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How to Manage Your Time Better at Work

Updated on September 15, 2012

“I am definitely going to take a course on time management… just as soon as I can work it into my schedule.” – Louis E. Boone

Time Management is An Acquired Skill

Managing Our Time Better is a Learned Skill
Managing Our Time Better is a Learned Skill | Source

Before the Big Bang

Time is a precious commodity. We never seem to have enough of it . Managing your time is very important to gaining a better quality of life. Time is elusive and how we learn to manage it can assist us in gaining better habits in many of the things we do.

According to science, before the origins of the Universe, before the Big Bang, which occurred 13.7 billion years ago, there was no space and no time. Since the Big Bang, the Universe has continually expanded, yet in our modern day, we continue to run out of time.

In the course of our day, we wear many hats, our to do list is too long, and our expectations of what we realistically can get done is too optimistic. Our workday especially becomes compromised with the many things we are trying to juggle. Learning time management skills are important to success in the workplace. There is a correlation to managing your time and the success you will achieve in your career.

Time Management is a Skill

Important time management skills to acquire:

  • Do your most important priorities in the early part of your day. When you have accomplished this, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and will be less likely to put off doing other tasks.
  • Do your biggest task first so that the rest of the day’s work will seem easier.
  • Set up a strategy about when and how you will tackle the things on your to do list. By knowing when you will start it, and how you will accomplish it, you will increase the liklihood that you will get it done.
  • Prioritize your list, be realistic about what you can really do, and put the less important things on the backburner.
  • When you feel like procrastinating, look at your list and get the easiest things done, so at least more of your list can be crossed off.
  • It is natural to feel overwhelmed, to wish you had more time, to feel like you didn’t get enough done.
  • Use your powers of creativity to get a task completed.
  • Ask yourself what is the most valuable use of your time
  • Use visualization to help motivate yourself to complete the tasks, and imagine how you will feel after they are done.

Time management will make you a happier person.

One Simple Rule for Time Management

Get Control of Your Time

Your workday is probably pretty much composed of three things that eat away at your time: thoughts, actions, and conversation. Throughout the day, many interuptions will interefer with the things you would like to get done.

To get more control of your time and be more productive at work:

  • For a week, carry a pad with you and take note of how much time you spend in conversation, thoughts, and activities in the course of a day. You will be able to analyze how much time you spend be productive, and how much time you waste not producing results.
  • Take the first half hour of every work day to set up your day.
  • Make appointments with yourself and set up blocks of time during your work day to get things done that you want to get done. Schedule a begin time and an end time.
  • To keep things realistic, schedule time for interruptions.
  • Before you start a task, make sure you know what you want from the completion of the task. What is your desired result?
  • When you have to get something done, make sure you are not disturbed. Make sure as many people know you are not to be interrupted or distracted during this time.
  • When you are working on your priorities, don’t answer your phone, don’t text, don’t look at your email, don’t look at facebook, twitter, linked in, etc. Don’t turn your attention away from what you are trying to get done.
  • Schedule a time to do all these things at another time during the work day.
  • As you get some of your most important things accomplished, remember you can’t possibly get everything done in the course of the work hours.

You Control Your Thoughts, So You Can Control What You Do With Your Time

Procrastination impedes our success. Wasted time makes us feel unaccomplished. Set yourself up with a time management strategy and you will see yourself getting things done. The seeds we sow for today, will produce a garden of wonderful accomplishments tomorrow.

Setting up your work day starts with a simple to do list. Write down the things you want to get done and prioritize this list. Divide your list into things you can get done today, short term projects, and long term projects.

Make an outline that schedules your work day from start to finish. Make sure to include time for phone calls, meetings, errands, breaks, checking email, filing, etc. Alternate your activities with work, pleasure, and chores. Mix short tasks with long jobs. Do some of the easier tasks, alternating with some of the harder tasks. Break big jobs into smaller tasks. Be flexible, sometimes Murphy’s Law comes into play, or things pop up spontaneously. Handle what you must, when you must, but be sure to reward yourself for the work you have gotten done.

Remember, you pretty much control your time. You control your thoughts, and it is your thoughts that precipitate your actions. Make your thoughts productive, and productive actions will result. The rewards of greater accomplishments and satisfaction will be yours when you make changes that will help you be more productive.

Time management is an important skill in the work place. Time management will add balance to your life beyond your work. It can be stressful when you feel you have a heavy workload and you don’t know how to juggle it all. Your career success will be judged by your ability to complete the assignments you are given in a timely and efficient manner.
Tips to be more efficient and manage your time better at work:

Know Your Responsibilities

Have a good grasp on your responsibilities in the office and the role you play in the company.
Know what is expected of you so you can focus on what you are supposed to do.

  • If you have questions about an assignment, clarify what is expected of you, so you don’t waste time doing the wrong things.
  • Make sure you know what is urgent so you get the things that need to be done first.
  • Use your to do list to prioritize and schedule your time to do each task
  • Surfing the internet, checking email too often, and spending too long on the phone can be major time stealers.
  • When you do something, do it right! Set high standards for yourself, and do your very best for everything you are doing.
  • Don’t sacrifice quality work for the sake of doing a task quickly. But don’t spend excessive time on a task in search of perfection.
  • Be aware of procrastination, try to done right away, so that you are not delaying the assignment.
  • Time is a limited resource and should be valued

Managing Your Time

  • Set target desires and aim for them
  • Set a time frame in which to get your desires done
  • Set up a step by step approach to getting your target desires done

Time Management is Not a Natural Born Skill

It is the small steps that will grow into bigger accomplishments that will help you reach your desires. What you do with the minutes of your day will result into successful hours and satisfying days.

A good strategy started today is better than a perfect strategy that is never begun.
So start today. Look at the big picture and what is most important. Set up a realistic schedule for yourself. Allow for Murphy’s Law, needed breaks, and the obstacles that will inevitably come up. It is the small steps that will lead you to managing your time better at work.

Time management is about accomplishing more in the least amount of time. An efficient person will perform better in the workplace and gain successful advantages over those who procrastinate and are inefficient with their time. Prioritizing is an important aspect of time management. Focusing on what is important helps you become more efficient. Knowing what needs to be done first will ensure you get things done that need to be done.

Time management is not a natural born skill. It takes time to learn and master. With all the things we have to do in the course of a day, and in our careers, the ability the to manage your time better at work will yield greater success, and more satisfying and productive results.


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    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi PD, I like your quote about Yodo, he had a lot of wisdom. Thanks for your kind comments and up votes. I hope this was helpful to you. Hoping all is well with your wonderful girls.

    • profile image 5 years ago

      Great tips TKI - voted up! I like your comment about starting a strategy even if not perfect. Reminded me of Yodo in Star Wars who said Do or Do Not. There is no Try.


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