We’ve all experienced the lapses in judgment that stem from poor time management—and then we feel that our work suffers and doesn’t reach our standard. Professionals could gain tremendous value from learning proper techniques from our time management training programs to avoid the sinking feeling of not getting their tasks done on time or efficiently.
According to a whitepaper from Asana, employees who responded to the poll claimed they were spending only 27% of their time on skills-based work. If you’re looking to garner strategies to become more efficient and use more of the hard-earned skills for which your company hired you, we’re here to help you excel.
Time management is the process of controlling your time in a way that’s efficient and productive. Because there’s so much thrown at us in a day, the ability to stay focused and make efficient use of our time can sometimes feel impossible.
Excellent time management can be a boon to every professional and business. At the company level, proper time management affords many benefits, such as increased efficiency, a better quality of work, and more productivity. In the long run, these benefits can help businesses save on resources.
For the individual, time management can be a phenomenal asset to bring to your organization. With the right time management strategies, you can achieve the level of success that you see for yourself in your current or prospective position. Unique advantages from effective time management include:
- On-time deliverables
- Better quality of work
- Higher productivity and efficiency
- Less procrastination
- Less stress or anxiety
- More opportunities for career growth
- Improved quality of work-life balance
Whether you have created your time management strategies through lived experience or through intensive, highly-interactive time management training programs—there are skills that every professional could deploy in the workplace. Time management is not about working more or longer hours to get the job done. It’s about being smart with your time and energy to reach the output level to excel in your organization.
Scheduling, formulating to-do lists, creating logical systems to store essential documents and information, organizing your email—all these organizational skills can help you give your workdays more structure. Organizational skills allow you to do the work and not waste time searching for that one email or figuring out what to do next.
Every workday has the potential to be different. Last-minute needs from customers or clients can derail even the most perfectly planned workday. However, with flexibility built into your skillset, you can adapt to company needs and be remain effective.
Time management also includes seeing where you spend your time while performing day-to-day tasks. Then, you can use that time analysis to understand your weak points better and adapt your time management strategies to become more efficient.
We understand that it is hard to say no to a task at work, especially for entry-level professionals that seek to grow in their careers. However, we’re only human—and there’s only so much that we can take on before it negatively affects our other duties. Understanding your bandwidth can make you a better professional—and give you fewer headaches.
As a professional interested in leveling up their time management skills, you already know that goal setting is integral to career growth. It’s easier to accomplish your tasks when you’re working towards a larger goal, like hitting a certain sales figure, getting a promotion, or completing a large project. Once you know the end goal, time management becomes simpler.
There are specific best practices that you can employ today that will aid you in your time management. If you spend even just 15 minutes on the following time management tasks, your workday will become more efficient, and you may find that you can take on more work to grow in your career.
Create a to-do list
Either the night before or the morning of, write down a to-do list of the tasks you need to accomplish so you can plan your day accordingly. This allows you to field out what needs to get done and what can wait for that day.
Prioritize your tasks
After deciding which tasks are mission-critical, you can dedicate more time to those tasks. Then, you can tackle the less important tasks—completing everything at a higher quality. Prioritization is one of the most important things you can do to make your time more efficient. If prioritization doesn’t come naturally to you, talk to your manager. They can help you manage your workload and help you figure out what needs to be worked on and what can wait.
Use the Priority Matrix
One structured way of prioritizing your time is using the priority matrix. The template for the matrix comprises of four quadrants:
- Urgent and important (upper left)
- Important, but not urgent (upper right)
- Not important, but urgent (lower left)
- Not important and not urgent (lower right)
The matrix provides another way to structure your time in a way that’s going to be the most efficient to get work done. It’ll also help identify what can be scheduled for later or delegated to someone else.
Whether you’re a team lead or support, everyone can benefit from proper delegation. Spreading responsibility can make everyone more productive, and projects run more efficiently.
Know your most productive time
Are you a morning person or an afternoon warrior? Paying attention to when you’re most productive can help you organize your day so that you can tackle those to-do lists. Think about how you want to structure your day – if you know you’re most focused in the morning, consider working on your bigger tasks in the morning. That leaves your afternoon for work that requires a little less brain power.
We’re not robots—everyone needs a break from time to time to avoid fatigue and eye strain. Include short breaks throughout the day to stay motivated and focused. To really maximize your break time, find ways to get outside and get some sunshine.
Take a Time Management Skills Course
Sometimes we need to learn from others in a structured way to help us develop new habits and ways of thinking. Time management training is a great way to get exposed to different ways of managing your time, especially in a way that’s efficient and productive.
Is your life filled with constant distraction? In today’s world, you are faced with constant demands from other people, technology and a nonstop workday. In AMA’s popular course, The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, learn about the tools and concepts that will help you achieve your most important outcomes – and so much more!
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