It happens to everyone. You get to work and you realize the mountain of work in front of you is enough to keep you busy for more hours than you have in the day. How to tackle it? Where to begin? It can leave your head spinning, which only results in you losing more time as you try to figure out just where to begin. So why wait until that point? Why not have a plan in place that will help you tackle the Everest you call your work day?
Knowing where to begin can help you to make your day less stressful and your time better spent. Coming up with the course of action to get you through the day will make the day flow by quicker, and before you know it you’ll be sipping a glass of wine on your couch with your feet up in celebration of a job well done, rather than a glass of wine to cool the nerves of a hectic day.
Learn to Prioritize
This should go without say, but prioritizing is one of the best ways to help you manage your time. I suppose if you haven’t learned this already, it’s a miracle you landed yourself a job that produces enough work to need to learn it, but I digress. Prioritizing helps you finish what is most important or time sensitive first. Once you have a grasp about how much priority certain tasks have, you’ll have a much better time tackling them and staying organized.
You may have a small time sensitive project next to a large important project, and it can be hard to decipher which gets your attention first. It can be easy to let small projects slide while there is a lot at stake for a larger one, but that doesn’t mean they should be ignored. You may even be able to work on them at the same time, which at the end of the day will allow you to cross the smaller item off the list while making a significant dent in the larger. And hot tip — personal tasks such as surfing the web, games and social media are at the very bottom of the priority list, if at all.
It’s Okay to Delegate
If you are in a situation where you have people who work for you, utilize them. Far too many people see delegating as a weakness, when in reality it is one of the smartest ways to manage time. Being able to assign tasks to people who can complete them efficiently makes you more efficient too, and leaves you time to focus on the most important items on the priority list.
Why have people who work for you if you aren’t willing to share the work when your workload becomes too heavy? Delegating jobs doesn’t make you a slacker, it spreads the workload amongst people whose job it is to help you. Word of caution though, don’t delegate so much that your employees are overworked, or so much that you have nothing to do. Neither scenario will land you in good graces with your colleagues.
Learn Your Job Better
If the work is piling up and it seems like it isn’t for people who have similar jobs as you, perhaps it’s time for a little on the job training. Is there an area of your job that is slowing you down? Do you have a weakness that could be polished up a bit? As long as you never stop learning, you should be able to become the most efficient version of yourself. If you’re the best you can be, then you know you aren’t the hold up when you have a crap load of work to do.
The better you know your job, the less time you’ll have to spend looking up how to do certain things, asking for help, and redoing things. Knowing your job inside and out helps you to best manage your time, and make the time you spend working the most efficient you can.
Set Small Goals
It can be hard to gauge how effectively you are managing your time if you don’t have a way of meeting goals along the way, if your task is to finish a large project that can span over several days or weeks. At the end of the day if you don’t have small goals you can check off your list, it will be hard to feel accomplished when you still have an incomplete project.
Small goals are the trophies you gather on your way to a completed job, and allow you to measure your progress along the way. Setting reasonable goals for the day will make the rest of the project seem far more manageable, without the feeling of being overwhelmed.
Know When to Stop
There is something to be said about the proper art of identifying a stopping point for the day. There are going to be days when everything on your task list can’t be completed, and knowing when to stop and save the rest for tomorrow is a skill. Once you are able to identify the point where you can stop, you can consider yourself accomplished for the day.
There are times when what you do at the end of the day won’t make a difference if you do it now or in the morning. Know those times, and recognize that starting fresh the next day will make you more efficient and able to better tackle the task at hand.
Once you have mastered the art of time management, you’ll find your days go smoother, the amount of money you spend on wine will decrease, and your life will be overall less stressful. When you leave work knowing you’ve used your time wisely, you’ll be able to start the next day fresh and ready to go. So here’s to learning to use your time wisely, just like your parents told you growing up. Good luck!
Powered by Marion Fernandez & The Galiano Group Writing Team.