We all posses a set of (or at least one) positive traits useful in the workplace. Mine just happens to surround time management. Time is a finite commodity that you cannot take back! Thus, I make it a point to strategically exhaust it.
Managing time is not about squeezing as many tasks as you can within 24 hours. Instead, it is about carefully choosing which tasks you can fulfill to alleviate stress and which tasks you can leave behind. Simplify your operations in order to accomplish your tasks at a faster pace. Consider these tips to work smarter:
FIRST THINGS FIRST
As much as I want to discuss about the catchy Iggy Azalea song, I am going to expound on the seemingly unfamiliar territory of prioritizing. Prioritizing focuses on determining the order of the items in your to-do list. Stephen Covey, the co-author of “First Things First”, introduced four categorizations for one’s tasks. The categories are:
a. Important and Urgent,
b. Important and Not Urgent,
c. Urgent and Not Important, as well as
d. Not Urgent and Not Important.
Write down at least three “Important and Urgent” tasks that you must accomplish by today. Waste no time in addressing each one. Reap the sense of accomplishment as you fulfill each one of them. Use this motivation to tackle the less vital items.
USE SPARE TIME WISELY
No matter how busy your weekday can get, you still have a decent amount of down-time. Use your waiting time wisely by completing simple tasks such as calling possible sponsors for your company event. While you are waiting to board the next bus, you can answer important emails with your mobile applications.
As a pre-school teacher, I envision my lesson plans whenever I have idle moments. My finest thoughts spark when I am relaxing in the shower or when I am running a mile in the town stadium. Maximizing my spare time allows me to push my creativity beyond limits.
ELIMINATE THE UNNECESSARY
Taking a series of commitments can be detrimental to your schedule. Whenever you agree to help out a co-worker, you are increasing your personal workload. You may not be able to immediately tackle the tasks assigned to you!
It is hard to refuse to friendly requests from colleagues especially if you are the type of person who loves lending a hand. However, if you want to jump-start your productivity, it is important to learn to say “NO” or “not at this moment”.
ABSORB FUTURE’S ESSENCE
It is no secret that I am an avid people watcher! Not to sound creepy, but it comes from my background in Psychology. Let us move on to the anecdote. As I was sipping my hot mocha, I overheard two women talking about their careers. One seems to be the other’s mentor. I realized that they were both dancing instructors as the discussion went on. The “mentor” shared valuable tips such as preparing an overall timeline and strict goals for each day. She said that it was better to record one’s routine to record any flaws, before the presentation comes. She made some valid points!
Having a realistic plan eases the tension of the coming days. You know your glistening target and the corresponding moves to achieve it. Now, you do not have to be prudent to absorb the future’s essence. Start by sparing at least 10 minutes before your shift ends to clear out your desk and to prepare your task for tomorrow. Alternatively, you may clear your desk as you arrive to the office. Allot the first 10 minutes to prioritizing your to-do list.