Most of us know the struggle of feeling overwhelmed. When it comes to time, office management isn’t always able to ensure everyone is getting everything done in the most efficient manner possible. The best way to make the most of your time at the office is to take control of what you can and streamline your focus and your efforts.
Let’s learn how to manage priorities at work.
Importance of time management at work
It’s easy to develop bad habits at work, including poor time management. There is the classic problem of those who take too many breaks, but modern workers are increasingly finding themselves overwhelmed with tasks and unable to take breaks.
The most-searched time-related complaints, according to Google:
- Too much work, not enough time
- Too much work, not enough staff
- Too many tasks at work
If you don’t have good time management practices in place, you can fall victim to workplace burnout. This in turn can lead to wasted time, missed deadlines, and an overall decline in your quality of work. Instead of working yourself into exhaustion on several tasks at once, establish ways to organize your time and use it effectively.
How setting goals can save you time
Many people fall victim to poor time management habits because they aren’t sure where and how to prioritize their time and efforts. It’s common for professionals to feel they’re constantly working but ‘never getting anything done,’ since they aren’t sure what to prioritize and end up jumping from task to task, making small bits of headway here and there but not checking anything tangible off their to-do lists.
One way to combat this jumbled way of working is by setting goals. Understanding your goals – on both a larger scale and a day-to-day or weekly scale – is a great way to know which areas you should prioritize.
Here at Blue Summit Supplies, we’re addressing this uncertainty by setting company-wide goals and then tying measurable departmental benchmarks to them. We break these down even further by setting individual goals that support meeting this benchmark goals. This helps us prioritize our tasks so we’re addressing time management from a more holistic perspective.
If you don’t have a good idea of what your goals or benchmarks are, set aside time with your supervisor to get a clearer understanding of them. This will make you a better performer and help you make the most of your workday.
Tools for managing time in the workplace
If you’re ready to get a better handle on how you allot your time in the workplace (and in other areas), consider these tools to help.
A work time planner
Planners are a classic tool for leading an organized life and managing time and tasks. There are many standard planners on the market broken down in all manner of ways – everything from daily to-do lists to simple weekly spreads. But when it comes to work time, planners specifically to helping plan out your days in the office exist.
Our favorite planner at Blue Summit Supplies is the Full Focus Planner, a planner by Michael Hyatt that helps you prioritize your goals and keep track of tasks on both micro and macro levels. We use this planner to outline our days, organize daily tasks, and most importantly, acknowledge and take pride in all the work we’ve completed.
This planner is an excellent supporting tool for the approach we discussed above – setting big goals and working down to set smaller ones. Each planner maps out a quarter of the year, meaning you’re only planning out a few months at a time. This keeps planning from seeming overwhelming. Everyone from our CEO to our content marketing manager uses this planner!
Project and time management software
Software is an invaluable tool in the modern workplace for all manner of things, not least of which is organizing. Here’s a break down of the three most helpful types of organizational software out there.
For optimized project management across a team of several (or many) people, investing in a project management software is a great idea. At Blue Summit Supplies, we use Asana – we love its varied functionalities and intuitive dashboard, and how easily it integrates with other software.
For tracking time of employees across and organization, there are many great project management time tracking software options out there. A favorite of ours is Toggl, which integrates with certain project management tools (like Asana!) and makes it easy to track hours and make intelligent, informed decisions about your work and business.
For making the most of your time in the office (or out of it), time planning software is a simple solution that can be as simple or complex as you need. Wunderlist is a prime example of simple but effective software that helps you plan out your days in blocks of time and designate tasks by most important to least important.
Time management exercises for work
To effectively manage your time at work, tools like planners and specialized software are helpful but not necessary. Instead, there are time management exercises and time management activities designed to maximize your productivity while protecting you from burnout.
One of the most popular methods for time management at work is the Pomodoro Technique®, which dictates you go on productivity ‘sprints’ followed by brief, timed breaks.
For more on making your work place positive and productive, check out our Behind the Blue series where we discuss what works for us.
If you have any questions or comments about office culture, reach out to us on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. And as always, for any questions, concerns, or just to say hello, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Larry would love to hear from you!
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