Whether you are working remotely or back in the office, time management is essential to stay on track and increase productivity. While some people think that in order to be productive you need to work harder, we would argue that you just need to adopt techniques that allow you to work smarter. This is especially the case when it comes to time management which, when done well, can prove to beneficial to the way in which we work.
Here are 5 time management tools that you can easily add to your routine to help you work smarter, not harder.
CREATE A DAILY PLAN
Call it a to-do list or a daily plan but writing out the tasks you want to accomplish for the day is a great way to kick off your workday. Doing so creates a sense of organization around the responsibilities in front of you each day. There’s also no better feeling than checking off each item as you accomplish it.
Once you have a list of the day’s undertakings written out you can now focus on prioritizing the items. More often than not, we include items in our daily plan that are not a top priority. Sure, these need to be tackled, but really focus on your responsibilities and determine what items are top priority (those with upcoming deadlines or items that other people are waiting on). This will ensure you are working on the most important things first.
One of the most effective time management techniques is time blocking. This useful tool allows you to dedicate time throughout your day to all the items you have prioritized on your to-do list. The system is simple: use your calendar to block out time for the various tasks you have set for the day. The time frames can be as short or as long as you think they need to be, but make sure to give yourself a 10 minute buffer in case you run behind schedule. Didn’t finish something? That’s okay too. It’s encouraged to also use a block of time to go back to projects later in the day. This system is widely used and can benefit those who want to work on multiple tasks throughout the day.
Distractions are one of the top time wasters of anyone’s day. Whether it’s the family interrupting you while working remotely or co-workers chatting at your desk in the office, distractions can roadblock anyone’s productivity. Distractions can also be in the form of social media or television which is why it is so important to put yourself into an environment that limits the temptation of distractions. This can be done by putting your phone on airplane mode and saying no when needed to people who want to chat while you are working on important tasks.
DELEGATE WHEN NEEDED
It can be tempting to want to do everything on your daily plan by yourself, but strength comes in numbers and delegating tasks is a great way to meet deadlines and get input from others. While delegating can be difficult for those who like to be in control, it ensures that projects stay on track and that you do not become overworked throughout the day. Understand that others may be stronger in areas of work and can contribute a great deal when picking up a few of your to-do items.
We want to know: What are some of your favorite time management techniques? Share them in the comments below and click here to see more business tips from ADMIN Partners.