One thing is certain – none of us get more than 24 hours each day. But if you look at some people, you’ll find that they seem to be able to get more out of their workday than you. And no, they can’t magically control time, they just use time tracking to make sure they’ve got the most efficient workflow possible. So, can you manage your time better than you’re doing now? We’ll explore your options below!
Obviously, the modern office space is littered with all kinds of productivity apps and software suites. But even with the ability to track time, some people simply don’t know what to make of it. That’s why proper time management is crucial to the success of any business enterprise or career. For starters – you need to realize what you’re doing with your time. And you need to know this with absolute precision.
Do you have the impression that you’re spending half an hour on responding to emails in the morning? Use time tracking to double-check this. More often than not, it could turn out that you’re actually spending an hour, or even more. If you get more accurate data on this, you’ll know precisely what adjustments to make.
Tasks With Time Limits
One of the biggest dangers when it comes to completing tasks on time is procrastinating. And it’s no small wonder, with the amount of content that we’re bombarded by from all sides these days. Even if you’re looking at something important, like different options for relocating abroad or buying expensive plane tickets, you’re likely to spend more time on the task than you should because you’re thinking about something else simultaneously.
But if you want to prevent this and use time tracking efficiently to finish everything in a timely manner, put artificial time limits for every task, even if you don’t have one originally. For instance, if you need to do a specific task at work, give yourself an hour or two to do it. If you make your own deadline like this, you’re more likely to respect it and be efficient. Especially if all the tasks that come after it have time limits as well.
Stick To Your To-Do List
If you want to complete a bigger project on time, you need to make sure you respect your own schedule when it comes to each successive phase of the project. Pretty much every professional goal you have will consist of individual tasks that you need to complete without tardiness if you want to succeed.
So, make a to-do list with all of the tasks and goals. Make sure these are measurable in time so that you can use time tracking effectively to complete all of that as fast as possible. All of this will not only keep you as focused as possible but also give you the motivation that’ll stem from seeing all of the stuff you’ve achieved on time. In due course, you will notice that the interruptions to your work have become less frequent.
Planning On Time
Many people will tell you that planning in advance is the key to a good schedule. Indeed, the importance of time tracking is severely lessened if you don’t have an overall schedule that you need to follow for the workday. It’s not a good idea to wake up in the morning without already having a plan on what you need to accomplish. Conversely, moving ahead without a specific plan will likely cause you to work on trivial stuff longer than you should, and lose valuable time.
That’s why we recommend planning your next workday the evening before. The best course of action here is to spend the last half-hour or so in the office organizing the next day; think of all the tasks and work items you need to deal with tomorrow and write them down. Otherwise, if you can’t find the time for this on the day before, make it a part of your usual morning routine. But make sure you do it right away, and stick to the plan! This will allow you to be the most productive you can be.
Most Important Tasks
To paraphrase Mark Twain – you should probably eat all of your frogs at the very beginning of your workday. In other words, if you’re certain of the varying difficulty of all the tasks in your workday, start by doing the hardest ones in the morning. There are a few different reasons as to why this represents an effective use of time tacking.
Firstly, all of us are the most energized in the morning, because we’re still well-rested. That’s why more complicated tasks should be tackled while you’ve still got the energy to do so. Plus, once you’re done with the hard part, you get the sense of accomplishment that will keep you motivated for the remainder of your day.
In most workplaces, there is always one person who knows they’ll do a job better than everyone else and refuses to delegate. If you are that person, you also know that this ends up being incredibly stressful, as you work on tasks that are meant to be handled by more than one person.
It’s crucial that you learn to delegate your work. As your career progresses and tasks become more complex, your workload will become something you must share at some point or another. If you’re doing less menial work, you will have the time to focus on the tasks that truly matter.