With everything that’s been going on, employees have found themselves needing to constantly adapt. One of the things that recent events have made obvious is the need for time management skills.
This is due to the many scattered cases of community quarantines that have kept office workers and students at home. Working outside of the office, with no external factors, means that employees must improve their time management skills in order to survive and thrive.
Now, there are those who have a handle on their time management and they’re the ones adapting well. But what makes for efficient time management?
To help you answer that question, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 best ways for employees to manage their time. And what’s worth noting is that these habits will improve your productivity even after this whole pandemic crisis has passed:
5 ways to help employees' time management
1. Time Blocking
Time blocking is a popular method for those in the professional world. That’s because with time blocking, you can easily figure out which task to prioritize in a given hour.
It’s kind of like having class schedules. This time, though, you’ll be in charge of what gets done at a certain hour. Don’t worry! It’s not hard to plan.
You might find this works best if you make the most out of the available tools online. Take, for example, Google Calendar. This free tool is not just applicable to scheduling one-time events.
You can easily set recurring events to block out given hours. This way, you’ll have a weekly reference for your tasks. The hardest part here is sticking to it.
Remember, your goal is to be more efficient. It takes a little practice to get used to it but it will be worth it. You might even find that you’ve been taking more time than necessary on certain tasks for your job.
2. Organize Your priorities
A lot of people think time management is about making lists and checking off tasks as you go. That is not the case here.
The problem with just making lists is that it leaves out which tasks have higher priority over the others. Without that descriptor, all your tasks will just jumble together.
3. Have A Weekly assessment
When you plan time for a task, do you always use up all the time you had set aside for it? Do you find yourself extending past the given range?
This third tip is meant to help you with either of these scenarios. A weekly assessment is handy in the sense that it shows you how much time you spend being productive. Think of it as an audit for your working process.
Let’s say you set aside 3 hours to finish a report. The next time you tackle that report, make a note to time yourself on exactly how much time you put into it. The results may surprise you.
Perhaps you need more time? Knowing how much time you actually need will help you plan your schedule more effectively as well as help you stay on schedule.
The point here is to adapt to the hard data you gather. Knowing the numbers behind your productivity will help you schedule things more effectively.
4. Don't be afraid to take a break
You might be thinking, “But break times aren’t productive! I’m not working then.” Well, we’re here to tell you that is wrong.
That’s because the human mind can only stay productive for so long. You, as an employee, will need a proper break in between tasks to ensure you stay productive and efficient.
You’ll need to find that balance. It’s good to focus on work but spending too much time thinking about that one thing will only cause stress and mental blocks. We’re sure you’ve all had experience along these lines.
The goal here is to avoid that sort of fatigue. With planned breaks, you can at least take the time to stand up and take a walk around. This will help you sort your thoughts out for the next time you start working again.
To help yourself out, try making use of timers. Yup, the good ole timer. Set a timer for 10 minutes for every 2 hours of work. The important part is to stick to your schedule. Don’t let the breaks extend.
A free site to check out is Tomato Timer. It was built with the Pomodoro Time Management technique in mind. You can set it in such a way that it will give you notifications on your desktop.
That way you won’t forget to get back to work!
5. Know Your limits
Sometimes, our job just gets exciting and engrossing enough that we try to get as much of the workload completed as we can. Other times, people just want to show their bosses that they are willing to put in the time and work long hours.
The problem here begins when we start accepting too many tasks. As human beings, we will have our limitations. But as long as you are being productive with your time, you’ll be much better positioned for positive results in the workplace in general..
Because of this, it’s important to keep lines of communication open with your supervisor or boss. You should be able to tell them when your plate is full. It’s not necessarily about saying no but about explaining your situation.
Remember, your goal is to be productive. That won’t be the case if you’ve overloaded yourself with countless tasks.
Learning how to do this will have long-term benefits. For example, your supervisor will know that you’re honest, straightforward, and balanced. They know you’ll speak up when need be and this helps with their planning, too!
Productivity has always been a priority for employees. The thing is, it’s not always achieved through traditional means. Sometimes, it takes some adaptive thinking
As an employee, what’s most important here is to truly understand your full potential as well as your limitations on the job. Start with that, and you should be able to find a working process that fits your schedule.
Remember, efficiency and productivity are the keywords for you. For time management, you are trying to optimize these two concepts. It takes a little trial and error, but the results will be worth it.
About the Author: Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.