Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. It can be frustrating to spend your day working hard to find that your ‘To do list’ at the end is longer than the one you started with. If this is ringing a bell, why not try these 5 top tips for time management.
Prioritising well is important not only for meeting deadlines but also to keep stress levels down. There are many tools you can use to prioritise your workload, like the ‘Urgent/Important Matrix’.
Plan your day
An easy way to seemingly create more hours in your day is to plan your day effectively. Scheduling your day around your most urgent tasks should help keep you focussed on your priorities. It has been suggested that the majority of people are at their peak attention/focus level first thing in the morning, so why not use this time to tackle you high priority tasks and bigger projects
It’s best to over-estimate how much time a task will take you- this gives you a buffer in-case of interruptions. Don’t forget to schedule in time for day-to-day tasks like checking and responding to emails.
According to Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, the average person takes around 23 minutes to fully re-focus on work after being distracted (read the full article here). Emails and phone calls tend to be the biggest culprits of workplace distractions.
If you’re a serial email-checker, you may find yourself spending more time answering emails and getting little else done, try scheduling email check-ins through the day instead. If it’s your phone that’s pulling your attention away, see if a colleague can take your phone for an hour or forward it through to voicemail.
Manage people’s expectations
Ensure when you’re given a big project or task that you know exactly what’s expected of you, it saves going back to the drawing board later and therefore saves you time. Be sure to set a realistic timescale especially if you’re already juggling a lot of deadlines, it’ll save you a lot of stress down the line and it’s better to set a longer deadline initially than have to keep extending it.
Delegate, delegate, delegate!
A lot of people find it difficult to delegate work to others but this can be one of the most effective ways of managing your time. If you’re overwhelmed by your workload ask a member of your team if they can help.
We hope these tips help, if you’d like to learn more about time management, try this course from Cornwall College Business, held at the Business Spaces.