Between domestic duties and the road traffic one has to survive everyday to get to workplace, especially in metro cities, working women in India often find that 24 hours is just not enough. As you climb up the career ladder, duties and responsibilities will only increase – which is why one must adapt some techniques for better time management at work. The following tricks can work like magic in this regard.
Make a daily to-do list
Jolting down your goal on your planner can help you stay on track with your commitment and allocate time judiciously. In case you still run out of time for some deadlines or tasks, you can fix your next to-do list accordingly. Setting alarm notifications on your phone for calls or meetings can be helpful for forgetful individuals, especially on days with too many things to do. Also, once you have a clear idea of your goals for the day, you can delegate tasks too. The key is to know your own capacity and plan your day accordingly.
When confronted with a list of to-dos, define the top two or three most important tasks and focus on them first. Once they’re completed, determine the next two or three priorities and continue the process. Identifying a couple of the most crucial tasks and completing them first is key. As we are often bombarded with unimportant emails throughout the day, Setting slots for yourself for checking emails for 15-30 minutes at, say, 10 am and 3pm, allows you to focus on other things. This will also enable you to focus entirely on your emails when you do check them, rather than breezing through them half-heartedly.
Although technology was supposed to make your functioning easier, it can often be a distraction - especially with social media and telemarketing phone calls. But when you are set on a task, there is no harm in putting your phone on airplane mode. Turn off push notifications on the computer as well, and use an app to temporarily block social media on your desktop/laptop computer.
Take a break
Allow some buffer time between tasks. Part of using time well means scheduling downtime. Once you’ve completed a task, give yourself five minutes to step outside the office, grab a snack, or take a short walk. As they say, sitting is the new smoking. Keeping yourself healthy with minimal exercising can help you feel refreshed, which in turn helps you be more focused on work.
Get comfortable with saying NO
“Hey got a minute?” or “Do you have the time” – most professionals will hear these words on a daily basis – from coworkers, bosses, team members, friends, et al. But your time will not stop just because you are doing someone else’s bidding. So focus on your tasks before setting out to be a good Samaritan. Let colleagues know that you’re only available during certain periods of the day for meetings and the like. If somebody is persistently interrupting your work and delaying you, learn how to say a polite but firm “no”. The benefits far outweigh the possible cons.
Most importantly, forgive yourself if on some days, or even weeks, you are not able to follow the tasks that you set for yourself. However, revisit the priority list often and create the changes that is required to satisfy yourself.