Examples of Time Management Skills at Work
If you are reading about time management skills, chances are you would like to be more productive. You want to be more productive to get the most out of the time you spend working, in order to be more successful. The techniques I look at here are simple, but try them and you will see just how much of a difference they can make to your productivity and ultimately your success.
I recently read a study in which they looked at the most successful people in different fields. They asked the professionals a long list of questions intended to reveal habits that contributed to their success. One of the things that the survey takers noticed is that the majority of the successful subjects where in the habit of making lists. They had different approaches, but basically these successful people had goals and they would create lists to give them steps towards achieving those goals.
Is planning how you will spend your time, worth the effort?
Planning how you will be spending your time does take time. So the question is whether it's worth it. As a rule of thumb proper planning always saves at least twice the time spent on planning. So it always pays to plan.
I have created a planning sheet to help me with managing my work. It is in a pdf file below. Depending on your setup you can open the file in your browser or download it and open it with a free pdf reader like Adobe Reader.
From there you can print and use the document. Below is an example of how I use the document followed by a discussion of how to use it.
Example of the use of my time management sheet
The first thing you do is to write down the jobs that you need to do. I have 3 jobs on there. The next step is to assign a priority, out of 10, to each job. So you can clearly see that the bid is the most important, the checkup on the software less so and the new email account isn't very important at all.
Bidding on a large project is a lot of work. So to make it more manageable, I have broken it up into tasks or steps. My first step is to have a colleague collect some relevant documents. By the way, one of the other characteristics, the study I mentioned, revealed was that successful people tended to be very good communicators. The second step can't be from the bid, because I am waiting for something to happen. As you frequently have to do. So the second task is from the second most important job. As you complete the tasks on your todo list, you tick them off. I find it's important feel a sense of accomplishment as you progress. I also write down a small reward, that I get when everything on the sheet is done. This helps to motivate me.
You will notice that there is a doted line across the middle of the page. What I do is to cut along that line and pin the bottom half to a board.
Time is the fire in which we burn
A neat work space
I really recommend that you keep your work space neat, tidy, and organised. Keeping your work station completely clutter free will help in two ways. Firstly, you will feel less stressed or uncomfortable due to the lack of space and clutter around you, but you will also be able to stay focused, as everything you need will be easy to find.
Procrastination has levels
Procrastination is basically putting something off until the very last minute and spending time on other tasks that are not productive in the slightest. Everyone at one point or another has been a victim of procrastination, whether it was chatting on the phone instead of writing business proposals or taking an extra long lunch break. If you train yourself to beat procrastination you will see an instant increase in the amount of work that you are able to do.
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