When you have a busy work schedule, 24 hours never seems like enough time in the day. Unfortunately, that’s all we’ve been given, so it’s essential to learn how to manage your time effectively. Learning how to plan out your day and set work priorities can increase productivity, decrease stress, and reduce the amount of overtime hours you’re putting in. Here are a few tips to make your day more productive.
- Plan your week on Sunday evening.
An easy way to increase productivity is by using Sunday evening to loosely plan out your week. Most of the time the first few hours of your Monday are spent figuring out what all you need to get accomplished for the week. If you plan this ahead of time, you’re able to jump right into doing the work when you get into the office Monday morning. Spend the last 20 minutes of every workday planning for the next day to effectively manage your time.
- Prioritize tasks.
An ever-growing to-do list actually increases stress and decreases productivity. Instead, only put three things on your to-do list to get done each day. Then plan your day according to the most important, biggest task, not the smallest and easiest.
- Avoid Meetings.
Being stuck in meetings all day can be the biggest waste of your time. Avoid planning meetings unless they’re really necessary. If the information can be communicated via phone, email, or stopping by someone’s desk, there is no reason to hold an actual meeting. If you have to go to a meeting, go with one specific outcome to discuss in mind.
- For every 2 hours of work, take a 5-10 minute break.
Few people are able to work for eight hours straight; even if they can, it’s not healthy. Include short five to ten minute breaks in your workday plan. You’ll often end up taking them anyway, so it makes sense to plan them on the front end. Do push ups, take a walk, listen to your favorite song, or step outside for a breath of fresh air. These activities release stress, which will make you more productive upon returning to work.
- Learn to say no.
Taking on too many extra tasks and more work than you’re able to accomplish is a main reason for not having enough time during the day. Part of being a successful employee is learning to say no when your workload has been maxed out. In order to produce top quality work, you should only focus on the things you’re looking to achieve.
- Limit distractions.
Dedicate set times to check email and return phone calls. If you don’t set aside specific time for this, the day’s distractions quickly take a toll. Every time you choose to read a new message rather than continue working, you’re adding on time to the project at hand. A good rule of thumb is to only check email every 20 minutes. If you need to focus on writing or reading a project plan, go to a coffee shop or bookstore that doesn’t have free Wi-Fi. Turning off the Internet will cut out 90% of your distractions. If you notice your phone ringing, don’t answer it. If it’s important, the person will leave a voicemail.
Using these tips to manage your time effectively will make you more productive at work and even give you a few hours back to better manage your work/life balance.
Be sure to check out more tips for the workplace from the experienced professionals at RealStreet Staffing. RealStreet Staffing matches experienced construction professionals with rewarding career opportunities in the architectural, engineering and construction communities. If you’re in the market for a new job, contact us today. We’ll help you land job opportunities that you won’t find elsewhere.