How to better manage time at work: 12 tips (and what to avoid)

It has happened to all of us that we have a lot of work to do and it seems there aren’t enough hours to complete it. “Buff, I don’t have time…” we say to each other but, let’s be honest, we all have the same 7 days with 24 hours each. The problem isn’t that there’s no time, it’s that we planned it badly.

How to better manage working time is a question that all workers in a hurry have asked themselves and below, we’ll look at the strategies to achieve this, as well as how to keep our hours from fading as well as grains on an hourglass.

    How to better manage working time and perform better

    Our weeks have 7 days and each of them has 24 hours, neither one more nor one less. The time is the same for everyone in terms of quantity, but not in its use. Some manage to complete all the tasks they need without running out of time for their hobbies and family, while others finish their tasks very late.. Because? What makes them different from each other? The key to all of this is how we manage our working time differently.

    In the society we live in, time management is essential, because at the very least we have to start to overload ourselves, feel stressed and notice that whatever we wanted to do has to be undone.

    Work obligations are ahead of our hobbies, family, friends, and other enjoyable pursuits, which means the more time it takes us to do our job, the less time we will enjoy the leisure time. Poor time management frustrates us and makes us feel like we are losing our lives.

    How to better manage working time is something that many want but few get. There is no incomprehensible mystery, it is just about learning to organize.. Of course, there can always be unforeseen events, but most of the hours we see are time which, put to good use, will allow us to finish our work as soon as possible.

    Ways to better manage time

    Below we will see various tips and strategies to make the most of your time at work, so that you have more for the enjoyable activities that we want to do once we have completed our work obligations.

    1. Use a diary

    Calendars allow us to manage time in the medium and long term by setting important dates and keeping them in mind. Whether in digital or physical format, the important thing is that we have one to organize tasks and plan well when we need to deliver reports or meet our deadlines. We must always have it on hand, so that we can write down all our commitments and consult it frequently. We don’t trust our memory because no matter how infallible we believe it is, it is not infallible.

    2. Allocate specific time to tasks

    If we work tirelessly and continuously, sooner or later physical and mental fatigue will appear, which will prevent us from functioning properly. It is for this reason that it is necessary to allocate a certain time to each activity and to leave free time between the tasks, even if it is very short. It can be contradictory, but since beyond 50 minutes it is difficult for us to stay focused, a short break can recharge us and continue to work satisfactorily.

    The ideal is to put in our schedule when they start to do each of the tasks that are assigned to us and when we need to take a short break.. You can rely on the Pomodoro method, working 25 minutes (1 pomodoro) or 50 (2 pomodoros) and then taking a 5 minute break between periods. This way, we can move forward without feeling exhausted, performing the functions we need to develop properly.

    3. Set goals

    It is strongly recommended that you set daily, weekly and even monthly goals. This strategy is a great option for doing odd jobs well, and it motivates us to see what we do. These goals must be ambitious, but also realistic and achievable otherwise, Seeing that we do not respect them, we will be demotivated. The objectives to be set must be short, medium and long term.

      4. Prioritize tasks

      Not all tasks are equally important. We have to start with the most important, the highest priority. It doesn’t matter which order we prioritize things in, the important thing is that we do this because finishing the most important things first would mean that we will have free time sooner.

      Anything that is small or not urgent can be fixed. In relation to this, knowing which times are our best performance, which ones we focus on the best, is essential so that we can perform the tasks that require the most resources with the greatest possible efficiency and without errors. The least important thing is better to leave it at times when our performance is not very high, Usually be after lunch or in the last hours of the working day.

      5. Start at least gently

      Many times we leave what we least want to do until last and that’s a big mistake. The best we can do is do what a bad trance as soon as possible because, in order to get rid of it sooner, we can enjoy the rest of the day more. If we get rid of what is stressing us out first, the rest of the things to do will be easier to do.

      6. Divide the time into blocks

      A very good strategy for getting the most out of and managing time effectively is to divide the work day into blocks. If we have to do complex tasks, which at first glance make us want to start them, we can always break down into simpler tasks, organized in such a way that every small step is a step forward. By turning complex tasks into several simpler ones, we can optimize resources, save time and better organize our time..

      7. Give yourself rewards

      While we shouldn’t overdo it, we can be rewarded for doing homework. We can give ourselves small prizes like, for example, having a chocolate at the end of a report, reading a book that we like for half an hour, watching a video that interests us … These little rewards will motivate us and motivate us to do and complete the tasks we need to do..

