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Tips for Better Time Management at Work

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"There are not enough hours in the day." That seems to be the mantra of the modern working professional, parent, or everyday person. In fact, it could be said that this sense of too much to do with too little time is a modern affliction.

That is why it is best to create a system for time management that really works. Nowhere is this more important, however, than in your day to day work life. Doing well in your career is a major way of reducing stress and worries - particularly in an era of high competition for fewer and fewer jobs.

So, how do you manage your time more effectively? The experts of Entrepreneur have this to say:

 

  •  Forget the gadgets, apps, and gizmos - There is an endless list of computer tools and devices that are designed to help you save time. The long and short of all of them is that they actually cut into your time. How? Most need to be managed, have data fed into them, or information uploaded to another program. In other words, they try to tell you they can help you to manage time by actually cutting into what time you are already using. A good example of this is the project tracking software so readily available. This might appear as a small stopwatch application you can use on your laptop or mobile device. You have to open it, start it when you begin working, and stop it when you are done. You then have to transfer the information to the appropriate program or software, and then…well, you get the point. These are not saving time at all.

 

  • Go "old school" - Invest in a good calendar or planner and use classic "pen and paper" to track ideas, dates, appointments, thoughts, activities, and even conversations. Once you have gotten into the habit of writing everything down, take the time to assess the stuff that is actually a waste of time. For instance, you jot down the daily conversation you have with someone about a project or other work-related issue. If this conversation is not generating any results or actions, cut it from the calendar or limit to once per week, etc.

 

  • Time everything - Rather than holding up a stopwatch and actually timing what you do, just assign a fixed amount of time to be allotted to any activity. For example, you want to work on a project that is not a priority but which needs regular attention. Assign yourself a 30 minute block of time for it, and stick to the schedule.

 

  • Expect interruptions - It would be naïve and just plain silly to think that your day can be an uninterrupted stream of uber productivity. Instead, choose a realistic percentage of time that you know will be lost to distractions, interruptions, and general nuisances. Give this a bit of attention and gauge if you are really  losing just 10 percent of the time or is it more? Figure this into your daily plans.

 

  •  Make daily plans - Yes, it may seem impossible for you to get to stick to specific timelines for a full day or even just the workday, but the world's most productive people all agree that a daily "to do" list and calendar is a sure way to success.

There are other time management techniques, but these are the most important and effective. Giving attention to smaller details is the way to thin out the interruptions and miscalculations that cost you hours of time each week and cut into job performance. Give yourself a few weeks to make these steps your newest work habits, and you will see results!

 


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