How to keep on top of your work schedule16 Mar 2021
Everyone in the business world probably feels like they have a bit more on their plates than they are comfortable with, and as a result, time management is one of the most important skills to cultivate. Of course, doing a better job of keeping all those plates in the air at the same time is much easier said than done, but it's something you can work on.
Put another way, time management certainly isn't something you can master overnight, but the following suggestions will help you get there — one step at a time.
1) Eliminate distractions
There are a million things that will pull your attention in different directions while you try to complete a task. The Balance Small Business recommended that you just think about the things you usually get hung up on — from browsing social media to being diverted by work-related emails and everything in between — and be more proactive about avoiding them. Something as simple as putting your phone in a desk drawer while you're working on a project will help you eliminate procrastination and focus on the task at hand.
2) Set clear goals for yourself
When you have something due at the end of the week, it can be easy to keep pushing off the point at which you start working on it. First it's Wednesday, then it's Thursday and suddenly it's noon on Friday and you're not even close to being done. External deadlines are important, but you would be wise to set internal goals for yourself so that you're always on course to get something done with plenty of time to spare.
3) Write down what you want to accomplish
When you're working on something and setting goals for completing that project, it's important to hold yourself accountable. Lifehack stated that putting the things you want to accomplish in writing is always a good idea. That way, everything you're planning just feels more tangible and helps you establish a mental reminder.
4) Don't say "yes" to everything
A big part of the reason why you constantly feel like you have too much to do and too little time to do it in: We are all guilty of saying "yes" to people who ask us to take on a small extra project here and another one there. You should always strive to have a clear understanding of your capacity and workload, and be a little less willing to take on extra work if you're already dealing with another priority.
5) Don't feel like you necessarily have to multitask
Finally, it's important to keep in mind that multitasking isn't always the best thing for your productivity, according to the Harvard Business Review. While some people may excel at it, others could actually find it more difficult to complete everything if they're dividing their attention two, three or more ways. Sometimes, it's wiser to sit down and tackle on thing relatively quickly, then check another item off the list and so on.
Want to get a better handle on all of these issues and more? Get in touch with ICML to find out more about our time management course.