We’ve all had those days where we come into work and just don’t feel up to the day; tasks have been stacking up for days, deadlines have been pushed back and our workload just seems to be taking over our lives. And on days like these we often don’t help ourselves. Instead of tackling the more pressing tasks, we chose to do admin and smaller jobs which don’t take up as much of our time. Of course, this doesn’t solve the issue and we continue to get increasingly behind on our work and become even more stressed, leading to poor mental health – 1 in 6.8 people experience mental health problems in the workplace.
I know it’s sometimes easier said than done but in business we just need to grab the bull by the horns and take on the tasks that we don’t always feel up to – only 37% of teams in the UK report completing their project on time. An easy way to balance our workload is to simply invest proper time management. By effectively managing our time we reduce stress and increase productivity.
My top tips for time management:
Wind down and plan
Allowing yourself 15 minutes at the end of your day to wind the day down and go over the tasks which need focusing on the following day will allow you to create a structure to follow when you get in.
Book it in
Use your calendar – it’s right there to remind you to do what you need to do! By booking tasks into your calendar you will basically have a virtual PA which nudges you when it’s time to wrap up a task and move on to the next.
Put your phone back in your bag (on silent), pop in your headphones and turn off anything that will distract you. This includes team chat notifications and emails, sometimes you just need to cut yourself off and work for an hour.
Colour code it
Sit down and work out which jobs are high priority and which jobs can be left for a while – then flag them with a colour code, ranking them in order of importance.
Make the most of training opportunities available to you. Sometimes sitting down with your team and/or a trainer and discussing various techniques which other people implement is a great way of making your day, and the business, run more smoothly.
My favourite Time Management concepts:
Follow The Pareto Principle
I am a strong believer in this time management concept – it’s tried and tested, based on the work of the Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, in 1906.
To put it simply, 8/10 tasks on your daily to do list are as important as your top 2.
So, take your daily to do list and write down 10 things that you want to achieve today. Of these 10, select the 2 that are most important. Make these your priority. Work towards these throughout the day, resisting the urge to procrastinate and take up smaller tasks.
In working towards your 2 most important tasks, you know that the key tasks can be crossed off and time can be given to the smaller tasks when you have the capacity to fulfil them.
Implement The Eisenhower Matrix
This concept was born from Dwight Eisenhower’s famous quote, “what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important”, and again it’s pretty straight forward.
The basic premise is that some tasks are simply more important to a business than others. Often it pays to be able to delegate, if you have an assistant (or a colleague with a lighter work load) then hand it over and save yourself the time to work on your more important tasks.
There really is nothing worse than coming to work and feeling like you can’t face the day. So, if you’re feeling a little snowed under, why not implement these hints and tips?
Opinion Piece by Nicolette Karides, Learning and Development Coordinator, Air Marketing Group