Office Time Management
In today’s workplace, office time management has become a necessary skill. We all are extremely busy and it becomes increasingly difficult to balance work and home. This article looks at a few things you can do right now to better manage your time at your work. Everyone’s work is different, so implement those that work for you.
Office time management ideas:
- Don’t multitask - Multitasking does not work. There is enough research out there to show this. But most of the time, we multitask unknowingly. You could be writing that report while taking a phone call. Or taking a look at the email that just popped up on your screen while you were doing some analysis. The truth is that you need to work on one task, with focus for a decent amount of time, to make good progress. If you jump from one task to the other every few minutes, all of them will take longer and the quality will suffer. So set aside blocks of time to tackle your tasks. And limit interruptions as much as you can.
- Prioritize - Perhaps the most important part of office time management. You need to know what is important and urgent so that you can prioritize. Work places where good project management is practiced, it is obvious. But in many places you need to get this information from your manager/supervisor.
- Set time aside for all (prioritized) tasks - If you need to review a report, make sure you allocate time for it on your calendar. This will remind you that you need to work on this task and more importantly, will give you a good block of time to get it done. Sometimes a more urgent issue or meeting comes up during this time - this brings up the next tip.
- Urgent tasks - If something urgent comes up, reschedule the original task. This will make sure that the original task does not fall off your radar, and that you have allocated time to get it done.
- E-mails - Answer e-mails in groups. Answering e-mails as they come up disrupts whatever you are working on at that time. This is similar to multitasking and is not very productive. Set aside time to go through your e-mails. If there are action items, plan them as explained in the next tip.
- Action items - Arrange action items according to priority, and decide when you will do them. Plan and allocate time. Otherwise your action items will just keep on increasing day by day. If you know you have more urgent priorities and cannot get to some of the action items, communicate to your manager/project team. It is not appropriate to make commitments and not follow through.
- Plan your day - Prepare for your day the previous day. Take 10 minutes at the end of the day and look at what you need to get done the next day. Plan your next week every Friday. If you don’t plan your days, someone else will do it for you and that won’t be in your best interest. Another important item in office time management.
- Meetings - Plan your meetings. Be prepared. Send out meeting minutes (summary) right away when everything is fresh in your mind. Be prepared when you attend meetings called by others. This will make the meetings more productive.
- Understand what is needed before starting to work - It will be a waste of your time and effort if you work on something and then find out that the original request was for something else. So make sure you know exactly what the deliverable is.
- Be mindful of other people’s time - Don’t talk to them about non-work related things for long periods of time. Limit chitchatting. Use lunch/break time for longer conversations.
- Clear your head from time to time - Take a quick 5 minute break once in a while. This will help you think better.
Office time management helps you with productivity and meeting your goals/contracts. Since it helps you use time effectively, you will find more time to spend with your family.
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