Time Management Tips for Work
Time management can help you even exceed, your career expectations. Developing techniques to help you manage your time effectively will reduce the pressures on you.
(ARA) - Flying by the seat of your pants is rarely successful in helping you achieve your career goals. But careful planning and effective time management can help you meet, and even exceed, your career expectations.
"Effective time management is an art form; it's something we all do with varying degrees of success," says Dana Warren, senior vice president of staffing provider Kelly Services. "With a little planning, even the most disorganized person can be more productive."
Developing techniques to help you manage your time effectively will reduce the pressures on you, and in turn, give you more time to yourself, Warren says. She shares these tips for keeping your days on track:
Everyone has the same amount of time each day to use or lose. The clock continues to tick regardless of whether we spend our time wisely or waste it on unimportant activities.
One of the most useful exercises to improve your time management is to evaluate how you are currently spending your time. Try tracking what you do in 30-minute increments for one week. You may be surprised how much time you waste watching TV or on other things that do not contribute to your goals.
Organize your day so that similar activities can be done at the same time. For example, you might cluster all the activities you perform with the same person so you can get more done in your time together.
"By listing your daily activities and grouping them by category, you'll see opportunities to save time and work more efficiently," Warren says.
Pretend you are going on vacation
Have you ever noticed how much more productive you are on the days just prior to going on vacation? You're busy tying up loose ends and making last minute preparations. "To make the most of each day," Warren says, "I pretend I am about to leave on a vacation. This forces me to limit time wasters and get more crossed off my 'to do' list."
Use organizing aids
Using tools like a simple "to do" list or a personal digital assistant (PDA) can be very useful for tracking your current tasks and ensuring you meet your daily goals. "After creating my daily 'to do" list," Warren adds, "I highlight the 'must do' items for the day. I don't want to waste time on non-urgent items or fail to meet an important deadline."
Prepare for the unexpected
About those interruptions, changes and occasional chaos: If you are mentally prepared for these situations, you are more likely to keep your cool, and their impact on your schedule and stress level can be reduced.
"The most effective employees we recruit at Kelly are those who can remain composed in hectic, pressure situations," says Warren. "They project a feeling of confidence and comfort that things are under control."
Schedule leisure time
Finally, taking time for non-work activities can improve your productivity on the job. Commit time on your calendar to be with family and friends or to relax with a good book or magazine. A balanced life is a healthy life.
The Kelly Career Network matches candidates with open jobs. Visit Kellyservices.com/kcn
Courtesy of ARA Content
For more on the topic please see Houston Chronicle's recent story on time management styles discussing Spirited style as multitaskers, Considerate style and Systematic style. The story concludes that "no matter what your time management or negotiation style is, it's important to be able to negotiate a fair wage."
This page is updated on March 20, 2013.