Do you always find yourself struggling to keep up with work at the office?
You wake up bright and early full of energy, get to work ready to handle business, but by 10 a.m., the day seems to be pretty much running through your fingers. Sounds familiar?
Yeah, I thought so. We all go through this most days. However, time management can save you from always playing catch-up with your work schedule.
It may sound too meta, but it’s all in scheduling.
You see, good scheduling is one of the secrets to success.
This is because proper time management has a lot of benefits, one of them being able to get the most out of the work hours.
A proper and consistent time management routine will also enable you and your team to always complete your projects on time. Managing your time more effectively will help you with stress management, too.
Also, if you run a small business, a proper schedule means that you will always have sufficient time to tackle all tasks and ultimately be able to reach your goals even faster.
According to statistics, unorganized workers waste at least 40 percent of their time on unproductive activities.
You can imagine how much more your business can achieve if that 40 percent was put into good use.
5 Tips that Will Help You Take Control over Your Day
1. Always Plan Ahead
It is advisable to take some time to plan ahead before the week starts to plan ahead. This gives you time to identify key activities that you would like to accomplish during the week.
Take about 15-20 minutes to anticipate your needs. Also, check your calendar and prioritize which activities are most important and which ones are not. Mark out uninterrupted time to accomplish the critical tasks.
Utilize the remaining time to complete the less important tasks. Planning your time is a great opportunity for you to identify the non-essential tasks as well. It also helps you to identify and eliminate unnecessary activities from your schedule.
2. Set Goals for Yourself or Your Team
Ensure that the activities in your schedule work towards supporting your business goals. Distinguish your time with family time to work time. During work time, focus on activities that help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
This will also ensure that you have more quality, uninterrupted time to spend with your family and friends.
3. Keep Track of all Your Activities
Taking control of your time is all about being aware of how you spend your time. This will require you to know how long your activities take. Maybe you are one of those people who spend four hours reviewing their emails, which by all standards, is a lot of time.
If you track your time for one week, you will be aware of where most of your time is being spent, which activities consume a big chunk of your time, and which ones are suffering in the process.
Such insights will help you in your scheduling process. You don’t have to do it manually as there are plenty of free time management tools on the internet that can help you. You will definitely find one that will help you determine how you spend your time.
4. Sometimes It’s Okay to Say NO
One way to disrupt your schedule is to take on tasks that you were not prepared for. A co-worker may ask you to put the final touch ups on a project, and because you don’t want to disappoint them, you agree to help them.
This means more work for you that wasn’t in your original schedule. You know what happens from there. Some of your tasks will suffer.
It’s okay to say NO sometimes.
Whereas it is nice to help out once in a while, saying yes always may impede on your productivity.
If you do not have some spare time to help out on a task, then you should have the courage to politely say no.
5. You Can’t Do Everything. Delegate Tasks
As you carve out your schedule for the coming week, make sure you delegate tasks. Do not be afraid of assigning other tasks to other team members.
This approach will help you focus all your attention on the most critical tasks. It will also help in staying in control and reduce the pressure or anxiety that may occur due to too much work.
But what about doing three or four tasks at the same time? Well, multitasking can be highly unproductive, so leave it out of the equation.
Scheduling your day, week, and month will enable you and your team remain productive, efficient, and maximize your bottom line. A common recipe for disaster is starting your day at work not knowing which tasks need to be done first, which deadlines are fast approaching and who needs to do what.
Use these tips consistently and you will be on your way to regaining control over your day in no time.