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TIME MANAGEMENT AT WORK

by M. F.Paul 7 months ago in workflow
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Optimize Time Management At Work

TIME MANAGEMENT AT WORK
Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

Time is a very valuable resource both personally and professionally. Do we make good use of time at work ?

It seems there is never enough time in the day. But since we all have the same 24 hours, why do some people accomplish so much more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management .

This time management in the work environment becomes especially relevant if we look at values ​​related to performance and productivity .

Good time management requires a major shift in focus from activities to results: being busy is not the same as being effective.

It is possible to improve the ability to function more effectively, even when time is tight and pressures are high. This is one of the great objectives to achieve when implementing correct time management.

Let 's see how it is possible to optimize and manage time , achieving greater efficiency and control of our tasks.

What is time management?

Time management is the main pillar of productivity and effectiveness in business, both for companies and for freelance workers. It is a process of planning hours, which aims to increase performance and efficiency in work.

Time management is of paramount importance in the work methodology of a company. It helps to plan processes and tasks within a team as well as to identify priorities. It is also a paramount concept, whether in private life or in the workplace.

Within the labor context, time management stems from each professional's own zeal for work. This is where we can find different ways of understanding time management.

But ultimately, it refers to the way

Advantages of good work time management

The benefits of optimal work time management are very interesting:

  • Greater productivity and efficiency.
  • A better professional reputation.
  • Less stress.
  • Greater opportunities for advancement.
  • Increased opportunities to achieve important life and career goals.

Improving time management at work allows you to improve performance and achieve desired goals with less effort and more effective strategies. you organize and plan how much time you spend on specific activities.

By Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Causes of poor time management

When you think about improving time management, things are not being done well and can lead to more serious situations.

A worker who cannot manage his time has the power to create conflicts in the office that could spiral out of control. Missed deadlines, financial losses, stressful relationships, and job loss are all potential results of poor time management skills.

Here are some of the main causes of poor time management:

  • Lack of organization – Organization is key to managing time. Without organization you won't know what to do when you finish a task and, therefore, you will waste time figuring out what to do next.
  • Ineffective communication – Good communication can save you a lot of time. If you communicate correctly with your clients, workers, colleagues, etc., there will be no misunderstandings and, therefore, much less time will be lost. How to communicate things correctly? Planning them in advance!
  • Misuse of tools : There are many tools that can help you increase the productivity of your days. However, if these tools are not used correctly, all they will do is waste your time.

On a personal level, ineffective time management leads to suffering from the following terms, which are more and more current:

Procrastination

Poor time management skills inevitably lead to procrastination. This concept refers to the act of postponing important or necessary work until the last minute. Usually, when work is put off until the last minute, it's not as well done as if more time had been put into it. It generally leads to low productivity when tasks are not completed satisfactorily.

Usual tardiness

Another effect of poor time management skills is habitual tardiness. People who don't plan their use of time properly often have a hard time getting to appointments on time or turning in work by the scheduled due date. This habitual tardiness can also negatively affect productivity and give them a reputation for being less serious, even when that is not the case.

Accumulation of tasks

Poor time management also leads to people overexerting themselves, which is a problem that occurs when they do too much work and don't allocate enough time to complete it. People who accumulate tasks in excess have a hard time delegating tasks and figuring out what is a good use of their time.

In addition, the work of higher managers directly influences the management of those hierarchically lower. Therefore, optimal time management must start from the top down.

One of the great responsibilities of leaders must be to help all team members get the best of themselves and do their jobs to the best of their ability. This includes advising them on how to prioritize their work, giving them guidelines to organize their time wisely, and making sure you don't get in their way.

Therefore, at this point, time management is part of the philosophy and culture of a brand, which must have the relevant resources and actions to give visibility to optimal time management.

Consequences of managing time correctly

Managing time only brings benefits and more effective work methodologies, in the company and in the personal environment:

Minimal stress levels

Even the most successful employees feel stress about meeting important deadlines. Managing your time effectively can directly reduce your high stress levels. Enjoying of:

  • Fewer tight deadlines
  • Less rush
  • Higher quality of work

Higher quality

Time management helps us focus on the most important tasks and group similar tasks together.

The quality of our work is likely to increase and efficiency to improve. When the quality improves, both the worker, as well as the superior and the clients with whom they work, are happier .

Better work environment

When staff are less stressed, they are also more likely to get along, leading to a happier work environment.

Companies with a good work environment also tend to have lower staff turnover, employee retention is vital for higher productivity.

Better decision making

Better time management skills also lead to better decision making, vital in business strategies.

All this makes the productivity and the final performance of the companies increase considerably, creating an effective and lasting work methodology.

13 Tips to optimize time management in the company

Time management stands out as a task that must be developed, within the company, at two levels.

First of all, the role of the top of a company is crucial to implement good time management.

