Regardless of your job title, where you work, or the industry in which you work, most people will agree on one common link between all professions: there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. Rather than stressing over the amount of work on your plate and the little time you have to get it done, why not go to the root of the problem? Knowing how to manage your time and eliminate pesky time-wasters is is key for staying focused and productive at work. Here are a few ways to budget your time at work and make the most out of every workday!
- Keep a to-do list. Keeping a daily, weekly, or high-level monthly/quarterly list of what you need to accomplish is the perfect way to start budgeting your time at work. It’s also one of the most effective. Gone will be the days when you miss a deadline because a task fell off your radar, and listing out your responsibilities will help you when it comes to prioritizing what gets done first. If you are writing a to-do list for the week, it might be helpful to list how long each item will take you to complete so you know how much of your day should be spent focusing on each task.
- Determine where you are losing time. Most people make a conscious effort to budget their time because they feel as if it is being wasted on things other than the tasks at hand. Think about the little distractions that pull you away from your work each day. Often times you’ll find that little things like texting, checking websites, or scrolling through social media can add up and really eat away at your time. Apps like Moment and Checky can help you keep track of your lost time, but even taking small steps - like not checking your phone at work, or limiting your web browsing - can go a long way in helping you stick to your schedule.
- Think carefully before committing to a new assignment. Being asked to take on a new project or responsibility is an exciting part of working in any industry. Before jumping at the opportunity to take on new work, consider how much of your time it will require. If you are asked to collaborate on a project, ask how many hours it will take to complete your task and determine whether you can fit those hours into your schedule, meet the deadline, and still produce quality work. If you are asked about taking on a new role - for example, taking on a part-time management role or filling in for an employee that’s on leave - think about what responsibilities you would have to give up in order to take on that additional responsibility. Be honest about your limitations, and remember that one person can only take on so much responsibility!
Knowing how to manage your time can go a long way in reducing your stress and staying on top of your workload. Still feeling stressed or overworked? Check out these resources to help you streamline your professional life and truly enjoy what you do for a living:
- How to Maintain Work/Life Balance
- How to Survive a Mid-Day Slump
- Ways to Make Work More Engaging
- How to Learn New Work Skills
You'll Have More Hours in the Day with a 'Time Budget' | Daily Worth