Whether you’re planning a lengthy campaign or struggling with the day-to-day responsibilities of running a business, effective time management can make life a whole lot easier. It’s often overlooked by many organisations at the cost of productivity, customer satisfaction and profits.
We may be sat in front of the desk for 8 hours, but how long are we actually working? As distractions grab our attention, it’s easy to lose valuable time which could be adding value. If you’re looking to squeeze more out of your day, take a look at some of these time management tips.
A recent study has shown the impact of a distraction lasting 2.6 seconds, and the results are alarming. It’s said that this minor disruption can cause 100% increase of errors when carrying out other tasks. With that in mind, it’s time to manage those distractions before they become a problem.
This can be especially hard in today’s technology led world. All non-urgent applications should have notifications turned off which include WhatsApp, Facebook and so on. Put in place scheduled breaks to check your messages which can even be useful for email.
Unnecessary time spent chatting to colleagues can lead to hours of lost productivity. Some may see this as team bonding, but it’s often an excuse to skip work. Although we’re not advocating a lack of team spirit, it’s important to be unapproachable at certain times.
Be friendly and give polite signals to let others know you haven’t time for work. You can always agree to meet later for lunch or a coffee break.
Establish a schedule
Setting time limits on each task is a great way to increase productivity through a sense of urgency. Even small jobs can be given a deadline which should stop you from getting distracted from unrelated issues.
Taking this one step further, why not implement a proven technique such as Pomodoro. This requires you to divide work into short intervals of 25 minutes followed by a very small break. It’s designed to give you maximum productivity throughout the day. Give it a try and you might be surprised at the results.
Delegate to colleagues
If you’re a perfectionist, you probably avoid delegating tasks to others. Although it may seem like the noble thing to do, this could be negatively impacting your workflow and the final outcome. After all, there may be someone within the company that is better or more efficient at carrying out a certain task.
Don’t be afraid to share the work load with colleagues for those tasks which can be carried out without your assistance. Do not abuse this privilege, but use it to your advantage when more important tasks require your attention.
Prioritize important tasks
As you become overloaded with daily tasks and the pressure mounts, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. In other words, you’re left ploughing through tasks mindlessly hoping to make an impact in a mountain of work. Unfortunately, this could be causing major inefficiencies as you commit to work which is neither urgent nor important.
Always start the day by addressing those tasks which add the most value and can’t be ignored. Identifying each job on a scale of importance is surprisingly affective and allows you to quickly move from one to the next, finishing with those less important.