We all have them weeks where there is too much work and not enough time. You start to feel that there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Time management can reduce stress by giving you more actionable and achievable time frames. It can give you a better work-life balance as you’ll be able to get back a normal home time and not be finishing off your work at home, and the quality of your work will improve.
Here’s an expert guide to improving your time management at work.
The art of to-do lists
To do lists are one of the most basic ways to improve time management. However, creating realistic and useful to do lists are difficult.
On Monday mornings take 15 minutes to look at all the tasks you need to do that week including huge projects, day to day and ad hoc tasks.
Start the list with at least two items that absolutely must get done today, so you don’t end up being flustered by trying to finish last minute reports. Even if the rest of the list stays untouched, the meaningful stuff will get finished.
Allocate the amount of time the other tasks will take you and then it will give you a strong indication of when it can be completed.
One of the worst things that you can do is wake-up without a plan for the day. Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, you wander aimlessly and take care of more trivial matters.
The night before. Before you leave work for the day, spend the last 15-minutes organising your office and composing a to-do-list of your most important items for tomorrow.
In personal experience, there have been work events where there hasn’t been any clearing planning in place, and we ended up spending more time rushing around. This year I know when the event is, and I have placed a number of notifications in my diary. This means I can be proactive and save time by doing the tasks in advance.
Outside of work there’s more you can do be proactive and saves you time rushing around:
- Make batches of lunches you can freeze that way you can just grab and go.
- Wake up 15 minutes earlier to read up on industry news.
- Get your work outfit ready the night before. We’ve all been there, woken up and already rushing around because you can’t find your left sock or tights.
- Remember to make time for yourself. Relaxing will clear your head and help you slow down.
Automate your tasks
Most of us have become a person who wears all different hats, especially in a small business. There are a number of tools out there that can help you save time so you can focus on more important tasks.
Many businesses now rely on social media to get their brand out there. You can now schedule your content for the week using a website like Hootsuite. You can duplicate posts and schedule them for the future, so you don’t have to worry.
Reporting can be time-consuming, but you can save time by automating the data collection. You can schedule reports to be downloaded the same time every month, so you don’t need to go into each platform you use continuously. You can also use Google Data Studio to automate the collection of your digital marketing data. Find out more here – https://datastudio.google.com
Updating your CRM can massively make you and your team much for efficient. CRMs allow managers to visualise their team’s activities, including client visits, email conversations and phone calls. It works very well in a sales environment, but if you use a complex and outdated CRM, it can become a daunting and lengthy task to update records. Find a CRM system that is easy to use and manage, here are some of the best – https://financesonline.com/15-best-crm-software-systems-business/
Evaluate your process
One of the reasons we end up working over is because we don’t evaluate the efficiency of our work. There will be tasks that you do that can be done differently to reduce your time spent on it, or there will be tasks that you could eliminate. For example, are you duplicating any work? Are there spreadsheets that you’re filling in that aren’t changing anything?
One way to evaluate your tasks and time management is to look at whether the work you’ve done has made an impact or whether anything has been actioned from it. You could be reporting on something that isn’t really making an impact. Question your line manager to see if you need to spend your time on this and make the point that your time would be better elsewhere.
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