May 16, 2016
By: Ryan Mathews, Marketing Manager, JLL
The hardest part of almost any job is managing time in a way that enhances productivity but doesn’t ruin the work-life balance. A recent study conducted by the Swedish government concluded that for some workers, reducing the workday to six hours (from eight) resulted in higher productivity. Workers who took part in the year-long study were sick less often and also less likely to take as much personal time off.
But whether you work six, eight or even ten hour shifts, and regardless of your profession, navigating the workday to make the most of your time is always a challenge.
At the same time, we are all different and the same strategy doesn’t work for the same two people. This has made time management into a major industry and strategies and tips are a dime a dozen. There are literally hundreds of apps focused on productivity. For some specific resources check out the links below. However, here are three things to think about as you develop a time management strategy that works for you.
The key to any successful time management plan is to start with an honest evaluation of your situation. How much of your time during the day do you think is wasted or under-utilized? Do you focus better in the morning? Do you tend to “tune out” later in the day? Do you go out to lunch or eat at your desk? How often do you take breaks? Keeping a log of how you spend time during the workday over a few days can provide a valuable glimpse into where and how you are being most productive and allow you to make adjustments.
Disorganization is the enemy of good time management. In fact, if you are lacking time management skills you are already disorganized. The first step in getting organized is to wade through the physical and mental clutter. If you don’t need paper or electronic files, recycle or delete them. File away any material you need to save. Create a temporary file for material you need to follow up on. Organize your desk – and email inbox — at the end of the workday, and start a checklist of “must do” tasks so you are ready to be productive next day.
Tasks pile up in any job on a daily basis so prioritizing them is critical. “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” but if tasks aren’t critical or carrying a hard deadline, switch your focus to tasks that do need to get done before you leave for the day. Also, when tasks are assigned to you by other colleagues, make sure you confirm deadlines and prioritize accordingly.