How to Effectively Manage Time at Work.

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Engaging in strenuous practices like juggling activities at work on a daily basis can be exasperating. The average worker spends more time trying to start something than actually working on it. He makes effort to achieve so much in a day, having broad-ranged goals lined up, he spends additional hours after work – round the clock- to meet deadlines, which overtime causes strain on his personal relationships and ultimately, affects his work-life balance.

More often than not, we lag far behind time trying to be at the peak of our responsibilities. Meeting work expectations makes time a crucial factor; as the day ticks off you have your mind fixed on the projects you have to finish, the meetings to attend, that report to submit, your plans for the weekend-hangout with family or friends- and all these strongly require ample time on your part.

Work can only be more fulfilling when there’s just enough time to handle tasks and some extra for other personal interests; which begs the question, how do you make good use of time at the workplace to enjoy life outside it?

Here are a few tips to help you manage time effectively at work.

Draw up a schedule: Track your daily routine by jotting down specific tasks you want accomplished for the day. With a schedule you can easily evaluate your performance at the end of each day and also know the things you need to prioritise. Be realistic about what you can achieve and ensure to factor in unplanned events like urgent meetings or requests. Some companies like Advanced Systems have made software that makes it easy.

Be focused: Work productivity doesn’t mean possessing the ability to do different things at a time, it means being able to deliver results effectively and on time. You are more likely to achieve results faster when you focus on one thing at a time than try to multi-task. The essence of having a schedule is to help you set your priorities right and be able to focus on each one as you go on in the day.

Perhaps ICT inventions prove to while away time than help manage it; with Smartphones like the Blackberry, you are a click away from the web where lies the major distraction from work for many people. There’s a temptation to read every email, blog post, newsletter, instant message as your phone beeps; however, this subtly inhibits your progress and intensifies stress as they add up. Do the math: you spend at least a minute reading a mail, and more to read contents like a blog post or newsletter, this usually amounts to an hour daily. When you stall work to pick up your phone each time it beeps, it takes you a few more minutes to get back into work mood, in the end; you spend more time on less important things and are unable to achieve your set goals.

Notwithstanding the need to address and analyse issues as they arise; you can set out time to browse through your phone- preferably 30 minutes, twice in the day- apart from which you do nothing with your phone except to receive calls.

Know when you are most productive: It’s easy to assume productivity because you spend more time than is required on a particular task but it probably means you are not in the most productive time of your day. Most people work best in the early hours of the day while others work best towards the end of the day. It can be either or both, or something completely different but find out when you produce results better and what motivates you to do more work. It’s important you distinguish between being productive and being busy.

What if you don’t own your time? Many individuals complain of their work being time consuming and not allowing for any personal achievements. As an employee, a way to address this could be an appeal to your boss to modify your responsibilities, present records of your past outstanding performances since your appointment, carefully explaining how you achieved them because you had enough time. You must however be considerate, understanding the goals of the company and its future prospects. As a top executive or an employer, you can delegate some less important tasks to other junior colleagues, encouraging and appreciating their efforts towards the progress of the Organisation; this would allow you time to focus on what’s more important.

How do you manage time at work? Please drop your comments in the section below. Have a stress-free day.

Lola Olakeye


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