Ready to change the game on how you manage your time at work? If you want to optimize your systems and have a more productive workday, try these time management strategies suggested by this NYC Professional Office Organizer.
Plan your work day based on when you work best. You know yourself best! When you are planning your work day, think about when you have the most energy. Are you most productive and creative first thing in the morning? Or do you need a second (or third) cup of coffee and some time to check in before you start working? During your most productive times of the day, work on your high priority tasks. During the times of the day where your energy is lower, tackle the non-urgent tasks like catching up on phone calls or clearing your desk.
Use automation to save time during the day. If you want to be productive, you must stop doing every single task. There are tools and apps designed to take the smaller tasks off your plate and allow you to focus your time on the tasks that require you and you alone to complete. Create an automatic response in your email that answers the most common questions people ask during the day and provide scheduled times when you’ll respond. You can use Hootsuite to0 schedule your social media posts, LastPass to store and autofill your passwords, and create templates in Google Drive or Dropbox for repetitive tasks.
Eliminate distractions. We all know that distractions take away precious time from our work day…..are you taking the steps required to eliminate them? There are simple ideas, like shutting the door or turning off your phone or tablet. You can also keep your phone in your purse or briefcase during the day so it’s less likely you’ll grab it for a quick social media browse. Try headphones if you are working in a busy office place, or use “do not disturb” functions inside your communication systems at work (Slack and Hangouts offer this option).
Make sure you are saying “NO.” It’s so hard to do but saying “NO” is a valuable time management skill to master! If you are asked to do a task or participate in a meeting or panel, and it’s NOT contributing to your goals, then NO may have to be your response. Don’t stretch yourself thin and then start missing deadlines for the work that is moving you towards your goals.
Automate your decision-making. Not only does this minimize time spent on tasks that aren’t goal-oriented, it gets these tasks done without interrupting time spent on other high priority tasks. For example, you can sign up for automatic bill pay, which means not only do you not have to take the time to look up your account, find the bill and your bank information, and make the payment, it also means you won’t accidentally miss a due date and have to worry about late fees or shut-off notices. You can automatically transfer money from your checking to savings account immediately when you get paid. Another great idea is to set your electronics to automatically go into sleep mode at a certain time every night. You can choose all your outfits for the week on Sunday, plan your meals for the week, and you can even automate work tasks like adding information into a spreadsheet by using tools like IFTTT.
Need more hands-on time management strategies and support? Reach out to this NYC Professional Office Organizer.