Manage Your Time
Time is the one thing that can never be replenished. That said, it would be wise to use every second of your time wisely and productively.
Use reminders for improved time management: Thanks to technology, you never have to walk around with a notebook to keep track of events and appointments. Calendar reminders, phone alarms, and smartwatch cues are some of the handy tools you can take advantage of to keep and prioritize your goals. The best part about this is that the reminder/alarms will notify you beforehand, giving you enough time to prepare or start.
You might also want to limit/eliminate your distractions, prioritize tasks, and even decline some offers when necessary. Here are a few tips on how to manage your time more efficiently.
- Write It Down
This is one of the most efficient and proven ways to get things done. According to a classic study by Mueller and Oppenheimer, writing all tasks down requires processing the information, then rephrasing it in an easy to understand form. The simple act leaves a lasting imprint on your memory, which again makes recalling it much easier. That said, you might want to keep a notebook, planner, or calendar within easy reach on your workspace. This way, you will be able to jot down any critical commitment whenever the need arises. Just be sure to keep it brief, legible, and detailed. Many companies choose to use a time tracking app to help keep staff organised see more about the features and benefits.
- Start Working On Tasks Before Time
Make it a habit of working on an assignment ahead of schedule. This way, you will have lots of time to prepare for, and even complete the task before the deadline. This is particularly important for jobs with an official timeline. Start by setting gradual deadlines for the tasks, then look for ways to complete each task within the set deadline, ahead of time. Doing so gives you an avenue to consult on urgent matters, as well as avoid any last-minute-rush in case the deadline is expedited.
If required to respond to inboxes and inquiries before the end of the day, for example, why not do so just before or after lunchtime. Another example would be to submit your contribution to the team leader a day before the actual deadline. Doing so gives you enough time to review your work and even more to give it a few finishing touches.
- Keep Your Workspace Organized
Your workspace can cause you to procrastinate or even take longer to work on tasks. Ensuring your workspace is well organized at all times will, however, help reduce distraction. This includes both the physical workspace and the digital one. In the same way, you should strive to clean your desk/workspace organized and clean, try keeping your computer desktop as clean as possible. Placing all kinds of folders and files on your desktop will only cause distractions and could also make you procrastinate even farther. As hard as it may seem to keep your desktop and workspace clear, a minimalistic look can help keep you on task, productive, and organized for longer.
- Come Up With A Formula That Makes Working On Tasks Easier
While following the company, timetable and guidelines may help get the work done, creating a customized approach to the tasks at hand can improve your efficiency as well. One way to do this is by tackling tasks in order of difficulty. Look for ideas and approaches that will work in your favor. This can be words, visuals, easy-to-hard, hard-to easy, and such. Coming up with a way of leaving visual/voice notes as you go on with specific tasks, as well as playing soothing sounds on your computer as you work, can help improve your productivity significantly. This will, of course, take some time before you can find the best approach for various tasks.
Peter Sundin was born and raised in New Jersey. He has contributed to Buzz Feed, Details and TODAY and served as a commentator for NPR, MSNBC and HuffPost Live. As a journalist for Morning News Ledger, Peter mostly covers national news. Aside from earning a living as a freelance journalist, Peter also works as a dog walker.