It’s no longer the exception, today it’s the rule! We constantly procrastinate, leave things to last minute, cram our calendars, struggle and juggle to meet deadlines, and generally rush through work and family life. Our lives can be hectic, but becoming efficient with time management will help create work/life balance.
Time management is not about logging minutes on a time sheet or punching a clock. Effective time management begins with organizing yourself and managing your workflow. Being organized helps us perform efficiently. That leads to productivity, which leads to better business results.
How organized are you?
- Is your desk overflowing with paper? Experts agree the only thing on your desk should be what you are presently working on. Anything else is a distraction. Move it or lose it (your concentration that is). Did you know it takes an average of 8 minutes to regain your focus after an interruption?
- Are you working in chunks of time – or do you spend minutes here and there? Research shows that working in chunks of time, for instance 2 hours undisturbed generates the most productive results.
- Do you plan your week? At the end of the week or the beginning of the next, establish your goals for the week. Which tasks should be priorities? Creating a plan will reduce stress and improve focus. That old adage is true… “Plan your work – and work your plan”.
Once you have organized yourself, and balanced out the workflow, focus on efficiency and doing things right.
You want your clients to value the work you do.
- Set daily goals by evaluating the work that needs to be completed.
- Estimate the time you will need to get the job done. Rushing through a job does not help anyone in the long run. It creates stress, anxiety, and most importantly errors.
- For unexpected tasks that pop up use the 4 D’s. Take a moment to evaluate the task, then decide whether to:
- Do it
- Deny it (just say no)
- Delegate it
- Defer it (add the task to your action calendar at a later date/time)
Staying organized not only helps to create a pleasant and less stressful work (or home) environment, it also fosters trust and builds relationships with clients, which in turn elevates your reputation and the reputation of your company.