12 Tips for Managing Your Time at Work

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Do you want to make the most of your time at the office?A man dialing a telephone keypad and holding a telephone receiver and the phrase, 12 Tips for Managing Your Time at Work

Looking for some helpful time management tips that you can put to use…right away?

In this post, I offer twelve tips to help you better manage those workplace minutes and hours.

Double-check travel time between home and work.

Arriving late to work isn’t a good way to start the day.

Aside from being tardy, a late start means you have to make last-minute adjustments and changes to your schedule.

It’s worthwhile to confirm the distance between your home and the office, and make plans to leave the house at a reasonable time.

Otherwise, you might miss appointments and meetings, or not have enough time to complete your work in a timely manner.

Check email a few times each day. 

Does it feel as if the only thing you do at work is check, and respond to, email? Processing email should only be a small part of your day. After all, you’ve got other, more important things to do! Try checking your email a couple of times a day; you can choose whatever times work best for you. Read emails, respond to any urgent requests, and then log off until your next email session.

Keep meetings to a minimum.

Meetings take up a lot of time, more time than most people think. There’s the planning, preparation, dealing with items post-meeting, not to mention holding the meeting itself. If you’re in a position to do so, hold meetings sparingly. Ask yourself whether you should hold meetings in the first place, or not.

Don’t be afraid to say “No.”

There’s only so much time in the day, and you’re only at work for a fraction of that time. Give yourself the time you need to complete your work and get things done. Exercise your right to say, “No.” If you’re already swamped with work, and can’t take on another project or assignment, speak up. Let others know you are busy. Decline invitations as needed. Remember, it’s all in the name of getting things done.

Keep the big picture in sight.

It can be all too easy to focus on the details at work, answering emails, placing phone calls, reading articles online, or following up on requests. Take care to take a step back every now and then to get a bird’s eye view of your work, and to plan your days accordingly. What big projects are you working on right now? What is a priority? What can be revisited at a later date, say, a month’s time, or more?

Work on thing at a time.

Always feel as if you’re working on five things at once? It’s time to say goodbye to multitasking. Improve your productivity by selecting just one task, and work on it, uninterrupted, until it is completed. You’ll notice you can get a lot more done when you focus your attention on one thing at a time.

Delegate tasks.

While you might be extremely busy, someone else might be bored to tears. Why not make the most of the situation by assigning, or delegating work to others? You’ll free up your work hours, and give someone else something to do. You will need to take a few moments to compile the tasks you need help with, but don’t let this brief period of time prevent you from enjoying  

Use one calendar.

Scheduling appointments and meetings in different calendars can cause a lot of frustration and confusion. Do yourself a favor and stick to just one calendar or scheduling system for your work appointments and assignments. You’ll be able to keep better track of your projects, and will easily know if you’re available for a meeting on Thursday at 2 P.M. …or not.    

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Make use of whatever time is available to you.

Have twenty minutes to kill before your next meeting? Do what you can in the time given to you. So you don’t have a full hour to write a report, or update that website. Maybe this would be a good time shred some sensitive documents, unsubscribe from a couple of industry email newsletters that you no longer read, or review the agenda for the upcoming meeting.

Work regular hours.

An easy way to make sure you put in consistent work, is to simply work regular hours. You’ll want to get into the habit of arriving and leaving the office on time so you have adequate time with which to work. Even if your hours fluctuate widely during the week, you may want to consider grouping chunks of time together, so you can at least focus on your work for a longer period of time, rather than a brief one.

Take your lunch break.

Do you stop for lunch at work? Working through lunch may be doing you more harm than good when it comes to getting things done. A break can leave you refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle what’s next on the agenda. Not taking a break can make you feel tired, irritated, and hungry…not the best combination of feelings to have around if you’re trying to complete a project or an assignment.

Create your own productivity hack.

Do you write the same type of emails everyday? Work on the same project at the beginning every month? Stop reinventing the wheel and find ways to make doing your job a little less tiresome. You could create a template, make a checklist, or come up with your very own productivity hack to get more done, in less time.

How about you? Which of these tips will you use to help you make the most of your time at the office? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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