We’ve all had days at work where we just can’t seem to accomplish everything that’s been set on our to-do list. And while having this happen occasionally is usually fine and totally expected in certain fields, if you’re consistently missing deadlines and not getting your work done, you’re likely to have a big problem with your boss sometime soon. Especially if your workload isn’t piled too high and you’re merely not using your time wisely, your supervisors probably won’t look at your performance as being anything worth keeping around. So to help you retain your job and learn how to become more effective and efficient, here are three tips for improving your time management at work.
Pinpoint Where You’ve Been Wasting Time
There are hundreds of things that happen during the workday that could constitute as being a waste of time. And while you should take a few breaks from your work throughout your shift, especially to get out of your seat or position and stretch your body, doing things that pull you too far out of your work or get your mind completely off task may be taking up too much of your day. According to Susan Ward, a contributor to The Balance Small Business, once you’re able to pinpoint where you’ve been wasting your time, be it on social media or chatting too much with your coworkers, you’ll be able to create a plan for yourself to keep from doing these things too often or for too long.
Create Deadlines For Yourself
If you’ve found that you work best under a little bit of a time crunch, then you might want to consider setting deadlines for yourself that aren’t necessarily related to the actual deadlines you have for your projects at work. According to Rinkesh Kukreja, a contributor to LifeHack.org, giving yourself a realistic yet challenging deadline might be just the thing to light a fire under you when you’re not keeping up with your work. Once you’ve been able to meet your goal within the deadline you’ve set, make sure you reward yourself with something so that you train your body and mind to enjoy getting tasks accomplished in the timeframe necessary.
Tackle Your Biggest or Most Difficult Task First
For some people, it’s easier or more enjoyable to simply push off tasks that you don’t want to get to. This can leave you wasting your time on things that really have no value to you or your organization. And although you’ll likely have to face the music eventually, that option can sometimes sound more appealing than doing the actual work right now. To keep from falling into this trapping way of thinking, John Rampton, a contributor to Forbes.com, advises that you tackle your biggest or most difficult task right out of the gate in the morning. This will allow you to work on this task when you have the most energy during the day and will get it done and over with so you don’t have to dread it all morning long.
If you’ve found yourself wasting time at work and are ready to make a change, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how to break these habits.