Time. Do we have enough of it at work to finish our tasks and meet our deadlines? Here we offer some tips to get productive and stay balanced at work; simple changes that you can put into effect straight away. These tips may also change how you look at your projects and work more effectively, improving your time management skills.
1. Start your work within five minutes of sitting down at your desk; avoid procrastination first thing in the morning as this will only distract you from starting your work.
2. Value your time and other people will do the same.
3. When things become pressurised, ignore emails and concentrate on the job in hand. Regular interruption will only hold you up from reaching your deadline, unnecessarily prolonging the job in hand.
4. Are you putting off a task? Why? Are you worried about it? Is it too difficult or too boring? We can waste a lot of time and energy on the things we’re putting off – the task is still going to be there so face up to it, it still needs to be done.
5. Finish your working day at a fixed time, avoid letting work take over your evening. If you do need to stay often set two finishing times, one for the ideal day and one to complete overdue work, but still set a time to go home, even if it’s a little later than the ideal day.
6. Sleep. Sleep deprivation has the same impact on workers as binge drinking (read HR Magazine article). Women are more at risk than men, with 35% of women having poor sleep compared to 31% of men. There is a profound correlation between depression and poor sleep.
7. Complete a time audit or diary of your work in one week and see where all your time is going. This could show areas for improvement and redistribution of effort.
8. Take small breaks when you need them during the day to help you refocus and recharge.
9. Don’t underestimate how long something will take. It’s better to be ahead rather than behind on a deadline.
10. Take breaks from work in the evenings, weekends and on holiday to help you to stay productive in the long term.
Simple changes to your working day will help you to see where your time is going and identify any reasons for any unnecessary pressure. It’s not that complicated, it’s just about taking a step back and reassessing where your time is going.
Read our tips to leaving work at the door to take further steps to improve your work/life balance.
· Managing your work/life balance
· Secrets to maximising family time