It seems like everyone is overwhelmed with tasks these days. And everyone is trying to find an extra hour or two in the day just so they can get everything done. Unfortunately, 25 hour days only happen once a year, so the odds are you will not find those extra hours for the day. Hopefully at least one of these time management tips will help you to be able to get that 1 more task done in the day.
Complete major tasks first. Start your day with one of the big, important tasks and then go onto smaller and less important tasks. By first focusing on the large tasks you will get them complete in a shorter space of time and then will be able to deal with smaller tasks, whereas if you start with the smaller tasks you will soon find them filling up your day and not having time left to do the larger tasks.
Check your email and/or other messages on a schedule. It’s not effective to answer every message as it arrives. Just because someone can contact you immediately does not mean that you have to respond to them immediately. People want a predictable response, not an immediate response. So as long as people know how long to expect an answer to take and they know how to reach you in an emergency, you can answer most types of messages just a few times a day. Change your outgoing voicemail message to let people know what times you will be checking your messages and during what hours you will be returning calls.
Eliminate distractions. Each time a distraction occurs, it takes time to refocus your attention to the task at hand. The biggest culprits are technology distractions. Turn off email notifications, put your phone on ‘do not disturb’ and put away your cell phone. To turn off email notifications in Outlook, click on Tools, then Options. On the preference tab, in the E-mail section, click on the “E-mail Options. . .” button. Click on the “Advanced E-Mail Options. . .” button. Look for the “When new items arrive in my Inbox” area, check or uncheck all the notifications you want to receive.
Know when you work your best. Each person has a best time. You can discover yours by monitoring your productivity over a period of time. Then you need to manage your schedule to keep your best time free for your most important work.
Do tasks that take less than 5 minutes immediately. Effective time management means that if you have a task you need to do that is going to take a few minutes to complete then do it as soon as your receive it, this way you will get the small things out of the way and not need to think about them.
Remember that it is impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations, and activities produce 80 percent of your results.
For questions, feedback or ideas on future tips please email TPMCAcademy@tpmechanical.com.