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Manage your time at work better

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Work is a fact of life for most of us, and jobs can have a nasty habit of encroaching on home-life.  If you are able to manage your time as best you can in the workplace will help to ensure you can leave for home at a reasonable time and, just as important, leave your job at the office too.

Time management is a skill that some have in natural abundance.  For others the mere concept is a confusion.  Happily the techniques of effective tome management are easy to learn and put into practice.   We look at some of the best methods here:

Planning

Diaries, organisers, online calendars … they exist because they are useful, so make them work for you.  Most jobs have a degree of predictability about them, so try planning your day in advance each night before you leave for home.  This has the double benefit of getting all your tasks onto paper or online and out of your head, and allows you to hit the ground running the following morning.

If possible, build in some time for the unexpected.  Many good plans get diverted when urgent priorities spring-up, and if they don’t arise you can always fill the gaps with other tasks to get ahead of yourself.

Take Control and manage your time

If you are always late, aim to be early.  Attempting to be just in time every time is like inviting failure.  We have no influence over so many outside factors, that almost invariably something will interfere with our plans for perfection, and make us late.  Aiming to be early builds in time to accommodate the unexpected, and puts you back in control.

Time Management at work

You can manage deadlines in the same way.  Know when you have things due, and make a visible note as a reminder for these time-related tasks.  Then aim to complete them ahead of time – perhaps the easiest way to do this is set a pseudo-deadline a day or two early.

Be Time Aware

Losing track of time is a common refrain from busy people.  It is easy to get so engrossed in tasks you can genuinely forget the time.  There are a few ways to combat this:

  • Place a large clock in your line of sight
  • Set time constraints for each task you are doing, and stick to them
  • Have an egg-timer or alarm clock to remind you of when time is up
  • Set reminders – electronic organisers are great for this, and setting a 15 minute reminder to jog your memory ahead of a meeting for example, can help you avoid being late

Get Focused

Task lists can be a great help here.  Multiple task responsibilities can be distracting, causing you to juggle too many in one go, and never actually finish any of them.  Tackle one thing at a time, and cluster similar tasks together where possible so you can streamline your though processes.  Prioritise activities so that the most urgent ones are attended to, and delegate work when you can.

Blocking out distractions can be very effective.  We are all conditioned to respond immediately to phones, texts and emails.  If possible ignore them, or switch them off whilst you are on a task, and treat responding to communications as a job in its own right.

 

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, whatsapp plus,travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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