Manage your time in the workplace
You might wonder how your list of “to-do” tasks never seems to end and that you can no longer see your desk with all the paperwork piling up on your desk. The only solution is to learn how to manage your time.
Time management is easy to think of yet hard to practice. But if done right, this will be greatly rewarding. Here are some battle-tested strategies in time management that can help you:
Prioritize. You can prioritize properly with these key words: 1) necessity and deadline; and 2) practicality and workability. When you say necessity and deadline, you need to find out the most crucial task that you need to finish immediately. Necessity refers to tasks that have greater importance in the company such as sales report, restocking, and filing of legal documents. Deadline means tasks that need to be finished at an earlier time even though they are far less important than the rest. Find out how you can balance them in your schedule.
Practicality and workability, on the other hand, means doing the tasks that are physically possible to accomplish at the moment. If you need to coordinate with a designer, or a supplier who happens to be late, why not start doing your other tasks first? Waiting for them idly would only waste your time, so use that lag time productively by working on your other tasks.
Delegate. Knowing how to delegate properly is the greatest time saver. Sometimes, it is not just about how you can single-handedly finish all the work, but knowing how to manage your people and getting them to work with you to finish all the tasks at hand. By delegating, you will be able to focus on the more important tasks on your list.
Learn when to say ‘no.’ Know your limits. If you already have a lot on your hand and your schedule will not be able to handle any more, do not accept additional workload, or at least advise your boss about your situation and that you will get back to it immediately once you clear your list. Do not think that being that “yes-man” would get you promoted sooner. Saying “no” because of your workload would actually mean that you know how to manage your time, and that you value the quality of work that you present to your superiors.
Get ahead of time. You must throw out that old habit of procrastination before you get yourself thrown out by your company. Managing your workload will require you to set a schedule and get your work done ahead of time. Do not wait for the last minute before you start working on things. The earlier you start on your tasks, the earlier you finish, and the better the quality of your output. Get your work done ahead of time so that you can still polish and review your output before submitting them to your supervisor.
Rest. Don’t think that you’d be better off by doing all-nighters. You may finish your work earlier by doing this, but in turn, you are sacrificing, aside from your physical health, a lot from your work—precision, clarity, presentation— basically the overall quality of your output. Your brain can only function well for so long, so do not abuse it. Despite the stressful workload that you take for breakfast, lunch, and (God forbid) dinner, remember that at the end of the day, you have to give yourself an eight-hour rest from all of it so that you can function the next day. Enjoy your weekends as well. Spend your weekends with your family or friends, go out, take selfies, or go on a gastronomic adventure or whatever floats your boat, so that by the next dreaded “Monday,” you are all fit and ready to go.
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. D-4, Sunday, May 18, 2014. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.