We know you’ve got an endless to do list. And with all those tasks to be completed, you have no room for wasted time. Working to improve time management skills at work can allow you to maximize your productivity and leave room for you to, you know, breathe.
If you’re feeling motivated to improve your time management but don’t know where to start, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of time management tips to help get you started.
1. Prioritize your tasks
Have you ever heard the phrase “do what you fear”? This motivational quote can be directly applied to your workplace productivity.
A key method to improve your time management skills at work is to organize your to-do list in order of importance. Identify areas that need your immediate attention, and let the smaller tasks fall in between. For example, plan on tackling larger tasks earlier in the day when you know your stamina is high.
2. Create a schedule and stick to it
Whether you prefer a digital or paper calendar, it’s important to create a weekly work schedule to properly allocate your time.
Outlining a schedule can also allow you to set personal deadlines and avoid procrastination. When marking a date on your calendar, you create a goal to work towards and a timeframe in which to hold yourself accountable.
3. Plan your breaks
According to the BBC, the average person can only concentrate for 90 minutes before needing a break. Making the effort to incorporate breaks into your work schedule can help you further improve time management skills at work.
But before you start scrolling through social media, consider practicing self-care during your breaks. This allows your mind to be energized and better prepped for when you return to your task. Take a walk, make yourself an iced coffee, or if you really need to recharge, take a power nap. (We won’t tell.)
4. Know your limits
Now that you’ve created a foolproof schedule, carefully consider adding each task as they’re requested of you. Although tempting opportunities may present themselves, doing your best work means setting healthy boundaries. It’s okay to say you’re maxed out.
Completing four well-executed tasks is more valuable than completing 20 tasks that you couldn’t fully commit to.
5. Eliminate distractions
One of the keys to improving time management skills at work is being proactive about removing distractions. A sure fire way to focus in on your work is to find a quiet, comfortable spot and just get started! Shut your office door, close all the tabs you aren’t working on, and leave your phone in another room.
Of course, sometimes having your phone on hand is part of your job. If that’s the case, you can eliminate digital distractions by downloading apps that limit your screen time on social media and other platforms.
6. Turn to others for guidance
Still feel stuck? Consult your peers! Asking how others at your company manage their time could be just the thing you need to jumpstart your productivity.
7. Consider that it might not be a “you” problem
If you’ve gone through these tips and done your best to get on top of your task list, but still feel you’re drowning in work: this might be part of a larger workplace culture problem. You shouldn’t have more work than you can reasonably accomplish in your set amount of hours. If this is the case, gently bring it up to your manager, and try to address the root cause of this issue. There could be reasons that are beyond your control, but your boss can address.