Time Management-A Real Challenge

Workplace time management is a real challenge keeping in view the unlimited distractions and disruptions employees have to face such as emails, meetings, deadlines, demands, requests, priorities and the never ending list of things they have to manage the entire day which makes productivity almost unachievable. Plenty of people are seen around the whole day paddling furiously, desperately trying to keep their heads above the productivity waterline. But there is good news!

Improving time management at work isn’t nearly as hard as it might appear. And the gains can be huge.

The outcomes are worth the time and effort it takes to learn a few basic tips and techniques. Less stress, more calm and control, greater motivation, enhanced energy and a real sense of satisfaction.

Three crucial yardsticks can be used to define successful time management in the workplace:

Productivity – how much you do

Performance – how well you do what matters

Perception – how you and others feel about what you do

Tip 1: Prioritize
Using time management in the workplace allows prioritizing all projects and daily tasks, ranking them in order of importance. This ends up being a promised list or to do list. This will keep you and your employees focused on a daily basis.

Tip 2: Minimize Distraction
Where possible, control over immediate work environment can be crucial, effective and productive. Determining a place free from distraction (no cell phone or text messaging!) where you can maximize your concentration and be free of the distractions that friends or hobbies can bring!

You should also have a back-up space that you can escape to, like a library, departmental study center, even a coffee shop where you can be anonymous. A change of venue may also bring extra resources.

Tip 3: Tame Your Technology
You may find that your entire day gets eaten up by phone calls and emails. You think that you are being efficient by responding the second a new communication comes in but many times, the reverse is true. You should try to send calls to voice mail and turn off your email notification. Then check your messages once in the morning, once after lunch, and once more before you leave the office. You’ll be able to respond to important issues as they come up, and still have time to get some actual work done!

Tip 4: Create a daily plan
Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

Tip 5: Carry a schedule
You should record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where you’re precious moments are going. You’ll see how much time are actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.

Tip 6: Delegate Tasks
It is common for all of us to take more tasks than our desired potential. This can often result in stress and burnout. Delegation is not running away from your responsibilities but is an important function of management. Learn the art of delegating work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities.

Tip 7: Tracking Employees
Employee time management software allows companies to track employees time clock punches. The opportunity exists to track all punches like morning arrivals, lunches, breaks, and leaving for the day. It will create a fair workplace with no opportunity to abuse time. This is also a way and opportunity to get vital information for performance reviews.

Tip 8: 30 Seconds Or Less
Not all to-do’s are created equal nor do they all take the same amount of time. Some items can be completed very quickly (like bookmarking a website, filing a business card in your Rolodex, or entering an important number in your cell phone). When a to-do crosses your desk, ask if it can be completed in 30 seconds or less. If so, just go ahead, do it, and get it over with — just one less thing to have to worry about later!

Tip 9:  Know Yourself!
Do you like the pressure of working to tight deadlines or not? For example, do you only feel motivated to get started on a project the night before it’s due in, or do you prefer to leave yourself plenty of time? Either way is fine, but knows which method works for you and use it to your advantage. Either set yourself more deadlines, or make sure you leave time to plan and deliver well in advance.

Tip 10:Use a calendar
Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software. Google Calendar is great. It’s even better if you can sync it to your mobile phone and other hardware you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are.

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