Sometimes it can seem as though there simply isn’t enough time in the day to complete all of the tasks that you need to do. Of course it also doesn’t help that life can be very unpredictable and you simply don’t know sometimes which things will become a priority to get done overnight! With that in mind, here are our top tips on how you can effectively manage your time to help ensure you meet all of your deadlines.
Keep track of your tasks and plan ahead to ensure your time is managed effectively
Ensuring that you keep a record of the tasks you need to complete and planning these in advance is really important when you’re trying to manage your time. It’s proven that if you write something down and make a note of it, you’re much more likely to remember it! Try writing a list at the end of each working day that highlights the tasks you need to do tomorrow. This will allow you a clear focus for when you arrive at work the next morning and will also help to put your mind at ease during the evening, as you’ve already allocated your tasks and your time.
If you prefer to plan your tasks on the day as opposed to the night before, it’s always a good idea to arrive slightly early and list the tasks that you need to complete in order of importance. Allocate how much time you need to spend on each one and of course ensure you’ve considered the deadlines. This will allow you to have a clear plan for the day ahead and will help you to manage your time and keep you on track.
Remember that it’s okay to ask for support if you’re struggling
We’ve all been in a situation where we feel as though our to-do lists are never ending and it seems as though the workload just keeps piling up. It’s perfectly okay to find yourself in this situation, however suffering in silence and thinking it will get better without mentioning it is not going to help and you will find your time management becomes a real issue and deadlines may be missed – which isn’t beneficial for anyone!
It’s really important to remember that no one will be annoyed with you if you flag from the beginning that you’re struggling with your time and have a lot on your plate. If you do this, the workload can be distributed between the wider team or conversations can be had about extending the deadline. So, if you do find yourself in a position where you’re struggling to manage your time – flag it with your team to prevent anything getting out of hand!
Try to remove distractions to help you stay focused on your tasks
If you find yourself becoming all too easily distracted by officer chatter, music on the radio or general background noise – try to escape it and move away from it as it will only negatively impact your time. Some good ways to do this can be to put your headphones on and listen to something that keeps you focused and drowns out the hustle and bustle of the office. Alternatively, you could always take yourself off into a quieter space and allow yourself to really focus.
Removing the things that distract you from your work will be really valuable, as you’ll find that you’re much more focused and will be more productive, helping to better manage your time.
Simply keep track of your time, to help you better manage it!
If you feel like you’re not making the most of your time during working hours, then start to keep track of the amount of time you spend each day doing certain tasks. You could do this via a timesheet, noting down what you’ve done each hour, or by simply taking note of how long you spend on each specific task you work on. By doing so, you’ll be able to asses where you’re spending your time and decide if it could be better spent.
It’ll also allow you to be held to account in terms of how much of your day is actually productive. If you’re dragging out tasks that shouldn’t be taking as long as they are – you’ll be able to see this and address it and better manage your time. If you work across multiple clients or projects, it’ll also help you to see how much time you’re spending on each and you’ll be able to allocate your time more fairly moving forward.
Giving yourself a break should always be factored into your time schedule
It’s all too easy to get bogged down with your workload if you’re not effectively managing your time –but drowning in your work 24-7 is not an effective use of your time and you will find yourself struggling to keep up even more so. It’s really important that you have a break, allow yourself some fresh air and a breather from your work related tasks to give your brain some time to relax and unwind. Ultimately, if you’re feeling worried and stressed – you won’t be able to complete your tasks to the best of your ability and will find you spend more time worrying as opposed to actually working!
Ensuring that you get a good night’s sleep is also really important to help you make the most of your time. If you’re up late at night worrying about upcoming tasks, you won’t be able to focus properly when it comes to the next day and you’re working on them. Sacrificing your sleep is never productive and isn’t a good use of your valuable time.
Prioritise your tasks to help effectively manage your time and workload
As we’ve mentioned, having a list and keeping track of your tasks is essential so that you know exactly what you need to do and won’t let anything fall off the bandwagon. Prioritising these tasks by their importance is a really great way to ensure your time is managed effectively to complete those tasks. A suggested approach could be to list your jobs by the following:
- urgent and important
- not urgent but important
- urgent but not important
- neither urgent nor important
The aim of this is to have as few urgent and important tasks as possible and essentially complete them before they reach this stage. This approach to managing your time helps you to clearly focus on the order that things need doing and will also assist with staying on top of your workload.
Set yourself deadlines and stick to them
Inevitably, there will be deadlines for the majority of the tasks that you are completing. But setting yourself mini goals and deadlines can be a really effective way to manage your time. This could work by setting yourself an overall deadline for the piece of work a couple of days before the ‘official’ deadline – this would give you piece of mind that it’s finished ahead of schedule and allows you time for any amends and final checks.
Alternatively, if you’re working on a larger piece of work, setting yourself mini deadlines for certain stages of the project can be really helpful for you to balance your time. Setting a weekly goal of how much work will be completed by when will help you stay on track and held accountable for completing the work.
Managing your time effectively will be beneficial for many things and will especially help to ensure that you meet your deadlines, feel less stressed and can also manage your workload successfully. Take on board our tips to help you become more proactive in managing your time.