Working in an office can be challenging—there’s always so much to do and not enough time to get everything done. By utilizing proper time management techniques, you’ll be able to get everything off your plate without turning you gray. There are so many benefits to managing your time well, all it takes is a bit of proactive thought.
The Benefits of Proper Time Management Skills
Like we said, managing your time effectively comes with a range of benefits. The first major advantage is that it saves you from burnout. Trying to manage too many tasks at once can be extremely demanding, so assigning time for specific tasks will help you avoid fatigue and keep you interested in the work at hand.
Another benefit is that you will have more time to work on the things that truly interest you. By working through the tasks you find menial, you’ll be able to concentrate on the tasks that excite you. Also, by using established time management techniques, you’ll be able to track your goals more effectively and focus on your achievements.
The Comprehensive Guide to Time Management at Your Office
The next few sections will teach you to hone your time management skills and boost your productivity without burning out.
Plan Your Week and Prioritize Goals
While some people might be able to get through their day without any planning, most of us like to know what lies ahead. This is commendable, but instead of taking one day at a time, it’s actually more beneficial to plan out your entire week. To do this, simply plot out all your tasks and deadlines for the week ahead.
Once you have that down, you'll be able to see what you should focus on first and what you should assign the most time to. It will also give you the foresight to understand what tasks would be accomplished best when placed before or after each other. For example, if you’re working on a project that’s due at the end of the week and it involves many smaller tasks, you’ll be able to decide what to concentrate on when and in which order.
Make Sure to Take Breaks
One of the major reasons office workers find it hard to reach goals and meet deadlines is because they fail to take breaks. Without taking breaks, we tend to lose our focus and our motivation wanes. Therefore, when planning your week, be cognizant to add breaks intermittently. It’s vital to adhere to your assigned breaks, even if it means simply walking around the office or grabbing a quick coffee. This way your brain will be able to refresh and you’ll be able to stay focused and driven.
Work Smarter With Technology
Managing time itself can be quite a time-consuming task. Thankfully, there is an abundance of software and apps that are available to help. Programs, such as Monday or Trello, make assigning time for specific tasks, as well as managing the time of employees or team members, easy and efficient. Finding the right time or project-management tool for your office may take some trial and error but the payoff will be tremendous.
Remember to Eat
This one may seem a little out of place on the list, but it’s easy to skimp on lunch when you’re deeply involved with a task or deadline. It’s important to make sure your schedule has designated time for you to eat, away from your desk, to avoid burnout. Even better than planning when to eat is planning what to eat. As a manager, you can introduce company lunches or snacks and as an individual, you can plan your meals so they coincide with co-workers or activities you could experience outside during a walk or break.
Set Time Limits
Sometimes we get so bogged down by one task that we forget about the rest of our responsibilities.Therefore, it’s crucial to keep to your specified time frame for each task. If a task is holding you back or making you stress, work on it for the assigned time and then get back to it at a later designated point. This will allow you to take a step back and give time for your brain to breathe so you can work on the other obligations demanded of you.
Proper time management starts with planning out your week. Remember to prioritize your tasks and goals, as well as assign sufficient break time and to eat well. If a task is taking you longer than expected, move on and get back to it. Don’t let it eat at the time you’ve set aside for other tasks. And if you find yourself slacking, take a deep breath and reconsider how you can get your time management back on track. If you need a reminder, feel free to check back to this list; or check out this list of productivity tools we’ve covered.