Workplace time management is an essential skill no matter what stage of your career you are in. When you are great at time management, you can be productive even when deadlines are tight and the pressure is high. Conversely, poor time management can lead to stress, anxiety, and rushing around trying to get things done at the last minute.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the process of planning and controlling how much time you spend on specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter, not harder, so that you get more done in less time.
There are several different time management techniques that you can use to help you make the most of your time. The key is to find the ones that work best for you and then practice using them until they become second nature.
Time management is an essential skill for any person to have, but it becomes even more important when you are juggling multiple projects and deadlines. With so many hours in the day- how do we choose what needs our attention? Control over your time management methods can help make sure that everything gets done well!
Importance of Workplace Time Management
Most students hear from teachers or mentors that time management is the key to doing well in school. Well, knowing how to use your hours wisely doesn't end when schoolwork does. Workplace time management is one of the key drivers of success and productivity.
Time management skills are important in the workplace because they can help you to avoid missed deadlines and last-minute rushing. When you can manage your time well, you are more likely to meet deadlines and complete projects on time.
When you are good at managing your time, you are also able to focus better. You'll have techniques for dealing with distractions and can accomplish more in less time.
These improvements to your productivity will ultimately make you a better decision-maker and prevent fatigue. Decision fatigue is the mental and physical exhaustion that comes from making too many decisions. It’s a real phenomenon that affects everyone from CEOs to students.
Poor Time Management Affects Workplace Productivity
When you’re faced with an endless stream of choices, your brain becomes overwhelmed. This can lead to impulsive decision-making, as well as poorer quality decisions.
Decision fatigue can also lead to a general sense of exhaustion and unhappiness. If you’re constantly having to make choices, you may not have the energy or mental bandwidth to enjoy life outside of work.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by decisions, it’s hard to stay focused and productive. You may find yourself procrastinating or taking longer to complete tasks. If you’re making poor decisions, it can also lead to errors and mistakes. This can have a ripple effect, causing even more work down the line.
Workplace Time Management: Tips and Techniques
Luckily, there are a few key time management tips and techniques that you can use to make the most of your time at work.
Know your priorities
Start your day with a plan. Before you start your workday, take a few minutes to plan out what you need to accomplish. Make a list of the tasks you need to complete, and order them by priority. This will help you to focus on the most important tasks first, and prevent you from getting sidetracked by less important tasks.
You may think that taking a break will just make it harder to get back on track, but that’s not necessarily true. Taking breaks can help you to be more productive. When you take a break, you give your mind a chance to rest and rejuvenate. This can help you to come back to your work refreshed and ready to focus.
Set reasonable time limits
If you find that you are struggling to focus on a particular task, try setting a time limit for yourself. For example, give yourself 30 minutes to complete a task. Once the time is up, take a 5-minute break before starting the next task on your list.
Often, the amount of time you allot for a task determines how much time it’ll take for you to finish it. For example, if you give yourself a week to write a report, you’ll take that long, no matter how efficient you are. Likewise, give yourself until EOD and you’ll probably meet your deadline.
The operative word is ‘reasonable.’ Set a deadline for yourself that will be challenging but not impossible to meet.
If you want to be more productive, it’s important to eliminate distractions. This means turning off your email notifications, putting your phone on silent, and closing any tabs that you aren’t using. If you need to, you can even close your door or work in a quiet area of the office.
Workplace time management involves knowing whether you have the bandwidth for a task or not. If you have too much on your plate, delegate some of the tasks to other people. This will help to lighten your load and free up some time for you to focus on the most important tasks.
Virtual assistants can help with time management by handling some of the tasks on your to-do list. A virtual assistant can take care of things like scheduling appointments, sending emails, and managing your calendar. This can help to free up some of your time so that you can focus on more important tasks.
Managed virtual assistants can be a great asset for busy people. If you find yourself struggling to manage your time, consider delegating some of your tasks to a virtual assistant. This can help you to be more productive and free up some of your time for other things.
