It doesn’t matter if you are flipping burgers or a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, time management is a key to your job. Time management is something that managers are constantly talking about. It’s a trait that can help people get promoted and take start-ups to the next level. Time management at work isn’t just something that employees are worrying about – it is something that entire companies think about constantly. This article contains a guide with the best time management strategies for work. Which can be used by anyone.
The UPS Story
You’ve heard variations of the UPS truck story your entire life. UPS trucks never make left-hand turns. They find routes that only utilize right-hand turns. Why? To save time. UPS is a company that is known for their mastering of time management. By taking the time to perfect each route, UPS saves their drivers precious time and is able to maximize profits. That’s why time management is so crucial in the work force. Companies want to maximize profits as much as possible. And as consumers, we want to decrease time spent at any one place because time is money. It’s a win-win combination.
Companies have different ways of tracking time management. Have you ever seen the clock inside a fast-food joint? It’s a reminder to employees to get those customers in and out as fast as possible. Call-centers have those clocks too. They want to move through as many customers as possible. Other jobs – it’s not as cut and dry.
Your Guide To Time Management Strategies For Work
In this guide, we will explore some of the best time management strategies for work. And it doesn’t matter what kind of field you work in, you’ll be able to utilize these skills to become a master of time management in the work place.
- Know Your Role – In order to figure out exactly what time management skills you need at your job, you must clearly know what your role entails. You have to have a clear definition for your role and what is expected from you in order to tailor your time management. If you don’t know, then you need to ask. Your management team will know what they expect from you. And, if they don’t, then you have a problem. Your role is the best way to figure out how you should spend your time at work.
- Identify Your Role Model – Now that you know what you’re supposed to be doing, you need to figure out who at your office is doing it the best. Find that person that seems to have it all together. Sit down with them and see how they schedule out their day. What does he/she do differently than everyone else that sets him/her ahead of your coworkers? Each job is going to have different expectations for time management, so the best way to strategize is to find the best person in your office. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If this coworker is a time management wizard, she/he will probably be more than happy to answer your questions to help you become better. Why? Because it’ll probably take some of the work off her/his plate.
- Know Your Team – If your job requires you to work with a team, then you need to know them and feel comfortable with them. You can’t reach out to someone to ask for help on a project without feeling comfortable. Know each member in the office and figure out their strengths and weaknesses. You aren’t going to ask the person that barely knows how to use Excel to create a spreadsheet for a project. In an office situation, or really any work place, it’s important to know the strengths of your coworkers. When a particular project arises, you will know exactly who to turn to. Additionally, teams that know each other better are going to work better together. That sense of unity will help when a deadline is rapidly approaching.
- Know the Project – All too often, we embark on projects without having all the details. And then, suddenly halfway through, we’re in the middle without knowing where to turn. Be sure to get all the information before starting. If that means asking a ton of questions in a meeting, do it. No one will be upset with you if you are striving to make sure things are done correctly. It’s much better to get it done correctly the first time instead of having to re-do it again.
- Close Your Door – Metaphorically speaking, of course. But, you’re allowed to focus on work at work. If your coworker wants to come over to talk to you about their upcoming weekend plans and you’re hammering away on an important project, you can ask them if you can talk later. It’s okay to focus on work. If you work in a big open area and you really need to seclude yourself for a particular project, go ahead. Sometimes it’s easy to get distracted by coworkers and the happenings in an office (and other places of employment!). It’s completely okay and professional to take a step back and focus solely on the project at hand.
- Do the Hardest Task First – Start your day off doing your least favorite task. That way – it’s already done and you won’t have to procrastinate doing it. Get it out of the way and it won’t loom over your head throughout the day. If it’s a weekly task, get it done first thing on Monday. By getting the things we hate doing out of the way quickly, it gives us more time to focus on everything else.
- Wake Up Before Work – You know the person that comes in with the full cup of coffee that just can’t get anything done until it’s halfway. That’s the person that wakes up with only moments to go before having to head into work. Don’t be like that. Wake up a few hours before you have to head in. That way, you are completely awake and ready to go for the day. You can start right in on your work and not have to waste the first few hours adjusting to being a part of the living.
- Create Your To-Do List Before You Leave – The last fifteen minutes or so at work should be you creating your to-do list for the next day. Take stock in what you accomplished that day and look forward to what you need to accomplish tomorrow. This is also the time to look at how far you’ve come on long-term projects and what else needs to be done. Write out your list so you don’t have to worry about it the next morning when you walk in. If you’re really feeling fancy, you can even prep yourself for the next day.
- Minimize Your Email – Don’t leave your email up all day. It’s so easy to get caught up in emails during the middle of a project that you lose all momentum. Don’t get this confused with not checking your email – that can be equally catastrophic. But, limit yourself to once an hour or after you finish a task at hand. But, if you constantly are reading emails coming in, you are going to wind up spending all your time working on that instead of your original project.
- Don’t Multitask – Multitasking is the worst enemy of time management. It seems like such a great idea to do multiple things at once, but it’s really not a great idea. When you multi-task, you are taking your attention from 100% to one thing and splitting that among other things. You can’t give two things 100% attention at the same time. Work smarter – not harder. By focusing on one thing at a time, you’ll be able to finish it faster and better than trying to juggle between two things at a time.
Hone Your Skills In The Workplace
The workplace is a great place for time management skills to be honed. No matter what your job or where you work, time management is a key part of your role in the company. As we discussed above, companies want to maximize profits and the best way to do that is to have time efficient employees like yourself at the helm. Be sure to focus on your time management skills.
If you worry about how your managing your time, don’t be afraid to reach out to a manager. Ask for their suggestions. Ask for some constructive criticism. You have so many resources available at work to become a better manager of time that there really is no excuse. Know what is expected of you and figure out the best way to get that done. And, prepare yourself for the next day. By using these time management strategies for work, no matter where you work, you will be able to become much more efficient and a better employee.