Managing your time well at work has an impact on your productivity. But also on your physical and mental well-being. In short, it is a factor that has a determining influence on our state of health.
When we do not manage our professional time, the direct consequence is that we spend more hours at work. The accumulation of unresolved issues, the time we steal from planning and making the right decisions ultimately takes its toll on our health.
There are a few simple techniques and strategies that can help us. However, as in any process, they take practice and effort, especially at the beginning. The good news is, if we do this, it will be another one of those routines that we end up performing over time and without realizing it.
Ask yourself what are you trying to achieve
It is important to question the ultimate goals of the work. In short, we work for money, but there are certain factors that need to be considered in the dynamics of the work itself that give us clues as to how we intend to get our immediate and future income.
There are jobs where the only important factor is money, productivity, or how much is done. And there are situations in which, in addition, other objectives are sought, such as performance; that is, in addition to quantity, quality.
These factors, productivity, performance and perception are the basis of the art of knowing how to manage time at work. From there we will develop a system that will allow us to work with less stress, more control over what we do, greater motivation and therefore a feeling of greater satisfaction and energy.
Manage your time well: organize your goals
Another important strategy is to make an assessment of the goals and objectives to be achieved in the medium and long term. The organization of daily work must be a consequence of the study of objectives. And for this it is convenient to fix them in time. Because it is from them that we will plan the actions and activities necessary to be able to carry them out on time.
It is not superfluous to organize the goals on the basis of a month – at least – in order to organize later the goals of the week and with it the daily work. However, keep in mind that goals can change often. It is therefore advisable to review them.
As part of medium-term planning, for example monthly, it is worth considering a time for unforeseen or urgent actions that may arise and planning only and exclusively professional activities during working hours.
Plan daily activities
To organize the day-to-day work, it is very effective to make a list of things that need to be done or what we would like to let happen. The two can be divided into three groups and ranked in order of priority.
- A: things to do immediately and without delay
- B: they are important, but can wait another day
- C: important, but may take a little longer
Then you put on the agenda things to do at a specific time, such as a scheduled meeting, picking up the kids from school, or going to class. Once this is done, the activities that make up group A are added in the first free hours of the day.
Then those of group B, and in the remaining clearances those of group C. If there is not enough time in the day for all, we leave those of groups B and C without adding them, which are placed in the following day, modifying the degree of priority if necessary.
If the priority level is the same for all activities, they will be organized by degree of difficulty. Thus, priority will be given to the more complex, which will be done in the early hours of the day and the most enjoyable or easy tasks will be left for the end of the day, when we no longer have the same strength.
Some other tips for managing your time at work
It is important that we organize the daily activities by relying on leaving free time between activities. Do not schedule the day beyond a normal schedule. You need time during the day to do other things that are not work. Like going to the bank or going shopping, for example. And these activities need to be combined with personal activities that help you disconnect from work.
Learning to say no confidently when asked to do an unexpected task is also essential. But beware of dangerous perfectionism! Sometimes we fail to complete something because we think it’s not perfect. And most of the time, it is simply the insecurity that forces us to delay a task in time.