Time Management at Work

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Are you one of those who work for long hours each day, and still feel that the day had to be longer than 24 hours? You will have a boss to manage, your clients to answer, deadlines to meet, meetings to attend, and other requirements to be fulfilled to sustain your job. But, you can attend to all of these and more; if you understand the importance and steps to proper time management. We cannot expand time, but we can change ourselves to attain what we want to.

You can start managing yourselves by planning your day at work. Purchase a work diary. Make a list of tasks that you ought to complete on a particular workday, and then prioritize them, based on urgency. This list should include the meetings you need to attend, the phone calls you ought to make, and other routine activities. While you prepare the list of tasks, you need to keep enough number of breaks also in mind. If not a plan for the day, you can even create a plan for the whole week. However, you need to place the activities that are short at the top of the list.

Next you can allocate time for each task in the list. But, you need to plan it out in such a way that you are able to mix and work on longer and shorter tasks. It does not make much sense to keep all longer tasks together. Similarly, try to blend in small tasks that you enjoy doing along with long, monotonous jobs, to break the boredom and inefficiency resulting from it. While you assign time for the tasks, you should take care to assign a few minutes of buffer time for each task, irrespective of how long or short it is. This will help you to remain on track even if you are interrupted while you work on a task, something like a telephone call.

Against the time you estimated for an activity, you need to record the actual time you have taken as well. This comparison will help you to understand the element at work that steals away your time, without your being aware of it. If you genuinely took more time to complete something, you can allocate a little longer time for such tasks in the succeeding plans.

Apart from this, there might be days when you are a little relaxed, and do not have much to do. The rule is not to idle around and waste this time. You can manage this spare time effectively to plan for future tasks or activities. You can even use this time to clear your desk, clean up your desktop, or create templates or letters for future use.

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Joe Daley
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Time Management at Work

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This article was published on 2010/03/29