How To Improve Time Management In The Workplace
When listing skills on a resume, effective time management seems to be one of the most common for applicants. It is an ability that almost every individual can benefit from, in personal and professional situations. With those looming deadlines, time-sensitive projects and everyday responsibilities, it’s critical to accomplish tasks and maintain productivity in a corporate environment. Efficiently managing time at work can set you up for a successful workday and help avoid stress later.
Productivity In the Office and at Home
Until recently, the professional standard had been to report to an office on a daily basis and follow a 9-5 schedule. Throughout the day there were team meetings, conference calls or trips to a co-worker’s cubicle to chat or ask questions. Most communication had been done face to face, which occasionally caused distractions and time away from focused work.
Now, however, many professionals have adapted to a work-from-home situation. As a result, there is an emphasis on maintaining a similar productivity rate while out of office. The standard techniques — such as regular meetings and physical presence — must adjust to the technology age. Now, video meetings and emails are the norm. Unfortunately, without the same level of physical accountability, some employees may jeopardize quality and quantity of work due to poor task management.
Luckily, there are some ways to take control of daily schedules and ease the burdens on yourself and your team. Planning the day and prioritizing daily tasks is a good place to start. When learning how to improve prioritization skills and improve time management, focus on the basics:
- Create a schedule that works for you. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should adjust your work hours. Instead, decide how work time will be spent. You may have to accommodate meetings and designated collaboration time, but if you know that your productivity is highest in the morning, prioritize important assignments for before noon. If the afternoon is preferred, focus on simpler tasks in the morning.
- Organize a workspace. If the office kept you busy and comfortable with a desk, chair, breakroom and meeting spaces, try to mimic that at home. Set aside a corner to keep distractions to a minimum. If you’re still going into work, consider using a private productivity booth that’s free of noise and bothersome disturbances to improve concentration.
- Recognize successes. Because there might not be a manager looking over your shoulder while at home, it’s up to you to reward and encourage good habits. Whether it’s with a dedicated break in the day or a small reward, find a way to reinforce productivity by motivating yourself to continue with the current structure.
- Keep in contact with co-workers. Communication is a critical aspect of professional success. Everyone has different methods of time management, but taking advantage of technology could help mitigate instances of miscommunication or project mistakes. Without being able to ask a question or collaborate in person, scheduling time for a video meeting or phone call could benefit everyone.
Mastering time management could lead to less stress, minimal procrastination and a smoother workday. By implementing various techniques and prioritization practices, you can help save time and maintain productivity. Though it may take a while to learn how to improve time management, working from home can prove to be as efficient as an office setting.