Time management in the workplace is the area that most of the books, websites and courses focus on. This makes sense when you hear about studies showing that the typical office worker wastes 2 hrs per day.
Nowhere does the old adage "Time is Money" ring more true than when you are working. Work, being productive that's what you get paid to do so if you as an employee wastes 2 precious hours of your day then that is a large cost to the company.
In addition to the dollar cost to the company, learning to manage your time has benefits to you personally. As well as reducing stress and therefore improving your work satisfaction, managing your time well can make you successful. Look at the successful people in your company - I bet that they know how to manage their time well. It's the old saying "Being successful doesn't make you manage your time well, managing your time well makes you successful"
When I was working(almost) full time I ended up being really good at time management in the workplace, it was my time management at home where I dismally failed!
I didn't start out knowing how to manage my time, I learnt it on the job thanks to lots of great self development, time management and project management courses.
We were also really focused within my team on utilising our time well always had 10 minutes scheduled into our weekly team meetings to discuss time management tips or tools that we had found most useful.It is from these weekly sessions that I bring you the ten best tips for time management in the workplace.
Plan your day the night before. I've read lots of articles that advocate for planning your day in the morning - I used to do it myself because it made me feel productive if I could get my thoughts organized first thing when I got to my desk.
However, I work best in the mornings and I want to hit the desk running so to speak. When I get to work, I want to dive in and tackle my projects. I don't want to be interrupted by planning the day infront of me.
So, what do I do? Well before I leave the office and go home for the day I take some time and work out what I'm going to do the next day, what I want to achieve and either schedule it into my diary/calendar or write it on my to-do list.
Hmm, you may be wondering what about this tip. What else would you do at work right? I mean you're there to work, isn't that the point?
Before I learnt about time management in the workplace I would turn up for work and guess what the first thing is that I would do. Once I got to my desk (after grabbing a coffee from the staff room) I would check my emails. Does it sound familiar? After my emails I would then end up checking the newspaper for interesting and relevant new items to my job and then I would plan my day.
Given that I know that my energy levels are best in the morning, this was wasting my time! Once it was pointed out to me, I realised that I could achieve pretty much my whole day's work in my first two hours there just by being focused and productive.
So, when I'm undertaking tip 1 (planning my day the night before) I particularly focus on what I have planned for the first 2 hours at work and actively try and push away 'unproductive stuff' like meetings until after then.
With the advent of technology, there is really no reason to travel for meetings or to accomplish work with a team unless you need to. Travelling wastes time - it's unproductive sitting in a car/plane/train for hours on end. Nowdays you can use video conferencing, phone conferencing or even skype to achieve what you would do in a face to face meeting.
Rocks are the big projects in your life. When we're talking about time management in the workplace, your Rocks are the big projects or deadlines you have on your list. You need to prioritize these projects and make sure that you have time to focus on them.
For more explanation about rocks, pebbles and sand then Jump from "time management in the workplace" to "Why is Time Management Important
Say it with me.... NO... or better yet, "I'd love to work on that project but I've got other priorities.
You are paid good money by your employers for a reason. You need to make sure that your are working on that reason and not wasting your time and their investment by doing the small stuff.
Do you really need to photocopy that document (can't you give it to someone else?), do you really need to attend that meeting? Assess what the small tasks are get rid of them.
This is a good way to improve on the tip above. If there's small stuff that you can delegate to others then do it. If there's a project that you can't work on or don't have time to work on then delegate it.
I've always found that a tidy desk displays a tidy mind. I can never think or focus if there's alot of clutter and "stuff" on my desk. Organize it and you will go a long way towards achieving time management in the workplace.
A common theme in time management resources but one that is so useful. If a colleague gives you a report - make sure you put it somewhere. Don't put it on your desk with the intention to file it away later. Do it now.
Meetings - the bane of business. I always tried to avoid meetings - they are such a time waster. You could try and delegate them if you can or else just try and get out of them. At the very worst, try and make sure that they don't last long and you achieve what is necessary.
Back to Top of Time Management in the WorkplaceWith any luck, you will find my ten tips for time management in the workplace useful for you. As with all my TimeManagementGems - take one, apply it to your work life and see how it goes. If you like it, come back here for some more!
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