management in the future.
Learn To Say “No”
In the workplace, it can seem very scary to tell people “no” when they ask if you can do a task. As overwhelming as it might seem, it is extremely beneficial for you to get into this habit. Saying “yes” to everything people ask you to do is the quickest way to drown yourself in work you can’t complete. By learning how to say no to certain projects, you are implementing good time management practices that help you complete prior tasks. Sometimes managers might not realize that you are already working on other assignments and don’t realize that you don’t have time for one more. This is why learning to say “no” is very helpful because you help other people see the work you are already assigned. Of course, it might not always be the best idea to simply say “no” to your boss/manager, so our Time Management Basics course covers different ways to convey that message.
Set Meeting Agendas
Everyone has experienced a meeting that seems to ramble forever while nothing important is discussed. How do we stop that from happening in the future? By getting in the habit of sending out meeting agendas. This way, everyone enters the meeting on the same page. This also helps cut back on wasted time during the meetings while improving efficiency. By setting priorities before the meeting, what needs to be discussed, and what actions will be taken, we reduce time-wasting. This helps everyone stay focused and leaves them with enough time during the day to complete other work as well.
Some of the most common distractions in the workplace are the ones that make you seem like you’re being productive. These include answering emails and having conversations with coworkers. Answering emails does not seem like something that would be a time-waster, but when your inbox becomes the only thing you are focusing on, problems emerge. Good time management means making decisions to cut those distractions out. Sometimes distractions come from coworkers instead. Both of these things are not bad by themselves, but when they start emerging in excess, poor time management follows close behind. We dive into a deep discussion about personalities in the workplace in our time management course.
Keep a Clean Workspace
Cleanliness goes beyond having a clear desk. Many people do not think about organizing their desktop or email, but science has discovered that organizing these areas helps increase time management. Trying to sort through your email looking for a specific message can take large chunks of time out of your workday. This is why cleanliness goes beyond the physical desk you sit at. Having an organized inbox can be just as helpful as not having clutter on your desk. With our Time Management course, we teach how to organize your email effectively. By organizing these unnoticed areas of your desk, proper time management will flourish.