5 Ways To Improve Your Time Management Skills
17 January 2019

We get that there can sometimes be office distractions: cake breaks for someone’s birthday, the lure of social media when work is lagging, someone bringing their dog in for the day.

According to these shocking time management statistics by expert and author Clare Evans:

 

  • Less than 60% of the workday is deemed productive
  • 57% of office workers spend an hour a day looking for missing or misplaced documents
  • 20% have to recreate those documents when they can’t be found
  • Emails take up most time, with UK businesses losing £1.5 billion a year on unnecessary emails.
  • 50% of emails on average are trivial
  • 56% of workers feel stressed and out of their depth, with three deciding factors influencing these feelings: that are contributing to this: a lack of planning, changing priorities and limited resources.

 

So how do we make sure that these distractions don’t interfere with our work? How can we combat procrastination and be more productive?

 

Make A Schedule For Work On A Weekly Basis

A fantastic way to keep your workweek organised is to create a weekly schedule. Do this in word or excel - whatever platform best suits you - and create a day-by-day plan of tasks. A schedule will help you to keep on top of your workload and manage your mental health if you are feeling overwhelmed. 

 

Produce A Time Log

Your schedule could also have a separate column for a time log where you can keep account of how you’ve spent your time. Although sounds a little pedantic and over the top, a time log will be super helpful to look back on if you’ve been struggling to finish a project to deadline and you want to pin point areas of your work to improve upon for productivity. It’ll also make it much easier to identify distractions and interruptions, especially if it seems there is a pattern to when and how they occur.

 

Write To-do Lists

Why not buy a nice journal or diary to keep notes of your workload and help you to manage tasks? They often have daily to-do lists that you can fill out, which help keep you motivated to stay on track since you get to pen that satisfying tick once each task is completed. Psychological research shows that to-do lists have a positive effect on brain health and benefits as a productivity tool.

 

Prioritize Your Emails

Got a mountain of emails to get through? Give them a quick scan and prioritize which ones need an immediate response, leave the others to complete another day. Use your schedule to determine when to respond to emails and to prioritize more urgent ones. Since so much of our time is wasted replying to unnecessary emails, it’ll save time in the long run to use this method.

 

Politely Minimize Interruptions

Got a colleague that likes to talk? Or a boss that pesters you on little things? Find a polite way to let them know that you have work to do and can’t afford the distractions. Rehearse language to use to minimize these distractions, avoid offending a colleague, and staying focussed on the task at hand.

 

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