Time management is a buzzword that appears on numerous resumes and is thrown out in every interview by desperate interviewees who are striving to show how qualified they are for the role. But what does time management mean? How can you make sure that your time management skills are honed to perfection?
Time Management Skills, what?
Time management is simple. It is defined as: “the ability to uses one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work.” Simple in explanation but not so simple in execution.
Developing time management skills start in school for most people; getting to class on time and prepared is probably the earliest form of time management common across the world. Honing your time management skills is then intensified when you enter the workplace, no longer are you told off or put in detention for not being on time, you are now at the risk of jeopardizing your career if your skills in time management are not up to scratch.
Businesses pile money into streamlining their workflow, from implementing filing organizers to using Kanban tools, both Trello and a Trello alternative, and the optimization of workflow is more important now than it ever was. This means that time management skills are also now more important than ever.
Honing your time management skills is perhaps something you think you have conquered, but there is always room for improvement.
Here are just a few ways that you can refresh your time management skills:
If you have been in your job for a long period, then you might think that you no longer need a schedule for your daily office work. You may not have noticed that you spend an extra 10 minutes a day staring out of the window when you are supposed to be emailing a client. Schedules can help stop that from happening. Make a schedule and stick to it; perhaps you will see how much time you can save.
Good distractions v Bad distractions
It might seem odd to consider some distractions as a good thing, but by taking regular breaks at work and doing something unrelated to your daily tasks can help to boost your mental health and overall productivity at work. Simple things like standing up for a couple of minutes, and walking around the office, or making a drink going outside for a breath of fresh air will help to re-energize and refocus you through the working day.
On the other hand, there are a lot of bad distractions which can be detrimental to your working day, especially if you are on a tight schedule. Social media is the most easily accessible distraction that can have a negative impact on your schedule. It has become such an issue that companies have created social media policies in the work place to discourage employees from getting distracted.
Keep your phone locked away while you are working so you’re not tempted to scroll through your feeds every few minutes!
You might not want to email a client about the mistake in their project; you want to get on with your work, but you can’t do that until you finish the report sitting staring at you. You can probably think of ten things off the top of your head that you can do to put off doing the necessary tasks, but cleaning your desk, or emptying the fridge will not make the work go away, and you’ll start getting a backlog, and fall into a vicious cycle.
Take a deep breath and bite the bullet. You will have to do your work anyway, so why make it harder on yourself?
When push comes to shove, everyone has time management skills that they can call on, but if you are prepared with your schedule and stick to it, you’ll always hit deadlines on time.