Keeping on top of an ever-mounting workload can often add to the stresses and strains of our jobs. Prioritising task and improving time management can help to keep down the workload, make us work much more effectively and efficiently and more importantly, enjoy our roles more.
Here are some of our tips to improve your time management skills:
Prioritise your ‘to-do’ list
Taking the time to sort your list by priorities will mean that you concentrate more on important jobs. All too often we can be guilty of cherry-picking jobs on our ‘to-do’ lists and before we know it we’re left with the jobs we don’t really like doing, or jobs that need doing urgently thereby increasing stress.
By attending to the list in time order, you can allow yourself the required amount of time to complete everything.
Don’t be afraid to delegate, or ask for help
Are there other members of the team who don’t have as much work on at the moment? Could others benefit from be trained-up to take some of your work on?
Delegating some of your tasks could not only free up some of your valuable time, but also be of benefit to others who want to broaden their own role and skillset.
If you’re not in a position to delegate jobs, don’t be afraid to approach your line manager or supervisor to ask for help if a project or task is becoming too overwhelming. It won’t be seen as a sign of weakness, if anything, the fact that you’ve raised your concerns will show that you are diligent and want to improve your productivity and efficiency.
Have realistic expectations of yourself
Unless you like still being at your desk at 10pm on a Friday night, learn what you can reasonably accept as your workload and still deliver a quality service. Burning yourself out because you’re afraid to say ‘no’ won’t benefit anyone, least not you.
Don’t be afraid to tell people that you can’t handle any extra workload if you’re already stretched, they will be grateful of your honesty and will appreciate that you want to deliver the best results possible.
Use slow times to get ahead of work commitments
There will be times when work isn’t quite so hectic and demanding. These are good times to get ahead and tackle certain jobs that either tend to take a back seat or are upcoming projects.
Putting yourself a little bit ahead of schedule will give you a bit more breathing space when work picks up back to its usual frenetic pace again.
Try not to put off tasks, no matter how small they are. You may suddenly find yourself bogged down in lots of little time consuming tasks that are taking your attention away from other jobs.
Don’t rush and make errors
“A stitch in time saves nine” is a rather old fashioned saying, but it still rings true. It is much better to take your time over a task and complete it properly first time, than to rush and make mistakes which you later have to correct.
Take yourself away from distractions
Time sensitive tasks need your full attention. Switch your phone to voicemail, stop checking your email every 5 minutes and lock yourself away in an office or meeting room until you’ve completed the task.
Don’t get overwhelmed by large tasks
Some projects can seem very overwhelming, breaking them down into smaller manageable sections will help you to focus and help you work through it.
Attend a team building event that focuses on time management
Attending a team building event which focuses on improving time management skills will be of huge benefit for people of all levels. Taking part in fun and informal events that are outside of their usual role will help people to hone their time management skills as well as improve other areas of their skillset.