Alt-Text: Woman using a laptop and a cell phone in an office.
Caption: It is almost impossible to get everything done during a busy workday without strong time management skills.
Time management is a vital human skill that plays a significant role in the workplace. If you aren’t meeting deadlines or completing your work, you might struggle with career advancement. This is why professional resume builders often recommend that workers list time management along with effective communication, active listening, and other soft skills on their resume.
In addition to helping you succeed in the workplace, a study published by the National Library of Medicine found that strong time management skills can lead to enhanced wellbeing and life satisfaction. Keep reading to learn about how you can improve your time management skills.
Improving Your Time Management Skills
Lack of proper time management is often seen in workers who do not feel a sense of urgency or have a habit of procrastinating. Whatever the case may be, the list below contains details on how to effectively manage your time and get more work done.
Scheduling provides a solid structure for your daily activities at work or home. Your schedule should contain every task you have for the day and how long you think you think it will take to complete. It should also contain a contingency time allowance between your completion time and the deadline set by your office.
Another thing your schedule should contain is a priority tag so you can easily see what tasks you should tackle straight away. Software engineers have provided various applications that can help you save your schedule digitally.
Limit Distractions and Unproductive Activities
There are many things that can distract you from completing work tasks at the appointed time. It could be social media messages, texts from family and friends, or aspects of your personal life that are stressing you out mentally.
Whatever the distraction may be, it is going to make you lose focus and spend more than the allotted time on tasks even when you have a schedule. This is why you should try to avoid looking at your phone or social media websites while you are trying to work. You could keep distracting devices in another room or turn airplane mode.
Create a Regular Sleep Schedule
The benefits of getting regular sleep cannot be overemphasized. The CDC recommends that most adults get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Make sure you go to bed early so you can wake up on time and still be refreshed. With your mind and body well rested, you can concentrate better on your responsibilities.
To improve your sleep quality, avoid looking at electronic distractions at least one hour before bedtime. Many people also find that it helps to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Break Large Tasks Down to Make Them More Manageable
When you are faced with a major task that requires a lot of time and focus, it would make sense to break it into small tasks and assign a time frame for completing each small task. Instead of viewing the small task as part of the whole, view it as an individual task with a limited timeline. This will create a sense of urgency that speeds up the process and allows you to get more work done.
When you have completed all the small tasks, merge them into the final task and make sure there is a logical flow between all the parts. Remember to leave ample time between when the job is due and when you consolidate tasks.
Set Realistic Timelines
No amount of scheduling and planning will work if you do not set realistic objectives and timelines for completing those objectives. Do not try to stretch yourself out too thin, because you will burn out or make a mistake that sets you back significantly.
To set realistic timelines, write down everything you need and have to do for the completion of the task at hand. Find out if you have the resources required and set milestones based on what is available. This is the best way to set realistic timelines and projections for completing your work.
If you have applied all these time management strategies above and you still have trouble getting work done, you may want to consider switching careers. Sometimes, a lack of passion can affect productivity and time management. You can quickly switch into a tech career by enrolling in a coding bootcamp like General Assembly, or you can take online classes in a field that interests you.