Managing Your Time Effectively in the Business World
Track Your Time
Start by tracking your time doing specific tasks throughout your day for a week. You might be surprised to find out that something you thought you were doing quite fast is actually eating up a large amount of time.
There are apps that will help you with seeing how your day is spent. These programs track things in your daily routine and then produce a report showing how many hours you spent doing them. Furthermore, time audits like this allow you to see where you need to make adjustments that can improve your productivity.
Delegate and Outsource Wherever You Can
Your time tracker app might have produced a report indicating some areas where you could free up a lot of time if you handed off some work to other people. Experienced outsourcers know that lessening their own workload gives them time to devote to more important projects.
You should outsource things that a freelancer or another organization can take on without needing extensive training to bring them up to speed. Also, delegate work that someone in-house can do for you. Then, even if you find that some training is needed to get the work completed correctly, the time invested will likely be less than it would take you to do the work yourself.
Schedule Your Day
Set a schedule for the whole day and challenge yourself to stick to it. Only allot so much time per scheduled item. Structuring your day based on time helps you stay focused and organized. Procrastination is then taken off the table as an option.
The time audit will have provided you with information for creating the daily schedule. You’ll already have a good idea of how long certain tasks take. Allow just what is needed, and put buffer activities after items that could run long.
Use To-Do Lists for Focus
Break tasks down into to-do lists. Many projects have milestones that can be met as you’re working them. Cross each one off the list as you meet it. If you get interrupted before a list has been finished, make sure you do go back to it and finish it as soon as you can. Leaving items on the list incomplete makes for an inefficiency later on. The written list serves to pull your focus back to the task at hand.
Do Your Heavy Lifting First
Your day should start with the most important tasks (MITs). Prioritize these so that they don’t disturb focus later. You’ll also find that if you get pulled away from an MIT that’s in progress, you’re more likely to get back to it later if you have the majority of your day to do it.
These tips can be applied in any part of your professional life. Follow them and free up some precious time.
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