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        How to manage time effectively at work

        How to manage time effectively at work

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          Research shows small business personnel spend almost one-third of their time on administrative tasks. When you’re the manager or owner of a company, financial and general housekeeping are too important to delay.

          However, this often doesn’t leave enough time for other vital duties, such as marketing, growing the business, networking, training and additional day-to-day tasks that are your responsibility.

          This may leave you wondering how to manage time effectively at work. Once you achieve this goal, controlling the amount of time you spend on each task will maximise productivity.

          Benefits of time management

          Working out an efficient schedule isn’t something you can do in two minutes, as it takes careful consideration and planning. However, once you’ve done so, you’re likely to notice a marked improvement.

          Managing time and stress at work go together, as getting more work done in less time means you’re ultimately more productive and you therefore feel less anxious and this will enable you to produce work of a higher quality, as you’ll have more time to complete creative or strategic projects.

          There’s likely to be less procrastination, as the need to keep delaying and postponing tasks will gradually disappear. When things go smoothly, this can boost your self-confidence, leading to greater engagement and job satisfaction.

          Surprisingly, considering the obvious benefits, a massive 82% of people surveyed in 2023 admitted they didn’t have a dedicated system of time management in place. Only 20% said they conducted time audits “regularly” to track exactly what they had done in a given period. The remainder either carried out a time audit “occasionally” or not at all.

          Read on for some useful tips on how to organise time management at work to improve your performance and reduce stress.

          1. Understand how you spend your time

          Lost time equates to lost money, which can have a negative impact on any business, but most of all for entrepreneurs, startups and lone traders, who are likely to have a smaller profit margin.

          As well as creating a budget and schedule, you need to track how much time you’re spending on specific tasks to determine whether any bad habits are preventing you from attaining goals. Begin by continually checking the time on any given day and make a note of how long it takes to do regular tasks. Use time-tracking tools, or simply keep a manual record.

          Time management software

          This will ascertain how much time you’re being creative and productive, compared with periods when you’re bogged down with more mundane tasks, or even wasting time on personal activities, including online shopping and browsing social media.

          Once you realise how each day is spent, you can see if there are any ways to pare down the amount of time you spend on jobs that aren’t particularly vital to the smooth running of your business.

           2. Stick to a plan

          Rather than simply thinking, “I have eight hours to complete my duties each day,” create a sensible and detailed schedule every morning by allocating time slots to different tasks.

          Rather than overestimating how much you think you can do, go for a realistic timeline for the day and stick to it.  If you’re over-ambitious in your estimates, it leads to stress and ultimately low morale when you fail.

          A busy person who tries to cram in too much will fall behind even if one task overruns its slot. The key is to add a time buffer between jobs, allowing yourself to go over the limit, should something unexpected happen. This way, your overall day has a better chance of staying on schedule.

          3. Embrace flexibility

          Flexible modern workspaces, such as serviced offices, enable you to spend more time concentrating on the creative side of your business.

          Leaving the day-to-day admin, management and maintenance of your office space to a dedicated team frees you up to concentrate on your own marketing activities, projects and business growth strategies.

          With the freedom to run your business with hours to suit, in a bespoke workplace, you can manage your time in the most efficient way, achieving a better work/life balance too.

          When it comes to serviced offices, London is a world-leading location. BE Offices’ workspaces can help you to devise a schedule that matches your needs. You won’t be bogged down with organising property leases, maintenance, cleaning and administration, because someone else will do it for you.

          4. Stay focused

          Give your job 100% focus and don’t let your attention wander, other than permitting yourself a lunch break, when you can relax. Some people are easily diverted if they decide to “briefly” check their social media feeds, as it can turn into a wasted hour.

          Never leave a lot of browser tabs open on your laptop “for later”, as it can slow your system down, not to mention cluttering the screen and making it harder to focus.

          Put your mobile phone away, or even better, turn it off, until you have a scheduled lunch or coffee break. The temptation to check texts or personal emails can be too much.

          Practice self-discipline and don’t waste precious time.

          5. Prioritise tasks

          If you have a long “to do” list for the day, it can seem overwhelming, and you may not know where to start. In these cases, prioritise the tasks on the list, using a tool called the Eisenhower Matrix.

          This means breaking down the list into four categories, under different headings, the first being tasks you must “do immediately”. This includes those with an official deadline which is approaching, or projects you’ve delayed for so long that they are now late.

          The second category, “schedule for later”, is for important projects that don’t have a defined headline. The third category is “delegate” – meaning someone else can do them and you can ask for their help.

          The fourth category, “delete”, is for tasks you can remove either from that day’s list, or altogether, because they are no longer critical to your end goal.

          Don’t put off tasks because they’re the most difficult. It’s easy to be distracted by a colleague or a phone call. Next thing you know, the whole morning has passed and you’re probably considering leaving them until tomorrow.

          Only when you make the necessary changes will you feel the benefits of time management and reap the rewards.


          © H_Ko / & Andrey_Popov /



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