by Kelly Services
If you are like millions of other employees around the country, you may believe that there are not enough hours in a single workday. At times, you may feel overwhelmed with your workloads, unsure about the path of your future career, and anxious about creating a proper work-life balance.
Do not worry though. You are not alone. Around the world, workers in a wide array of industries simply work far too many hours, without having enough time for leisure, due to their inabilities to effectively manage their time. However, through proper time management, you will be able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.
By developing a variety of techniques and strategies to help you manage your work time effectively, you will, in turn, reduce the pressures of your current positions and create more free time for yourself, so that you are able to enjoy your hobbies and life passions, as well as your time with family and friends, more than ever before.
While following a few simple guidelines, you will be able to efficiently use the time you have been given, so that you are able to not only work to the best of your abilities during the coming years, but also devote more time to the people you care most about. Are you ready to enjoy your personal life and career, as you accomplish the goals that you have always wanted to? By implementing the following techniques, you will be well on your way to doing just that.
1. Organize your office, improve your time management
Quite simply, your office can be a big factor in your mismanagement of time. A well-organized and correctly outfitted office will help you spend your time more efficiently on the tasks you truly need to accomplish on a daily basis, with less stress. To reduce your stress levels and manage your time properly, make sure that your work area is comfortably equipped with the following:
- A well-designed chair that does not cause backaches
- Adequate lighting to reduce eye strain
- A large enough work space to accommodate you and your equipment
Meanwhile, nothing hinders your organization like large piles of paper in your office. Paperwork should be well-organized in order to avoid the frustration of searching for a single document in a sea of paper. Here are a few tips for paper management:
- Sort paperwork into the following categories: action, information, reading and discard.
- Prioritize your paperwork.
- Immediately finish easy tasks, so that you are able to spend more time on challenging, time-consuming projects. Do not wait until tomorrow to accomplish your goals, start today!
A positive approach to office organization will help you avoid a frustrating and stressful paperwork pile-up. In doing so, you will be able to create a work environment that is conducive to adequate time management.
2. Develop positive lines of communication
Communication is very important to effectively managing your time well. Develop positive lines of communication with your colleagues to avoid mismanagement of time due to poor communication. If internal e-mail is used at your office, use it as much as possible. This simple method of communication is fast, efficient, and cost-effective. If you use the telephone, plan your calls. Know what you want to say or find out before calling. If you think you may spend unnecessary amounts of time on the phone, time yourself for a day. You just might be right.
3. Plan your day
By planning your daily routine, you will make efficient use of your time. Planning is the most effective method of time management because it helps you keep track of what you are doing and enables you to focus in on specific tasks.
- Create a to-do list for each day. Prioritize your work according to urgency and importance and give yourself a time frame for each project.
- Keep a timed record of what you do each day. This will help you develop more accurate, future to-do lists, in order to manage your time better.
- Make use of your best time. You have a certain time of day that you do your best work. Find out when it is and plan to do your most challenging work then.
- Remain flexible. Leave some extra time in your schedule to allow for unexpected work.
Through careful planning and organization of work, you will realize exactly what you need to do each and every day, so that you no longer need to face an overwhelming pile of papers every morning when you arrive at your office.
4. Do not over-commit yourself
Many people create stressful situations by over-committing themselves. You should learn how to not over-commit yourself. Frankly, this is difficult because everyone wants other people to respect them and their work. In the future, be sure to explain why you cannot commit yourself to a certain deadline. Instead, you will need to negotiate on timing. If need be, discuss changing other deadlines to accommodate for more urgent projects. Communication and negotiation can usually solve the scheduling problems.
5. Obtain a proper work-life balance and accomplish your career goals
According to Jocelyn Lincoln, vice president, Americas Recruiting Leader at Kelly Services, proper time management will not only positively impact your daily work performances, but will also steadily improve your work-life balance.
"A key ingredient to overall performance is learning how to save time and how to spend it effectively," Lincoln said. "By instilling each of these simple guidelines within your everyday lifestyle, you will likely find the time you need for work and for play."
Before you commit to a project or to an activity, ask yourself, "Is this the best use of my time right now?" Chances are, if you are properly managing your time, it is.
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA, KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2009 was $4.3 billion. For more information, please visit http://www.kellyservices.com/.