How are your time management skills in the office? Do you have a hard accomplishing the tasks you need to do? Here are some great tips to boost your productivity and improve time management in the workplace.
Tip #1: Question Yourself
We are all guilty of getting caught up in mundane busy work that distracts us from more important projects. It is important to always ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time at this exact minute?” If it isn’t, stop the task that you are doing and redirect you efforts to another task or activity that is going to give you a better payoff.
Tip #2: Get Technology Under Control
Does it feel like your entire day is eaten up by phone calls and emails? You might think that you are being efficient by responding to communications the second they come in, but the opposite is true. By sending your calls to voice mail and turning off your email notification, you can accomplish much more. Try checking your messages once in the morning, once after lunch, and one more time before you leave the office. You will be able to respond to important issues as they come and will have time to get some actual work done.
Tip #3: Un-Clutter
Some people have a hard time staying focused because the piles and stacks of paper on their desk distract them from the task at hand. By clearing the clutter off of your workstation and other visible surfaces, your attention will not be drawn away as easily.
Tip #4: Close Your Door
If you find yourself constantly having drop in visitors who make it hard to get your work done, simply shut your door to discourage interruptions. You will not want to lock people out all day long, but this technique will help when you really need to concentrate for an hour or two.
Tip #5: Write Things Down
If you are always thinking about the million of other things you need to do, keep a pad of paper on your desk and write down each of those to do’s as they occur to your. By emptying them out of your head, you will stay better focused on the task at hand and will not have the fear of forgetting something important.
Tip #6: 30 Second Rule
Some to do’s can be completed very quickly (like entering an important number in your cell phone or filing a business card). When a to do crosses your desk, ask if it can be completed in 30 seconds or less. If so, do it and get it over with! You will have one less thing to worry about doing later.
Tip #7: Organize
Instead of just piling all of your paperwork into a single “in box” tray, consider setting up a series of action files in a rack or box on your desk with one for each type of to do. Some ideas for your boxes may be to file, to read, to contact or whatever makes the most sense for your job. When you receive a new stack of paper, take a second to sort it into the appropriate file, according to the next step you need to take with each item
Tip #8: Consolidate Your Actions
Going back and forth from one activity to another is a big time waster. If you file a piece of paper, then make a call, then send an email and then file another piece of paper, your brain is constantly switching gears each step of the way. Try to complete all of one type of task before moving on the next. Make all of your calls, do all of your filing, and then send out all of your emails.
These are small tasks, but all together they can help you to manage your time better and be more efficient in the workplace. These tips and more can be found at www.smead.com.