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5 Hacks for Time Management at Work



Time management is a skill that requires development like any other. Once you get the hang of it, you can improve your productivity and reduce burnout. Of course, changing your workflow can be challenging, especially if you've formed bad habits. These five tips are simple ways to improve your time management abilities without getting overwhelmed.


1. Stick to a Strict Daily Schedule


What is time management? It's a set of skills that track, plan, and control how you spend your time. One of the best ways to build a solid foundation for time management is to create a schedule.


If you work in an office, you may have little control over your schedule due to meetings, assigned lunch times, and break policies. However, you can still take charge of the blocks of time in between.


If you work from home, a daily schedule is even more critical. Consider blocking out time for daily tasks at the beginning of your day:


  • Checking emails

  • Reviewing reports

  • Updating information in project management apps


Once that time is up, you move on to tasks that require more mental effort.



2. Prioritize Tasks and Stay Organized


You only have so much energy and time, so prioritizing is crucial to productivity. Staying organized can help, but it's one of the most challenging time management skills to put into practice.


An excellent place to start is a to-do list. Create a list of tasks you want to complete by the end of the day, and put the most important at the top. These items usually fall into the following categories:


  • They have a tight deadline.

  • Coworkers can't complete their tasks until you finish these.

  • They significantly impact others (clients, vendors, the company, etc.)


It's also a good idea to organize your workspace. If you know where everything is, you won't have to waste time looking for something. Minor distractions add up over the day, so eliminating them can boost your productivity.


3. Set Reasonable Time Limits for Yourself


Time limits are powerful management tools, especially if you hyperfocus on tasks. If you have several job responsibilities, you must divide your time among them in a way that makes sense, given their difficulty and importance. If you've reached a roadblock in a project, stepping away and devoting your energy elsewhere may benefit you.


You also need to schedule breaks. The human brain can only focus for a little over 45 minutes; anything longer than that provides diminishing results. Stepping away from work for 15 to 20 minutes every hour can improve your efficiency and help you avoid burnout.


Getting away from your desk is vital during breaks, as it helps your mind disengage and rest. Being in new surroundings can also boost your creativity and problem-solving, allowing you to overcome obstacles when you return.



4. Avoid Multitasking


Multitasking may seem productive, but dividing your attention reduces efficiency. Avoiding multitasking is even more difficult when you work from home, as you may notice household chores that need doing.


To avoid the urge to clean, create boundaries between work and personal time. Work only during designated hours and schedule household tasks outside of them.


5. Take Advantage of Time Management Tools


Time management apps can be beneficial, especially if you're new to the concept. Project management tools work well for teams, allowing everyone to communicate and access resources in a single hub. If you work alone, consider using a time-tracking app. These programs show how much time you spend on tasks, allowing you to pinpoint areas of inefficiency and better plan your day.


Implementing time management strategies takes effort, but the resulting productivity is worth it. You can improve business practices and help team members excel with the right approach.

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