Time Saving Tips For the Office
Feel like you can't get everything done with the time you have? Stephanie Luisier has 10 Time Management Tips for the Office. To read all of them, click here.
Plan ahead: "If you have a clear idea of what needs to be accomplished the following day, you can set a plan the night before. Do this by making a list of everything you want to accomplish at work the next day and figuring out the time you will need to finish each task. This includes all of your projects and assignments and even things like how much time you will need to get ready in the morning, or what you will have for lunch. The more comprehensive your plan, the easier it will be to stick to it.
Prioritize: You want to tackle the toughest, most important or urgent project first, so you can ensure they are done and done well. An added bonus is you won't have to worry about them for the rest of the day, either! Next, schedule in the rest of your tasks including certain blocks of time to answer phone calls and emails; keep to these times to eliminate unnecessary distractions (this means staying off your cell phone too!).
Break it down: When prioritizing and scheduling your projects I find it is also helpful to break them down into individual tasks rather than looking at them as a whole. Not only will this allow you to schedule your day better, but it will keep you from feeling overwhelmed from the size of what you must complete. For example, which of these statements sounds better to you? 'I have to plan an entire in-service for my company in addition to my daily tasks,' or 'This morning I need to look at catering options for our in-service, and after that is complete I will start researching possible guest speakers.' Frankly, thinking about the first statement makes my heart rate increase, while the latter seems completely manageable.
Don't be afraid to delegate: I find the best way to delegate is to politely reach out to members of your team, explain how you are feeling, and simply ask for help. This tends to work a lot better than just saying 'You need to help me with this.' If you are willing to take the time to explain why you are asking for help and what a great impact your co-workers will have, they will likely be more than happy to help you. If you ask for help, however, you need to trust in others to do the job you have asked of them. If you feel like you will need to be watching over their shoulders because the project is too important, then you probably shouldn't be delegating it in the first place.
Reflect: At the end of the day and at the end of each project take some time to reflect on what was accomplished. What worked and what didn't? Were the deadlines that were set realistic or should they be adjusted for the next project? Did you ultimately reach your goal? This will allow you to re-prioritize, adjust your scheduling, and set yourself up for success in the future."