15 May 2011

How To Manage Your Time At Work

Time is very crucial especially with tight deadlines to meet in the office. Sometimes, the 8 or 8.5 hours we spend in the work area is not enough to complete a certain task or project. As a worker, I often find myself in a rush to meet set deadlines on publications and releasing of manuals. A certain delay or goof up can entail a serious problem in the operations. So, I can say that I am an important "nut" in the big machinery called the corporate world. If I don't deliver the goods, our office won't have anything to teach. It is for that reason that I try my best to manage my time at work.

We often wonder how we can make those official time work in our favor. If we want to achieve a lot then we must know how to manage our time properly.

Here are some tips which will be beneficial to everyone in the same boat as I am to meet rigorous deadlines without compromising the kind of quality output you will deliver. 

1. Try your best to jot or type down your things-to-do for the next day. I always do this few minutes before closing of business hour. That way, I don't miss anything and my mind is still fresh from recalling the events of the day without missing anything important for the next day to do.

2. Prioritize your tasks or projects. This is quite tricky. I always put color coded tabs on my paper work requiring urgent attention. The ordinary ones which can actually wait a day or two will be done according to their urgency. Sometimes, I am faced with several projects all requiring immediate attention and action.  I weigh in the assignments and inform the management about my dilemma for their information and to cover my back. You should be able to say "I'm busy, can that wait" because you are. Remember, you were not born with extra appendages!

3. Delegate. If you are in the position to delegate assignments or tasks then you're lucky. Much of your time management woes have been solved. The only thing you have to ensure is that the quality of output you will get from the other staff will meet yours and the boss' expectations. 

4. Lessen personal talks and phone calls. I barely take personal calls during office hours. If ever I have to, I make it very short, say 2-3 minutes tops. I also don't accept calls in my mobile phone and tell the caller to call me back at a particular time after office hours. That saves me plenty of time to finish some small tasks.

5. Minimize the social call, ie. visiting colleagues or friends in the other unit to chit-chat and gossip. I am not saying that you should ditch being friendly in the name of duty. That is so boring. However, the office is not a place to fulfill your social life's calling. Have a short coffee break with your friends if you have to but don't linger. I know a lot of people in the office who waste half of their time chit-chatting and when deadline comes, they run around like headless chickens. Not a good sight!

6. Do not read your personal mails in the office. No explanation needed.

7. Meditate. Yes, clearing your mind with unwanted thoughts speed up your ability to process work. If you are in doubt and confused, you take so much time to figure out a simple instruction and the time is already wasted trying to solve a simple problem. Relax. Unwind. Think happy thoughts.

I hope the tips I have given above will help you to manage your time at work very wisely. Good luck and focus!


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