Time management is probably one of the things every employee who works from home would agree they have issues with when it comes to accomplishing daily workloads. Even in an office environment, time management is a difficulty for many employees. While in some cases, the issue is that people bite off more than they can chew and commit to more than can be done in the time allotted. In many cases, the issue is poor time management. Here are seven things you can do to improve time management and meet your goals and the goals of your superiors.
Planning is the best way to lay out what you need to do and what you need to accomplish the task or tasks at hand. If you have everything you need in place and do some planning and preparations, it will save time when you get into the work. You can use a calendar, planner, or make lists somewhere you will often see to help you keep on schedule and task. If you’re smart, you can even build in padding to accommodate the inevitable wrenches that get thrown in. If you plan for unforeseen issues, you will still accomplish what you need to for the day.
Group Related Tasks
Grouping together related tasks will make your workflow make sense. For example, if you need to read over documents and print other documents, you should group these tasks because you will already be in your documents folder. The grouping of related tasks should take place in the planning of your day. If you have new tasks assigned during the day, unless you are told it has to be done right away, you can add the task to another task or group where it makes sense.
Prioritizing should be in the planning stage also. However, once you start working or begin your day, the priorities may shift. So though you can pre-plan your priorities, you have to be flexible to change the plan if something needs your attention sooner. You need to make your priorities clear to your co-workers and superior, so they know not even to approach you if what they need from you is not as important as you already prioritized behind what you have planned.
Unless you have something pressing, you should always prioritize the tasks you dislike or that are difficult or the most time consuming first. Getting those out of the way will lessen the chances that you will procrastinate them or have to work past the end of the day to finish them.
Make a Mental Narrative
This might sound a little crazy since it is about to be suggested that you talk to yourself, but if you layout your day and priorities out loud in the form of a story, you can make adjustments when something is not working. This type of mental preparation is like brainstorming with yourself and works well. It is similar to the difference between reading something in your head and reading it out loud. You will notice that you comprehend information quicker when you read it out loud.
Keep the Drive Going
Even if you lose your juice in the middle of a task, unless it is one that will take several hours or days, keep pushing yourself through because when you stop, it is often hard to restart. This can be especially true for tasks you don’ like or that are far more challenging. That being said, if you need a break and not having one is hindering your progress mentally or physically, take a break, but make it quick.
Use a Timer
If one of your issues is accomplishing tasks promptly, use a timer. If you know how long it takes or should take to finish a task, set your timer for that time. The ticking clock will push you to keep going, and also, if you are consistently blowing past the buzzer to finish tasks, you may need to reassess the tasks or time it takes. Using a timer is meant to be a tool to help you stay on task, so don’t let it add stress. It is just a guideline.
While you may think that time management gurus will suggest multi-task, nothing could be further from the truth. Most experts believe that multi-tasking, in reality, is not a possibility in many cases. It is possible to multi-task things like brushing your teeth and blowdrying your hair, but you can’t take a shower and blowdry your hair. You also can’t do something like read the newspaper and talk on the phone, one of those two tasks or both will suffer. Now time management experts suggest you give everything you have and focus on a single task until it is completed. It has been discovered the quality and speed of the work were far superior to that of the employee that was multi-tasking.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.