5 Time Management Tips

Are you usually punctual? Do you get your work done on time? Are you good with deadlines? Are you satisfied with the timeframe it takes you to finish things?

Bottom line: Are you a good time manager?

If we’re completely honest, most of us would admit that a little help in the time management department couldn’t hurt. And there are those among us who are not afraid to admit to needing considerably more than a little assistance in getting a grip on the productive use of time.

These 5 tips can put you on the road to consistently better time management.

  1. Prioritize

Take to heart habit # 3 in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: First Things First. With only twenty-four hours in each day and a plethora of “things” vying for our attention, it’s crucial that we distinguish the most important tasks from those that are less significant, and especially from those that barely qualify as trivial. First things first, lesser stuff later, if there’s time.

  1. Clear The Clutter

Distractions in the form of piles of stuff, general disorganization, or – dare we say it – downright filth will do a number on efficiency every time. It’s tough to focus when your eye is drawn to a mountain of junk or pulled toward the boxes of files waiting not-so-patiently to be filed. Set aside time to clean-up, then vow to make orderliness a priority.

  1. Focus, focus and then focus some more

Nothing promotes efficiency more than complete attention to a task. Close your door, window or whatever else will minimize background noise. Immerse yourself in the task at hand. If music increases your focus, go for it, but if it’s just another distraction, be mature enough to skip it.

In our “always on” world, the thought of disconnecting is almost hard to imagine. It’s so easy to become a slave to your inbox and other forms of instant messaging. Log out of all social media. Stash your phone and silence it too. It won’t kill you, your friends or colleagues to be out of contact for a time. If the Internet is too much of a temptation, disconnect from Wi-Fi while you give concentrated effort to a project. Make a habit of allotting one or more specific chunks of time each day for “checking in.” Resisting the urge to stay connected 24/7 will free up your brain power for accomplishing more in less time.

  1. You deserve a break

Allow for some downtime between tasks. Rushing from one intense period of focus to another is stressful for mind, body, and spirit. Fatigue and productivity are not pals, and it’s emotionally draining to even think about a long stretch of work without a break.

Allow for a moment to pat yourself on the back for finishing on time, then get some fresh air, take a walk through the halls, grab a light snack, and just chill. A few deep cleansing breaths can get the blood and oxygen pumping again before you forge ahead to the next task.

  1. Use downtime to your advantage

Turn those minutes spent waiting for your turn in the lunch line or even at the copier into thinking time. Rather than stare mindlessly at the back of the person in front of you, let your mind delve into the details of the upcoming task or revisit the last assignment.

Use those chunks of time when your body is active, but your mind is free – like when exercising or while commuting – to engage in “thought productivity” sessions. If it’s been a long, stressful day already, use the downtime to purge your mind and regroup for the next project.

And one more piece of advice. One of the fastest ways to zap productivity is to allow the prospect of a busy schedule to overwhelm you. Yes, there’s a lot to do. Welcome to today’s adult life! But in the same way the adage advises that the best way to eat an elephant is one piece at a time, a hectic schedule can be managed in the same way:  one task/activity/project at a time.

Focus. Complete. Break. Breathe. Repeat.

As a comprehensive source for staffing and human resource management, B. Loehr Staffing will save you time while increasing the effectiveness of your search for employment. Allow our Staffing Specialists to assist you in obtaining a position that fits your skills and career goals. Contact our office today.

Phone: 314-567-6500   Website: blstaffing.com

Clean Your Schedule for Better Time Management

The first outdoor hints of spring often bring with it the urge to purge house and home of winter; to do a thorough cleaning, toss out the clutter, and let a fresh breeze blow away the stuffiness.

Houses aren’t the only thing that can benefit from a good ol’ spring cleaning. It’s likely that your schedule could use a thorough scrubbing as well.

“Nothing gets filled up with useless odds and ends like a calendar,” shares Michael Hyatt. “You know the story: past commitments that don’t fit our present circumstances; too many yeses to other people’s projects; breakfast meetings, lunch dates, and dinners with clients, colleagues, and old friends you were never close with, to begin with.”

