managing your time
Time management refers to the personal techniques you put in place to ensure you are both effective and productive in your current role.
Making sure you are organised and presenting yourself as efficient in all tasks is key to getting ahead, reducing stress and ultimately achieving more - an important factor if you are considering asking for more responsibility or increase in workload.
If you recognise that you’re not naturally an organised person, try to memorise our simple motto for some helpful tips on how to improve your time management skills:
“Organised People Accomplish Many A Successful Day’s Living”
Organise - Make sure you have all the resources you require and, wherever possible, try to keep everything tidy or filed in its correct place. Map out your work and if you start to feel overwhelmed, break down your workload into smaller tasks that will seem less overwhelming and far more manageable.
Priortise - Especially when time is limited, make a note of all of your deadlines and sift your tasks into a sensible order accordingly, either in terms of urgency or importance. Try not to prioritise something classed as ‘urgent’ so that someone else’s work is done quicker, think about what tasks are most important in the job you do.
Avoid procrastination - Concentrate your efforts on the right tasks, not just those you find more agreeable. If you recognise that you’re putting off work, try to decipher why you’re reluctant to begin a task, for example, you may feel intimidated by an usual request and don’t know where to begin. Set yourself a reward, ask for a deadline or simply think of the ramifications of not getting the task done. It is unlikely that the task will go away, so the important thing is to find out what is the best motivation for you.
Make Decisions - Think of all possible outcomes of the task you’re addressing, the pros and cons of these options and try to determine from these your plan of action. Be aware of what needs to be done when allocating time for meetings, visits, even telephone calls - remember it is you who will be dealing with the consequences should you not have time to complete your own work.
Set Goals - By determining what you want to achieve, you are able to see where to focus your efforts. Goals are effective motivators and achieving them more regularly will increase you self-confidence as well as your idea of what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
Delegate - Remember that delegation is not only for managers. If you are feeling snowed under, just asking for a small amount of help can transform an arduous task into one that’s quite manageable. You may find, when delegating a small portion of work, that a colleague has certain strengths in that area and is able to improve the overall outcome of the project.
List tasks - ‘To do’ lists are the ideal way to both summarise all of the work required of you, and prioritise this work, using all of the above hints. Starting a new ‘to-do’ list every day will help you see what requires immediate attention and what can be put aside, as well as make sure nothing is forgotten - a very simple yet incredibly effective way of keeping focused, organised and making sure you stay fully productive in your job situation.