Even the most organized employees face challenges with time management from time to time. Workplace distractions, such as urgent tasks, frequent phone calls, client follow-ups and questions from employees, can derail even the most organized and productive employee. Create a plan and steps to stay on track to ensure your time on the job is time well spent.
Craft a thorough and detailed plan at the beginning of the day to keep you on task. Assign days and times to compile weekly reports, plot out specific times during the day to complete paperwork or make phone calls, and break down the steps to larger tasks into bite-sized tasks that may not seem as overwhelming, suggests Tracy Parsons with CareeRealism. A well-crafted plan or a detailed to-do list can help to provide focus when conquering time management woes.
Take your time management plan to the next level by penciling in due dates and deadlines on a calendar that's within full view of your workspace. Pinpoint a specific date and time to order supplies, type memos, organize a company event or compile presentations. A looming date on the calendar serves as a constant reminder of tasks to be completed and may motivate you to beat the clock when managing your time.
Evaluate potential workplace distractions that can throw your time management plan off course. If your workspace is loud or full of distracting equipment and personnel, invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to drown out sounds that can affect your focus. Interruptions from co-workers may require a response such as "I'm right in the middle of something, but I will get back to you as soon as possible" if the task at hand is urgent. Close out software programs and social media accounts that may cause you to lose your train of thought when working to cross off tasks on your never-ending to-do list.
A cluttered workplace may also put a damper on your productivity and time management. Plot out 15 minutes each day to organize your desk, file paperwork and stack tasks in order of importance. Employees are often much more motivated and focused when their desks are clean and free of clutter that can be distracting. A desk full of file folders and tasks to complete can also be overwhelming if it is not organized by priority. Enhance your concentration and your organizational skills by tidying up and making your workspace presentable.
Without a plan to improve productivity, developing good time management skills can seem like an impossible feat. Assess your performance and productivity on a regular basis, and measure the key times of the day when your concentration is at its best to ensure you always complete tasks efficiently and without distractions that can lead to mistakes that may impact the company as a whole.
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