While it’s completely normal to go through periods of minimal productivity a few times per day, if those periods are getting longer or more frequent, it may be time for you to think about how you could be using your time more wisely. Especially if your lack of time management is causing you stress and prohibiting you from doing your job as well as you should, learning how to better manage your time and make productive choices at work could be just what you need to have a healthier work-life balance as well as begin excelling in the workplace. To show you how you can start going about this, here are three tips for making better use of your time at work.
Always Structure Your Time
One of the best ways to get the most out of the time you have to spend at work is to plan and structure that time. According to Chris Bailey, a contributor to LifeHack.org, time that isn’t allotted to a certain purpose is often time that’s spent being extremely unproductive. So even if you plan to take a few 15 minute breaks during the day where you can take a quick walk or chat with coworkers, by more specifically planning how you’ll spend the other hours of your day at work, you may just find that you’re better able to concentrate on the tasks at hand and stay on task during that entire period of time.
Maintain Your Focus
Many jobs require you as the worker to make choices about what projects to take on first and what to give priority attention to. So when these important things pop up in your workflow, it’s vital that you maintain your focus so you can accomplish everything you need to. However, Preston Ni, a contributor to Psychology Today, shares that it’s easy to lose your focus when you confuse busyness with productivity and urgent tasks with important tasks. If you feel that you’re busy at work all day but never getting anything done, you’re likely spending your time unwisely. Additionally, if you choose to take on every urgent project without spending the necessary time on the important tasks, you’ll find yourself never able to get ahead.
Embrace The Word “No”
While it’s important to be a good team member and help those who you work with, it’s almost important to make yourself and your work a priority. To help you do this, Jay Lickus, a contributor to the Huffington Post, recommends that you embrace the word “no” when someone brings something to you that you simply don’t have time for. If you need help with this, try closing your office door, using headphones while you work, or not answering your phone whenever it rings. This will make it harder for people to ask you to pick up their slack and give you the chance to filter through requests to see what you can handle and what you can’t.
If you need help using your time wisely, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.