For those of us who have ever interviewed for any kind of position you’ve probably been asked about your time management skills. Are you able to plan out your day accordingly and do what needs to be done in a timely manner? Deadlines come at you fast and it’s important in any industry to be mindful of your time and not be responsible for wasting other’s. If you need a little boost in the productivity department, check out these tips for managing your time wisely.
1. Create a to-do list
First thing’s first, don’t overdo the to-do list. If you want to successfully cross off your tasks, make sure to only make reasonable lists for yourself. This means considering the time each task will take to complete and not putting 20 hours of work in a 24-hour day. Don’t be fooled by artists and their lyrics about sleeping when they’re dead, you need rest. A pro tip is to cluster similar tasks together. Compose and respond to all of your emails at one time instead of jumping between tasks; don’t wear yourself out.
2. Do one thing at a time
Multi-tasking can be a wonderful tool but for true productivity, we need to start considering giving our attention to one goal at a time. If you’re like me, you wear a lot of hats, meaning you’re multi-faceted and working towards achieving several goals all of the time. In order to get more done for each differing interest in your life, set time aside to work on one at a time. Reserve the first hour of your work day for your catering business, the next hour for script and so forth. Allowing your mind to focus on one topic will result in more creativity because it’s not overloaded by 1,000 open tabs.
3. Identify your power hour
When do you get the most work done? Some are early morning workers who get up before dawn, grab their coffee and stay in the zone until midday. Others are night owls who don’t even think about working until most of the world is getting ready for bed. Neither of these methods are wrong but it is important to identify the time of day that works best for you and your productivity. Once you know what works best for you, embrace that “power hour”, eliminate distractions and get your work done!
4. Clean your work space
Clutter is a distraction, period. Think about your work area, there are a few things that can be removed to clear up some space? If you work in a traditional office, make sure you’re not hoarding old newsletters and memos. Working from home or a mobile office? Keep your work utensils organized and in one area so you’re not spending valuable work time fishing for things that you need. Time is always of the essence, don’t let a mess slow you down.
5. Ask for help
Everybody needs somebody sometimes. Asking your colleagues for help on tasks you may not understand or pulling up relevant research for assistance proves that you’re stronger than you may think. It’s okay (and admirable) if you’re the kind of person who likes to figure things out for yourself, but at some point you may need to just drop your pride. Again, time is such a precious commodity, instead of wasting it fidgeting around and getting no where, reach out to someone who can help you.
6. Take breaks
Sure you’ve been on a roll for the past 8 hours and you’re killing it, but when is the last time you got a breath of fresh air? Don’t neglect your peace of mind for productivity. Step away from the work every once in awhile and take a walk, talk to a friend, take a nap! Give your mind a break from constant brain activity. Regroup and refocus then start again. Your mind and body will thank you.