Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
We all know that no one gets more than 24 hours in a day. How you spend those 24 hours, and the number of hours you work, will determine how successful and accomplished you feel when you walk out of the office at the end of the day. If you find yourself faced with a never-ending to-do list and deal with interruptions all day long whether it’s from colleagues walking into your office, social media updates, phone calls or emails, sometimes it seems impossible to get to your tasks.
There are days when time may seem endless, but it’s not. Time is a limited quantity and how you spend it will shape your productivity and satisfaction in both work and life. What steps can you take to use your time to its best advantage?
Here are some steps I take on a daily basis:
- Block out interruptions. If you work in an office, it may be difficult to tell colleagues to not stop by, but you may be able to set “office hours” and let them know that in order to be productive you need to limit interruptions. They may appreciate your dedication to your duties! Working from home brings with it its own set of interruptions -- whether from laundry to be done or from family members that believe that since you work from home you aren't truly working.
- Don’t respond to emails as soon as they arrive. Set aside time several times throughout the day to answer emails and respond to social media updates.
- Commit to your own personal time. If possible differentiate your office time and your personal time. Those who work from home may have a more difficult time separating the two, but it is necessary to have a work-life balance. Set office hours and stick to them, once your office hours are over, don’t answer business phone calls or personal emails.
- Before you leave the office – whether a work office or a home office – prepare your to-do list for the following day. Being organized before you even set foot in the office the next day will make you more productive. Don’t forget to check off what you’ve accomplished today.
Managing time effectively may not be a skill you learn over night but it is a skill that will serve you well for a lifetime. How do you manage your time?