As a company leader, it is important to take into account this series of recommendations to identify poor employee time management:

  • How is time running out for them? It is important to find out what they are spending their time on. We are not talking about being behind them watching their every move. Nobody likes to feel this way and their productivity level would drop. What is certain is that if you want to help your team prioritize tasks, you must know how they are managing their time. It is advisable to use a time management tool in which workers can record their tasks and the time they spend on them so that what is happening can be analyzed.
  • Help avoid failures in time planning . One of the most common shortcomings among employees is that they do not know how to calculate how long it will take them to complete each task or project. Normally it is planned taking into account the best of the scenarios, but interruptions or unforeseen events can cause that planning to be out of adjustment, upsetting the entire planning. It is important to help review the times that each task is taking and readjust the work plan based on variations.
  • Help “protect” really productive time . When we plan our week, we do it thinking that we have 8 hours a day to do our work, the purely productive one. This is not like this. We spend, on average, 30% of our time doing low-value , basic and repetitive tasks, more administrative than productive for our position. We invest 40% of the day in communications . This leaves us 30% of the day , that is, 2 and a half hours, to carry out valuable and productive tasks . To combat these time leaks, you must help your employees avoid wasting time on tasks that are not valuable, attributing them to someone else and teaching them to delegate .The second level is linked to the employees and workers themselves, who must endorse a series of tips and recommendations to improve the efficiency of time management. Let's look at some of the most interesting:

1. Create to-do lists

How many times has something been left undone simply because you don't remember? This happens every day, simple tasks are forgotten due to poor management. Not everything fits in your head, so it's best to collect all your tasks in one place to get a quick overview of all the work you have to do.

2. Plan ahead

It is not possible to improve time management without planning ahead. It is advisable to plan each day and each week.

However, planning tasks in advance is not enough. What good is a list of tasks and priorities if you don't plan each one of them? Find the right time to plan each of the tasks, so when the time comes to do them, you won't waste time. Every minute you spend planning can save you a lot of time in execution!

3. Prioritize your tasks

Surely many times you have carried out many tasks and at the end of the day you have realized that some important ones have been left undone. This happens when we are unable to set priorities. The prioritization of priorities is essential for companies and freelancers. You must make a list of tasks and establish the order according to priorities.

To do this, you can organize them into different levels or categories:

  • Level 1 or category A : very urgent tasks.
  • Level 2 or category B : important tasks, but not too urgent.
  • Level 3 or Category C – Tasks that can wait.
  • Level 4 or category D : tasks that you can delegate.
  • Level 5 or category E : tasks that you can eliminate.

4. Automate processes

Automating processes will help you reduce the time of many tasks. Look for applications or tools that help you, for example, to prepare bills, organize the week, etc. Investigate and don't waste time on tasks that can be done automatically.

5. Identify and eliminate distractions

Distractions are the main 'time thieves'. In order to eliminate them, they must be previously identified. To know what we waste time on, we just have to observe ourselves objectively and see the time we spend browsing web pages that are not related to our work, the time we spend on WhatsApp and other apps, on Facebook, Instagram...

6. Be realistic with deadlines

Be realistic with project delivery deadlines, budgets, etc. Being realistic does not only imply taking into account other pending tasks, it also implies taking into account possible unforeseen events . Set longer deadlines to avoid complications!

7. Follow the 80/20 rule

Many workers and employers spend their time and effort on tasks that do not bring benefits or are not really important. The 80/20 rule comes to say that 20% of the effort should account for 80% of the results, therefore... do not invest your time in unimportant tasks that do not provide you with good results!

7. Do not chase perfectionism

Long-term perfectionist workers become inefficient. It's important to get things done right, but don't waste too much time on unnecessary details or productivity will suffer.

8. Set a flexible schedule

Do not adjust the times too much, since it must be taken into account that spaces are always necessary for unforeseen events and delays. You have to be realistic when allocating time.

9. Switch tasks.

There are jobs that require greater concentration, others that are more tedious and others that we like more. It is a good idea to change activities depending on the time of day, we are not as productive at all hours .

10. Order and organize our physical and digital space

Organize space, both physical space and files and documents on the computer.

Being more organized will help you find what you are looking for more easily. Eliminate the unnecessary and classify everything else to be more agile when carrying out the work.

11. Quit multi-tasking mode

People who do many things at once tend to think that they are much more productive and get more work done than others, however, they are wrong. Multi-tasking is not the most productive way to go. Our mind works much better when we focus on a task.

Faced with a large complex task, it is often very difficult to find a start to tackle the task effectively. In such a case, it is advisable to dissect the task into smaller parts that are easier to process. Milestone work is based on this idea, it allows you to divide a task into several and assign them to different work groups.

12. Delegate

Delegating responsibilities is vital for proper time management. If you are one of those who needs to be in control of everything, this advice will probably generate some anxiety. But the truth is that no matter how good we are, we can't do everything. Sometimes we take on more work than we can accomplish.

Delegating is not a symbol of weakness but of intelligence . Surround yourself with competent people you can trust and delegate some of the responsibilities. It will allow you to be more productive and reduce your stress level.

13. Use “time outs”

We do not mean that you spend part of your break time thinking about how to organize work tasks. We refer to those dead times that we spend in traffic jams or in the waiting room for a consultation. These can be good times to make lists and prioritize tasks.

Tools for working time management

However, most of the time, time management skills are not enough to improve productivity, and we need to rely on tools. Here's a list of the best time management apps :

Todoist

Todoist is a tool to manage tasks. It has paid version and free version. The biggest advantages of this tool over others is that handling is quick and easy , that it can be synchronized with Google Calendar and with email, and that it can categorize tasks, among other things.

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is key for organizing meetings, appointments, etc. This Google tool allows synchronization with the mobile and offers the possibility of programming alarms.

Self Control

Self Control is one of the best apps to eliminate distractions. This tool can block web pages, access to social networks, etc., for a period of time, in order for you to concentrate on your tasks.

Google Keep

Google Keep is perfect for managing tasks and notes. In the notes, it allows you to store all kinds of information: from tweets, interesting articles, voice notes, etc.

Rescue Time

Rescue Time is the application that helps you find out the main distractions you have during the day. This app tracks the time you spend on Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, websites, etc.

There is no excuse! Improving time management is an essential task and very easy to develop. Follow all the exposed guidelines and you will be able to see results in a very short term.

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About the author

M. F.Paul

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