Many professionals today work in fast-paced environments, striving to meet short and often overlapping project deadlines while simultaneously doing all that they can to keep up with the most recent innovations and standards within their industry. In many ways, the rapid momentum in modern offices is a blessing, for it signifies that the industry and the company itself are thriving. This means that there are more opportunities available for professionals. On the other hand, in such quickly-paced environments, it can be easy for employees to feel overwhelmed by demands and to fail to manage their time effectively.
With this in mind, let’s have a look at five easy and effective time management skills which can help professionals meet the demands of their modern workplaces:
1. Organize Your Schedule: Creating and sticking to a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule can be your most effective tactic for managing time and meeting goals. A basic, portable planner and Google calendar are both great places to start when setting out to get your schedule in order.
2. Remove Distractions From Your Work Environment: In our world of ubiquitous screens and distraction, the ability to focus on a single task for long periods is indispensable. When you’re setting out to complete an important task, do so with commitment and intention. Close your email, turn your phone on silent, wear noise-canceling headphones – practice doing whatever you need to do in order to accomplish the task at hand.
3. Get Comfortable With Boundaries: It sometimes feels necessary for us to take on more responsibilities than we can hope to complete in a limited amount of time to impress managers or colleagues. While this might make us look good in the short-term, more often than not it the result is that we deliver less-than-optimal work. Successful people, as a general rule, strive to shoulder the maximum load that their ability allows. But they also are aware of their limits. One of the most important time management skills, then, is the ability to be firm and honest with yourself and your colleagues when you’re unable to take on any more responsibilities.
4. Know Your Flow: Everybody experiences their own fluctuations of creativity and productivity throughout any given day. Some employees are most productive in the morning, and others tend to be most creative in the late evening, just before going to bed. Pay close attention to your own workflow patterns, and nurture them by planning your time around them accordingly.
5. Never Procrastinate: Never put off until tomorrow what can be achieved today. This is perhaps the single most important rule for anyone who is hoping to master time management. It also requires discipline and practice. You can start practicing the art of not procrastinating today; the next time that something in your schedule is canceled and you find yourself with some unexpected free time, start working on a task you were saving for tomorrow. Your future self – and your career – will thank you.
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