There seems to never be enough time in the day to get everything done.
This can cause undue pressure to get tasks done under the wire, and may also leave you feeling a bit short-changed and stressed.
Time management can free up time to accomplish what you want on schedule, and may also leave you with a bit more personal time to do the things that make you feel restored.
Some practical ways to help you manage your time include the below strategies I use to create a better work-life balance for myself as CEO of Ox Bonding.
1. Learn to set limits
You are only human, after all; set limits when necessary. While it shows great team-spirit to help out whenever possible, don’t allow this to sabotage or impede your own tasks or charges. An effective leader is able to set boundaries and assert when more time is needed or their plate is full. There will always be those crisis-type situations that warrant lending a hand and taking time away from your current project, but don’t let this become the norm.
2. Watch where time is wasted
Tracking time and how it is spent daily can be quite enlightening. If you add up all of the wasted moments throughout the day, you may be surprised at what you find. Manage your time more efficiently and curb distractions to optimize the work-day. This might make the difference between working late and getting out the door on-time, which equates to more personal time at the end of the day.
3. Stick to a schedule
Those individuals that create and stick to a schedule generally are able to get more done. Developing a daily routine results in less time between tasks determining what to do next or lingering on chores that are not a priority. Furthermore, there is something reassuring and comforting in a tangible schedule that outlines everything that you need to get done during your day.
4. Be punctual, coming and going
Pay attention to being punctual, both for work and in leaving work. Certainly there are circumstances that may merit staying late or being tardy, but try to stay on-time. This eliminates feeling harried or hurrying out the door, and can inspire others in the office or workplace to strive for the same. Many staff may feel obligated to stay until after the boss leaves; encourage your team to leave at the end of the day in order to feel refreshed and ready for the next.
5. Carve out time for creative endeavors
You know what they say about ‘all work and no play’; be sure to carve out a little time for the things that you enjoy. Make time for a hobby or join a class after work a couple nights a week. Pleasurable activities and creative pursuits restore the spirit and fend off resentment that you may feel when you can’t find time for the things – and people – that you enjoy.
6. Become adept at delegating
Show your team that you have the utmost faith in their abilities by delegating tasks when necessary. Avoid trying to micro-manage every detail; give your staff the benefit of knowing that they will do their best and get the job done. Make yourself available for questions or assistance, but effective delegation will create a more productive, positive work environment for everyone.
Time management tips recap:
- Track time to see where it is getting lost, as even just a few minutes here and there can add up.
- Use tools to curb distractions if necessary, such as social media blockers, to stick to your assigned task.
- Develop a daily schedule and stick to it. Strive to be on-time for work and in leaving work, as well.
- Be sure to schedule personal time for the things that bring you joy.
- Put some faith in your team and delegate tasks when appropriate.
7. Create work-life balance and enjoy work more!
Life is a lot harder when work consumes all of it. There are other parts to us humans other than the lives we have at work. Use the above tips to be more productive at work so you can enjoy more time doing the things you love and spending time with the people who you care about most.