Working in a business environment can be filled with distractions. Procrastination has become easier and easier in the modern day thanks to social media, instant messaging and mobile apps. When you have a large workload, and a modest amount of time, it can be easy to get swept along and suddenly find yourself overwhelmed. Here are 7 Business Time Management Tips to help you get through the busy periods:
Make a to-do list at the start of each day
Before starting work each day spend 10 minutes creating a to-do list. Look at your calendar, write down any set jobs that must be completed each day or week. Ensure that you are realistic about the work that must be completed each day. Try to avoid worrying about work for the future initially and just focus on the work that is essential for the present day.
Have a set time for unexpected work
This may sound impossible, but it isn’t. Each day can have a set block of time, or even two, where you can look at unexpected work. If you have an urgent email come in then start your set block of time to focus on the unexpected work. You may only need a few minutes of your block of time to get caught back up and stay on track with your day.
Make a plan before meetings and important conference calls
If you are going to be attending or running a meeting then make a plan beforehand. Think about important topics to be discussed and ensure that all employees are able to attend. Likewise if you are going to be taking a conference call make a plan beforehand of topics you want to discuss, any questions you want to ask or any other important information. Have this to hand when on the phone or in meetings to stay on topic.
Set your phone to “do not disturb”
If you are working on an urgent project then set your phone to “do not disturb”. Avoid the temptation to check in, even just for a minute. Alternatively, set aside time to check your phone throughout the day to ensure you keep on top of other important work.
Set realistic goals
Be realistic. If your workload is overwhelming it is unlikely that you are going to get back on track in one day, or even one week. However, by creating a to-do list each day you can work on the must do items first and then work on clearing other jobs to make your life easier going forward. Also, think about whether you can complete specific jobs on set days of the week. Going forward this level of organisation will help to avoid having days where your workload is overwhelming.
Delegate jobs to the future
If you have a job that is not urgent just delegate it to the future. Set yourself a reminder for 1-2 days before the job is due to be completed. This will free you up for urgent work at present and ensure that you are keeping on top of your entire workload going forward.
Avoid social media
Social media can be the ultimate time sink. Particularly if you are busy. Do not allow yourself the chance to procrastinate on social media. Avoid visiting such websites unless it is essential for work. You probably don’t need to know what other employees were up to at the weekend and unless you obtain further work through social media just avoid it during working hours. Social media is designed to allow you to be social, keep in touch with others and have fun – unless you are using it for work purposes you are just wasting your time during the business day.