Do you have an in-desk as opposed to an in-tray? Do you feel that you’re losing control as the pile of paper on your desk grows bigger and bigger, turning into a mountain before your very eyes?
Don’t worry! By putting into place some effective time management techniques, you can very quickly be back in control and that mountain of paperwork will soon resemble nothing more than a mole hill.
Effective time management is only way to reduce your existing work load, and maintain it at a level where you can effectively manage it on a daily basis.
Develop effective time management skills by putting into practice some of the time management techniques mentioned below:
Identify the True Importance of Tasks
In today’s busy workplace it is easy to label everything that lands on our desk as important! And whilst tasks will be important to someone, it’s impossible to make everybody’s priority your own. If you do you will never get anything done!
Evaluate the task that has landed on your desk using these three steps:
- Evaluate the importance of the task against everything else you have to do.
- Let the person who asked you to do the task know that you can only do the task in a specific time frame, and ask if this is acceptable. If not then inform them that you are unable to achieve their task in the required time frame and they would be better asking someone else to do it.
- Always complete tasks in order of importance rather than urgency.
Set a Schedule and Stick to it
Having identified in what order you are going to complete your tasks, you must stick to your schedule.
The following scenarios are very common and will stop you clearing your desk if you let them.
- You will be tempted to complete a specific task later because you don’t feel in the mood to do it now.
- Somebody asks you to do something that’s “small” and so you drift from your planned schedule and never get back to it.
Both scenarios will lead to the pile of paper getting bigger instead of reducing. You have to set a schedule and stick to it. It will not be easy but then Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will not conquer the world in one go; in fact trying to do too much at once, will only ensure that you don’t do much conquering at all!
Make Time for Yourself
Making time for yourself makes a massive difference to you being able to manage your time at work effectively. If you get to the point where you are stressed out and exhausted, you will find it nigh on impossible to concentrate on the task at hand. You will allow all sorts of distractions to derail you, and before you realise it, the mountain of work on your desk will be even bigger as people will take advantage and give you more to do.
Your brain is the human equivalent of a car engine and it needs a service and a rest every now and then or else it packs up. Give it a chance to breathe and relax, and you will discover you’re your mind is sharper and you will be better at setting and achieving goals.
Clearing a backlog of tasks and paperwork can seem like a daunting task. And without effective time management strategies you will never turn those mountains into mole hills. However if you take the time to become more organised there is a chance that you can rule your day instead of having it rule you.
Till Next Time
The Time Doctor – Mike Gardner