If you seem to spend the majority of your time trying to catch up with yourself, your desk looks like a war zone, and you regularly work extra hours, then work life can feel like a race against the clock.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Check out these top tips for how to get time on your side in the workplace.
Conduct a Time Audit
If by five pm you feel you have achieved very little, then it’s a good idea to do an audit on your time. Once you’re able to identify how you spend your time, you can start to save it. Keep an honest record of how you spend your days over 72 hours, and then ask yourself if you are working as efficiently as you could be. You can then look for ways to better prioritise your time.
When faced with tasks, we all have a tendency to underestimate how long they will take. Make sure you account for every step of a task or project when estimating time. If a task takes less time than you anticipated then you’re already ahead. If you’re prone to procrastination however, don’t block out a day for your project. Instead, break it down into smaller more manageable chunks to get you started.
Studies show that exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So if you’re not working out, you’re probably not working at your best. Just 30 minutes exercise a day can raise your concentration and productivity levels, as well as make you feel happier. You don’t have to be a gym bunny to benefit from exercise though. To save time rather than spend it, walk or cycle to work for the ultimate in multi-tasking. Alternatively, ditch that lunch hour sitting around eating and gossiping for a brisk walk round the block. Breathing fresh air alone can help fight that afternoon slump.
Check your Hardware
30 per cent of those surveyed in the workplace find fixing technology a big drain on their time. However, if your computer is working, but slow and sluggish, then you’ll be even further behind. Most reliable office supply specialist would recommend regularly cleaning up the desktop of your PC, emptying the recycle bin, removing unwanted programmes, defragmenting regularly and checking the task manager to detect any unwanted programmes running in the background. If this doesn’t speed things up, it could be time for a new PC. Just like people, computers slow down as they age.
Employees who are valued for their skills and knowledge all too often end up wasting time on tasks which are better delegated downwards. Although most of us want to do as much as we can in an effort to impress, this often has a negative effect if wasting time on tasks that don’t utilise our skills. Try and pass on work that doesn’t require your knowledge, it decreases your workload and keeps other occupied.
Bill Turner is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and family man. He has a quiet spirit but enjoys being adventurous. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he is marathon training.