The same “spring cleaning” strategies that leave your home feeling fresh and light and breezy can do wonders for your schedule. After all, no matter who you are, no matter how you try to slice it up, there are only twenty-four hours in each day.

Use these strategies to purge the sludge and put a little “spring” back into your schedule

  1. Consolidate your calendar

An I’ve-got-it-all-up-here, finger tapping convincingly on one’s temple, approach simply won’t cut it. The most fundamental step to corralling your schedule is a calendar – whether it’s a hard copy on your desk or in your pocket, a component of your mail software, or an online version such as Google Calendar. Whatever best fits you and your lifestyle. Many folks opt for a format that will sync with their phone and other devices which puts their daily schedule literally at the tip of their fingers.

The most effective calendar time-management tip? Combine work/personal/family/leisure activities in one place. Why hassle with two, three, or four separate calendars just to see if you can spare an hour a week from Tuesday? Include everything you must remember whether it be an appointment, a deadline, or something fun. Especially don’t forget to schedule in the “fun” stuff.

  1. Consolidate tasks and locations

More hopping back and forth, either from one task to another OR from one location to another, may be happening than you realize. In our hurry-hurry world, we become accustomed to a certain degree of chaos, believing that it’s inevitable. Such a frenzied, survival-mode mentality squashes moments of reality that try to advise, “Hey, there’s a better way to do this.”

Serious, unhurried scrutinization of your schedule is likely to find tasks and activities that when consolidated will save time—not to mention stressful wear and tear on body, mind, and spirit. This goes for both work and home life.

  1. Tame technology habits

What would an in-depth look at your technology habits reveal? An obsession with checking your inbox? An over-zealous attachment to texting? Habitual, almost unconscious fascination with social media?

Sure, email is an efficient means of communication. The same goes for texting.  And social media has opened wide, promising doors for promoting anything and everything. But too much of any good thing can spoil the porridge . . . or however the saying goes. With discipline and self-monitoring, these technology-related marvels can drive your success. But when boundaries aren’t established, enormous amounts of time can be eaten up by these modern day wonders of twenty-first-century life.

Reign in the potential for technology to gobble up valuable chunks of your day by allotting specific times to check emails, check and reply to texts, and get caught up on social media.

  1. Delegate

One of the surest ways to put the “spring” back in your schedule is to pass off less important tasks to someone on your staff. Type “A” persons, however, and those bent toward perfectionism, in particular, have a rough time sharing work because “No one else can do it the way I can . . . well enough . . . to suit me.”

Begin small – delegate a twenty-minute-a-day task – and let yourself get used to accepting assistance. Next hand off a one-to-two-hour a week job. Already you’ve carved from your schedule 160 to 220 minutes each week, time that can be better spent reaching toward an important goal.

  1. Learn to say no

Even a quick glance at your schedule is likely to reveal some weak moments when, “Sure, no problem, I can handle it,” slipped from your mouth, when everything inside you was screaming, “NO! Not one more thing!”

Before you say “yes” to more work, more responsibility, more volunteer or community commitments, more time away from the family, ask yourself these questions suggested by Kristie Notto,

  • Do you have the time or energy to do that extra task?
  • Does it invade on your personal time?
  • Does it involve doing something you enjoy?
  • Does it fit in with your list of priorities and goals?

More words of wisdom from Hyatt. “To honor your existing commitments, you have to learn to say no.”

Revisit these strategies every month to keep your spring-cleaned schedule from getting bogged down – because better time management leads to a more relaxed, less stressed you. It also makes the work day more pleasant and allows for more time to do the things you enjoy.

A relationship with B. Loehr Staffing will result in you getting faster solutions to your staffing needs. Free up your time by allowing our team of Staffing Specialists do the legwork for you. Contact our office today.

Phone: 314-567-6500   Website: blstaffing.com