      8. Organize a good working environment

      Where we work is very important, more than we realize. As much as we can, we should work in a place with a good desk, a comfortable chair, good lighting, and without a lot of distractors.. We can give it a personal touch to make it comfortable but always making sure that it is tidy and well organized. A table full of stationery, with completely cluttered office instruments, is an environment that prevents us from concentrating on our tasks.

      9. Set limits

      Spending several hours in a row doing the same thing, without getting up from your chair or stretching your legs a bit, is very bad for our health and productivity. Do not work more hours, we will improve things. If we see that a task is costing us too much or we are easily distracted, give us time, either by changing the task for a while or by resting directly. It’s not that we give up what we’re doing, it’s that we have to leave it on standby for a while..

        10. Avoid multitasking

        But just as it is normal to leave a task in half for a while, we shouldn’t think that we will do well if we are constantly jumping from one task to another. Concentrating is something that takes time, so we cannot devote ourselves to doing two tasks alternately at the same time, because the only thing we will get is to tire very quickly and take twice as long to do them. Multitasking is the worst enemy of effective management of time. The performance is much higher when we focus on a single task.

        11. Don’t be afraid to say no

        Learning to say no when we can’t do something is essential because we already have a lot of work to do.. Sometimes our colleagues try to hide their obligations to us, or even our boss abuses his situation and gives us tasks that we cannot complete today without sacrificing some of our free time. Sometimes it can be accepted, but it is always happening already. If we see that they ask too much of us, we should not be afraid to say no.

        12. Delegate to third parties

        Sometimes we can feel that the situation is overwhelming us, especially if we have been given a lot of tasks, more than we expected. It is important to avoid stress and delegate some of our tasks to a colleague or subordinate, without breaching trust or passing or giving him a task for which he was not hired. The point is not to get someone else to do what is good for us, but it is order complicated activities that we can do on our own.

        What takes us time: mistakes and distractions at work

        Now that we’ve seen 12 tips for learning to manage time better at work, it’s time to see what’s taking our time. There are a lot of mistakes and distractions that hinder our good performance in the workplace, time thieves that, if caught, will allow us to better manage our workday.

        1. Interruptions

        It is clear that interruptions are the most detrimental to our organization of time. At least something is interrupting our focus is fadingWe need a few precious minutes to be able to focus on what we were doing again. The longer it takes for us to regain focus, the longer it will take for us to become productive again, and we also run certain risks of making more mistakes.

        2. Cell phone

        The phone takes a lot of our time. Whether it’s chatting about the last thing someone posted on Instagram, what our friends are writing to us on Whatsapp, or a call from a family member, the cell phone distracts us and prevents us from being effective. and clear, the longer it takes us. to get things done.

        A good idea is to turn off your cell phoneBut, since we live in a hyper-connected society and depend on it a lot, the best thing we can do is move it out of our line of sight because, well, we only remember it when we see it. Leave it in silence and tell our relatives and friends very clearly that if not to warn us of a real emergency not to be told.

        3. Postpone the tasks

        Postponing unpleasant or complex tasks is the worst thing we can do because the more time passes, the less we will want to do them and the more it will cost us to do them well when we decide to do them. The best thing we can do, as we have already mentioned, is to do them right at the first moment of the day, because that way we got rid of the bad trance as soon as possible.

        summary

        If we are to manage working time better, it is essential that we know what to do, structure tasks into small, easy and quick to do activities and at least start pleasantly. It is very important to consider what times of the day we are most productive and to place the simplest and least important activities in those in which it is more difficult for us to concentrate, such as after eating or at the end. of the working day. .

        Distractions, especially interruptions and cell phones, are the worst thing about our time management, because the more we lose focus, the less productive we will be.. It is essential to work in a comfortable room, where you are isolated from any non-urgent distractors and you are very clear when it is the right time to use the mobile. Our loved ones need to know what time we are working, telling them that at that time they should not be calling us unless it is for something very important.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Allen, D. (2001). How To Do It: The Art of Stress Free Productivity. New York: Viking. ISBN 978-0-670-88906-8.
        • Fiore, NA (2006). The Now Habit: A strategic program to overcome dilation and enjoy guilt-free play. New York: Penguin Group. ISBN 978-1-58542-552-5.
        • Le Blanc, R. (2008). Reach your goals easily! Practical tools for setting goals and proven time management techniques. Maarheeze: trainer of Cranendonck. ISBN 978-90-79397-03-7.

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