How often do you find yourself worrying because you don’t think you have enough time to get everything done? Have you ever used lack of time as an excuse? If you haven’t said it, you’ve definitely thought it!
In a recent global survey (Accenture), 80% of respondents stated that they often felt there weren’t enough minutes in the day to achieve everything. This doesn’t come as much of a shock with only 480 minutes in the average working day, it is no surprise that key skills such as prioritisation, delegation and managing your time are absolutely necessary in the modern workplace.
Good time management skills are crucial, they allow you to become more successful in your career, reduce your stress levels, improve your decision-making ability and can allow you to accomplish more with less effort.
I’d recommend these easy-to-follow tips that will allow you to better manage your time and get ahead in your career:
1. Plan – As soon as you get into the office, prepare a plan for the rest of the day. Map out your daily goals, ordering them by importance (not by ease) and break down the tasks into smaller components so you can accomplish them one step at a time. You should always make sure you know when your deadlines are and these should be clearly marked in your diary/calendar.
2. Prioritise – Always try to identify two or three tasks that are the most crucial to complete and do those first. Once you’ve finished these you can move on to other tasks and your day has already been a success.
3. Focus – It is so easy to procrastinate as many of us well know, but when working on important projects close down your email account and remove any other distractions. Where possible, find a quiet place to work to ensure that you can concentrate on the task in hand and complete it as efficiently as possible.
4. Time Limits – Try to set a time limit for each task in your day, this will push you to focus and be more efficient. You may end up having to extend the time later on, but at least you are aware of the change in your schedule and can manage the rest of your day accordingly.
5. Delegate – You may simply not have enough time in the day for certain tasks or they may be better carried out by a colleague. Delegate these tasks and allow yourself to focus on more important items on your list.
6. Say No – Although this can be easier said than done, try not to take on more than you can handle. Explain to your Manager that at the present time you are unable to complete what is asked or even try to defer it to a later period.
Inevitably, there will always be more tasks than time to do them in, and therefore sometimes you must forego something you would like to do in favour of something that is more important in helping you to achieve your objectives. Learning to manage your time better will free you up to work on the really important projects, allowing you to meet your goals and targets.
Remember: rewards come from good time management habits!