For most business professionals, there are never enough
hours in a day to get everything done. Many work overtime
just to get a handle on their to-do list. Unfortunately,
even working extended hours may not always prove to be
enough to stay on top of the overflowing inbox.
Today, managers are often called upon to do more
with less, as many have lost a portion of their workforce
due to cutbacks. Regardless, industry competition
continues to mount, and the need to get
things done is even more critical. Studies have
shown that this does not have to remain the norm.
“Using the correct organizational tools can improve
time management by 38 percent,” as stated in Mobile
Planning is the first step in getting your workload
under control. Take time to construct a plan of
action and consider incorporating the following five
steps into your workday to increase productivity
and keep your sanity.
Write It: It’s much easier to stay on track when
you have a written list to work from. Write down
everything you need to get accomplished throughout
your work day.
Schedule It: Be clear about scheduling an allotted
time for each task. Make sure to schedule a start
and stop time. There are some great tools that you
can use for this, but more on that later.
Break It Up: You are sure to get a lot more done
by breaking down larger tasks and delegating them
among your staff.
Prioritize It: Arrange your to-do list in order of
importance and deadline. Tackle the items that top
the list first, and then use the remainder of your
time to address less critical items.
Review: At the end of each day, review what you
have accomplished, as well as what you have not.
This offers self-accountability, as it reveals if there
are areas that you may be wasting time on and, thus,
Statistics show time management can cost a
lot in terms of productivity as well as profitability.
The aforementioned steps are but a few ways
in which to address the problem of poor time
management. A variety of tools are available to
help today’s professional go about the business
of getting more done. For instance, keeping
track of the time spent on a project can easily be
streamlined with the use of Web-based timetracking
software such as Intervals. This tool offers
task management, Web-based timers and
project management software.
40% of Time is Wasted!
According to a Wall Street Journal
report “Office workers waste an
average of 40% of their workday
because they were never taught
organizing skills to cope with
increasing workloads.” They
also report that the “average U.S.
executive wastes six weeks per
year retrieving misplaced information.
For an executive earning
$75,000 a year, that translates to
a loss of $9,221 — 12.3 percent of
total earnings. For a company
with one hundred executives at
that salary, it translates to nearly
$1 million in lost productivity.”
Executives who are in need of a bit more organization
may benefit greatly by the use of Asana,
which is a shared task list for your entire team. This
resource will help keep everyone informed as to
what projects are outstanding, as well as what has
already been completed.
Harvest and Mite are also time management
products that are readily available. Both offer simple
time tracking and easy-to-use invoicing, accounting
and scheduling. Depending on your
needs, one of these programs could be the perfect fit
for your organization. There are a host of other time
management tools to choose from, which can all be
found with a simple online search.
Balancing a large workload, while still trying to
get ahead and have a personal life, can be trying,
but with the right resources and a little bit of planning,
it is not at all impossible.