Be accountable for your to-do's
Accountability is important when it comes to time management. If you're accountable for your to-do list, you're more likely to get things done. One way to be accountable is to keep a daily planner where you can write down the tasks you need to complete each day. You can also set reminders for yourself, or have someone else hold you accountable.
These are just a few of the many time management tips and techniques that you can use to improve your productivity at work. By taking the time to learn about and implement these strategies, you can make the most of your time and get more done.
How Do You Schedule Your Time?
How you schedule your time will depend on several factors, including your work schedule, the nature of your work, and your personal preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to scheduling your time. However, some general tips can help you to make the most of your time.
Know Your Tasks
Workplace time management becomes a whole lot easier when you know what you’re dealing with day-to-day. Schedule your workday by identifying the day’s priorities and ranking your tasks by how important and urgent they are.
Knowing your tasks also means having a good idea of how long it takes to complete each one. If it’s your first time to do something, it’s understandable that you won’t have data on this, but the more you perform a task, the better you’ll be at estimating how long you’ll take to complete it. Consider that when you’re scheduling your workday.
For Those with Flexible Work Schedules
If you have a flexible work schedule, you may want to consider scheduling your time in larger blocks. For example, you could block off two hours in the morning for work, and then take a break for lunch. After lunch, you could block off another two hours for work.
This approach can help you to stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by other things without keeping you in a very rigid schedule. This approach is perfect for creatives or people who need large blocks of time to think about and produce their output.
For Those with a Set Schedule at Work
If you have a set work schedule, you may want to consider using timeboxing. This time management technique is similar to the one above, only you break down your work into smaller tasks and then allocate a specific amount of time to each task.
For example, you might allocate 30 minutes to checking and replying to emails, and then move on to the next task on your list.
Be Flexible and Adaptable
No matter what approach you take to scheduling your time, the most important thing is to be flexible and adaptable. Things will inevitably come up that will throw off your schedule. So, it’s ideal to plan for contingency time and fit it into your workday.
When this happens, don’t be afraid to adjust your schedule to accommodate the change. The important thing is that you find a system that works for you and helps you to make the most of your time.
Tools for Workplace Time Management
There are a number of tools and software programs that can help with workplace time management. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Trello: This is a Kanban-based project management tool that can be used for tracking individual or team projects. It helps you to monitor your or your team’s progress, set deadlines, and keep everyone on track.
- Asana: This project management tool that can be used for monitoring progress on individual or team projects. Its interface is more complicated than Trello’s, but it offers more options for visualizing tasks.
- Slack: This is a communication tool that can be used for workplace communication. It helps you to stay organized and keep track of conversations, which is essential in collaborations with coworkers.
- Google Calendar: Google Calendar is a tool that can be used to track events, deadlines, and appointments. It can also be used to set reminders.
Time Management Apps
There are also a number of time management apps that can be used to help with workplace time management. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Toggl: This online time tracking app helps you to see how much time you’re spending on a task. Fans love it because of its no-fuss interface: simply
- RescueTime: Similar to Toggl, RescueTime helps you see where your hours are going at work. This app’s strength is its option for having Focus Sessions, which help secure uninterrupted blocks of time for the user.
- Focus booster: This app combines a Pomodoro timer and a time tracker, which is perfect for people who are already good at sticking to a schedule and just need a tool to help them do more focused work.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to workplace time management. However, there are a number of tools and techniques that can help you to make the most of your time. By taking the time to learn about and implement these strategies, you can improve your productivity at work.
Beyond adjusting your personal habits, though, you can delegate tedious and repetitive tasks to a virtual assistant. Having an assistant is a game-changer for productivity—they will make sure nothing slips through the cracks while you focus on high-impact and high-growth items at work.
Learn how Wing Assistant can help you manage your time at work and 10x your productivity. Book a call today!
Aya is Wing Assistant’s blog manager. When she’s not wrangling content briefs, editing article drafts and handling on-page SEO, she is crafting messages for Wing’s other communication materials. Aya writes about SaaS startups, marketing for startups, search engine optimization, and pop culture.