How to manage your time effectively

21st January 2020 | 3 min read

How to manage your time effectively

Time management is incredibly important in the workplace; ensuring that the right tasks are prioritised, workflow moves smoothly and deadlines are met. Good time management consists of time effectiveness; considering which tasks are the best use of your time, and time efficiency; completing tasks quickly and accurately. With this in mind, it’s likely that most people will admit that, at some point in their career, they have failed to manage their time properly.

So, with the aim of helping you to work smarter, in this article, we offer advice on how to manage your time effectively, including the best time management efficiency tips.

The benefits and consequences of time management

To start, let’s take a look at what can happen if you don’t manage your time properly. Failing to manage your time at work can have a range of consequences, including: missed deadlines, time wasting, rushed work of poor quality, increased stress and even disciplinary action. On the other hand, good time management leads to a solid and effective workflow, reduced stress, a positive reputation and more opportunities for growth and development.

Good time management is a much sought-after skill in the workplace, so it’s well worth making the effort to master it. In the following section, we’ll look at some key time management tips to help you do this.

Prioritise and time limit your tasks

One of the most important tools you can use for time management is prioritisation. At the start of each week, set aside some time to look through the week’s tasks and organise them in terms of priority. More time-sensitive tasks should be addressed first, and anything low priority should be left until last. You can use the ‘importance and urgency’ model to sort your tasks and create a to-do list. Once you have a prioritised list, you can even set certain times to complete each task. Every day when you get to work, have a quick glance over your list to remind yourself what your tasks are for the day ahead.

Keep a record

Start keeping a record of the tasks you do every day for a certain period of time, then analyse the results. You should quickly be able to spot where you are spending too much time, such as emails or admin. If you work in a team, encourage the whole team to do the same, and compare notes at the end of the test period to identify potential areas to address. There are lots of management apps or online platforms that can help teams monitor their time.

Delegate wisely

If you find that your workload is increasing, and you are struggling to manage your time effectively, consider delegating tasks to other team members who have more capacity. By evening out the workload across the team, productivity will increase and stress will be reduced. However, do learn to say ‘no’ to people delegating to you when you have too much on your plate.

Organise your email time

Emails take up a lot of our time without even realising it. Aim to dedicate one hour in the morning and one in the afternoon to reply to emails, and try to avoid looking at them outside these time slots. To help declutter your inbox, you could also create labels to help you sort through emails and quickly decide which are the most urgent.

Attend training courses

If your organisation offers training courses on time efficiency, make a note to attend the next session. Not only will you learn how to effectively manage your time, but you can also share your experiences with other employees and pick up some useful tips.

Take a break

Too many people in the workplace fail to take sufficient breaks during the working day, thinking that keeping their head down and powering on is the best way forward. However, regular breaks can in fact improve time management, so make time to stand up, stretch your legs, and get some fresh air, and you’ll find that you return to your desk refreshed and ready to carry on.