We all know how chaotic things can get at work: constant changes, slipping deadlines, and a to-do list that seems never-ending. Especially now that the year is coming to an end, many people claim that their New Year (business) resolution is “managing time better” or “becoming more efficient.” But is that possible, or will better time management become another New Year resolution that never came to be? Fortunately, you can enter the year more relaxed, as this article includes 6 effective time management techniques that will help you always be on schedule from now on.
6 Tips To Keep You Organized In The Forthcoming Year
1. Make Your To-Do List
This is the most important step, and yet many people skip it. There’s no reason to go into the office and take each day as it comes. Instead, start by gathering the notes that are stuck on your computer, the scribbles in your notebook, and your mental notes, and make a checklist of all your tasks. Having everything in one place helps you create a daily to-do list that gets you easily through the day. Soon you’ll notice that as you get more organized, you feel more relaxed and prepared to take on the day. You might even realize that you have more free time than you thought.
2. Prioritize Your Tasks
As you organize your to-do list, keep in mind that prioritization is an essential time management technique. So, start by categorizing your tasks. Try to delegate or eliminate unimportant and non-urgent tasks, and bring important and urgent ones to the top of your list. Important tasks that don’t require your immediate attention should become part of a long-term plan. Finally, there are urgent tasks that steal your attention but don’t actually contribute to your business goals. Those are mainly distractions and stem from other people’s inability to manage their time properly. Try to eliminate those by educating your employees on time management.
3. Invest In Time Tracking Software
So, what if you’re falling behind on your schedule due to your employees’ poor time management? If lack of time management techniques is a company-wide problem, you should consider utilizing time tracking software. That would allow you to see when your employees clock in and out and how much time they’re spending on specific tasks. It could be that inconsistencies in attendance or excessive time being spent on unimportant tasks are to blame for your missed deadlines. Now that you have the necessary data, you can take measures to eliminate any issues that affect your company’s productivity rates.
4. Resist The Urge To Multitask
This might sound a little counterintuitive, however, avoiding multitasking is a very effective time management technique. Trying to take on multiple tasks at once, or constantly switching from one task to another can be time-consuming and detrimental to your productivity. Instead, you should focus on the task at hand and try to block any distractions. Taking on tasks one-by-one can also help you get through seemingly endless to-do lists without getting overwhelmed and stressed out.
5. Set SMART Goals
As you set your goals for this year’s resolutions, you might want to keep this acronym in mind. SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented. These are the characteristics all your goals should have if you’re hoping to achieve them within the accepted time limits. For example, you want to increase the number of visitors to your professional website. You must know what method you’ll use, how you’ll measure the results, and your deadline. If you don’t have a goal that is measurable and time-limited, you can’t keep track of its progress and therefore won’t be motivated to complete it.
6. Learn To Say No
The final and very important time management technique we’re sharing with you is learning to say no. It might seem hard for you, but you should know that you can’t successfully manage your time at work if you don’t say no once in a while. When someone comes to you with a request, pause for a beat. If you have some free time, by all means, help them. However, in case you’re truly swamped and have to neglect your own tasks to accommodate them, don’t hesitate to politely decline. Remember the prioritization tip we mentioned earlier and don’t waste your precious time on unimportant tasks.
Time is indisputably the most valuable resource of our personal and professional lives. When we don’t use it wisely, it slips from our fingers before we have the time to do the things we need. If your New Year resolution is to become more productive, efficient, and better at managing your time, you should consider the time management techniques we shared in this article. Follow them and organize your time to become less stressed and more successful.