10 ways to better manage your time at work
Productive and giving 100% at work? But what about your own time? How to be “better” but not hurt your health and private life? Here are nine proven tricks that, in my opinion, will increase your performance and save you from occupational burnout symptoms.
1. Think, what could be the reason that you lose so much time and energy at work. When you find the answer, then try to reduce these factors gradually. It can be a conversation with a talkative colleague who you cannot say you do not have time or mindless browsing of Facebook … If you have already found the answer to this question, do one thing - limit it. And with this little tip, I invite you to the next point ..
2. Prioritizing tasks - It’s a simple, traditional way that I use. This simple method was created by Dwight D. Eisenhower. How does it work? Imagine it is Monday morning, you take a pen in your hand and write down all the tasks you have to do by the end of the week. Now divide them into four groups. The first, those that are most urgent. Then separate tasks that are important but do not need to have an ASAP tag. The third set will be the very lightweight responsibilities, which you may not need to do at all. Lastly, write down tasks that you can delegate to other team members (you don’t have to do everything yourself). This list will show you what activities you have to do and in what order you must do them. If you want to improve your time management and be more productive, try to do the most urgent tasks in the first 90 minutes of the workday. If you are consistent in your behavior, the effects should be visible faster than you think.
3. What about daily duties? Cyril Northcote Parkinson noticed that when an office worker has a specific time to perform a given task, it will be completed at the latest possible time. Nowadays, this phenomenon is called “Parkinson’s Law”. How can you avoid this kind of situation of sitting after work on the day before the deadline? Start by not doing all the tasks that get into your inbox. Make letters every day, writing to yourself what must be done today. Do not enter more than five items. Check them off one by one. However, remember to have tasks with a “longer deadline,” in that “everyday” list. In this way, you will avoid sitting after work on the last day of commissioning the project.
4. Think about your work comfort! Take care of the temperature and lighting of the workplace. Don’t count on clarity of mind when you stare at the screen like a mole, and your fingers are stiff with cold. You are closer to pneumonia and thicker glasses than being able to complete your tasks efficiently.
5. Move! Scientists have calculated that the minimum we need to in order to maintain our health is about 10,000 steps per day. So, going to the bathroom or for coffee, try to choose the longest way around the office, and if you have the opportunity, leave the office for a few minutes’ walk. Sound like a waste of time? You don’t even know what favor you do to your body (and mind) by giving it a little exercise.
6. Say “stop” to your multimedia/social media during food breaks! If you’re used to eating lunch / breakfast / dessert with your smartphone, it’s time to say goodbye. Rather than staring at a small screen, choose a short chat or contemplation of a view from outside of a window - treat it as a form of meditation. After such a break, you will return to the computer with eyes rested and less chance of a premature double chin or the so-called “tech neck”.
7. You hear a lot about assertiveness, and there is something in it. Nothing terrible is going to happen if you say “no” once in a while when you need to focus, but your teammates start telling you about their dog/cat/husband/child/ wife for the hundredth time. Remember: say it gently, explaining why you need to say no at the moment. Also, remember to have some empathy… and this is the moment where I suggest that you open “uncle Google” and write “how to be assertive”, because this is a topic for an entirely separate article…
8. Be flexible! And I don’t mean just stretching your muscles every day. If you can decide on your hours to perform the duties entrusted to you, then try to set them so that they harmonize with the hours of your best performance.
9. Limit unnecessary meetings. If it is necessary, make sure it doesn’t last longer than 90 minutes. During the meeting, ensure that precise rules are established, such as a robust agenda, division of roles, and focus on the purpose of the meeting. To gain time, allow each participant to prepare. Send vital information electronically a few days in advance.
10. And what if you didn’t have an application on your phone? Try to limit the electronic “bothers” for a week. It’s best to turn off notifications, put headphones on, and you’ll see how much faster and faster you can complete your scheduled sentences!
If you are interested in the topic of time management at work, it is worth reaching for the books that I supported when creating this article:
1. The power of habit - Charles Duhigg
2. It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work - Jason Fried
3. Deep Work – Newport Cal