13 Time Management Strategies for Effective Professionals
Having an effective time management strategy equates to a very productive workflow. Having a productive work environment and keeping up with your schedule can make you a more effective professional.
Here are some strategies to keep in mind to manage your time well and get work done efficiently.
Effective Time Management Strategies
1. Be Organized
The first thing you have to remember is to be organized. Managing your time goes hand-in-hand with being organized because if you are orderly, you can effectively complete your tasks if you follow your system.
Most of the other strategies listed below require you to be organized, and this is one of the most important traits you need to have to be successful in managing your own time.
2. Focus On One Task
Deal with one thing at a time and avoid multitasking whenever possible. Focusing on one task will save a lot of time and can help with being organized.
Multitasking can have a negative impact on productivity. You’d think that doing multiple things at the same time can equate to productivity, but it is untrue. You’ll see that you can accomplish more tasks when you focus on one thing, rather than working on multiple items simultaneously.
Focus on one thing at a time and avoid distractions -- which is related to the next strategy.
3. Block Out Distractions
As stated above, you need to block out distractions so you can focus on one thing.
Put your phone away while you are working. It is one of the number one causes of distractions. Phones have many distractions including social media, the internet and emails.
Meetings and co-workers are more distractions that can be difficult to block off. If you’re trying to finish something or are working on a deadline, then you should separate yourself from everyone else so you can focus on your work at hand.
Listening to music while doing something is considered multitasking, but studies show that it is beneficial for concentrating as long as you are doing it correctly.
In a work-from-home setting, you can encounter a lot of distractions. A phone call, your dog barking, your child calling you or someone may be at the door. It is essential to have a home office or space to concentrate on your work while blocking potential distractions.
4. Plan Ahead
Again, part of being organized is planning. It is essential to plan to follow a schedule, create a to-do list and use tools to boost your productivity.
You can use many online tools to boost your productivity by organizing things and creating a plan to keep your tasks in check.
5. Create A Checklist
Related to planning is creating a checklist. It is vital to have a to-do list so you can set your goals and know what you want to accomplish.
Related to creating a checklist is prioritizing tasks. When you have a list, you’ll know exactly what you need to prioritize.
Set the priority level on tasks from high-priority to low-priority where you need to work on those tagged as high-priority before moving on to the less important ones.
7. Set A Limit
Set a limit to your tasks and use a timer to ensure all will be given enough attention.
Having a timer can remind you of having breaks and when to switch to the next thing on your to-do list.
8. Reward Yourself
Reward yourself for small accomplishments. You can take a break once you’re done with a major task -- pour yourself a drink, or make a nice sandwich after your workday is over.
This is to motivate yourself to accomplish small things.
9. Schedule Breaks
In relation to rewarding yourself and setting a limit, you need to take small breaks between tasks.
Your brain can only function so much at a given time, and taking a break will relieve you from mental and physical stress.
Give yourself some time to unwind so that you’ll have a fresh mind when you get back to work.
10. Learn When And When Not To Commit
When accepting tasks, learn to say no and know when and when not to commit to a particular job. You can always say that you need to check on your schedule before saying yes to a task.
11. Delegate Tasks
This is where delegating tasks come in. When you can’t commit to a particular job, you can delegate them to another team member to accomplish more.
If you’re handling a team, know the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and learn to maximize them by strategizing and delegating tasks that suit their skills perfectly.
12. Break Down Big Tasks Into Portions
When you’re facing a big task, you can break it down into portions to efficiently work on it. You can then delegate the small parts to your team members so your entire team can work effectively to reach a common goal.
13. Do Not Procrastinate
Procrastination can harm the quality of your work -- or worse, it can lead you to do nothing at all. Doing tasks at the last minute -- especially the important ones -- can affect the quality.
Do fight this off. Keep the things listed above in mind. Be organized and keep a schedule and a list you can follow.
Instead of procrastinating, always be ahead of schedule. Make sure everything is done in time and try to finish things before their actual deadline. This can help you be more productive and save time.
There will be a lot of time left for you to fix things, and it is better to do things early than doing them at the last minute.
These time management strategies are adequate to keep your productivity up and make sure you do all the things you need to do in time, efficiently and effectively.