Most people are not 100% effective at work 100% of the time. In fact, roughly 89% admit they "waste" at least some time every day at work...the vast majority (62% ) reporting they spend up to an hour a day doing things like surfing the Internet, checking social media, making personal calls, and more. Time management can sometimes be a challenge as we try to cram a variety of demands into just one day. And honestly, sometimes you just need to let your brain take a break. All that being said, here are seven tips to help you get on the right track.
1. Check Yourself
Start by paying attention to how you spend your time at work. Writing down every bit of time you do not spend on a work task will help you see where, when, and how often you waste time. Some of the time you waste could be unintentional. For instance, you might not realize that you spend as much time on social media as you do.
2. Cap Your 'Less Effective' Time
Once you know how you spend your time, start trying to set limits. Don't let your social or your personal email run in the background at your desktop. Instead, allow yourself specifically set breaks throughout the day to scroll Facebook or check your personal emails. Try a 10-minute alarm to start.
3. Cut Out Bad Habits
You might find that some of the time you're spending during work is not effective or even healthy. Binge watching Netflix while you are on the clock, obsessively playing fantasy football, or going down a black hole on Facebook checking out what your 3rd grade best friend is up to these days could cost you your job. Sometimes, you just have to own that you have a bad habit and eliminate it.
4. Structure Your Work Time
Likewise, try to impose limits on how long you spend on work tasks. You might find that your mind has been wandering because you are bored or frustrated or your brain is just tired. The most productive people take short breaks, generally walking, stretching, or socializing, all activities that are good for your brain and your body. Not only are people more productive when they take frequent breaks, they are also 13 percent more accurate.
5. Set a Goal
Ideally, you should only engage in tasks that support your professional goals; anything else is a waste of time. Whether you're an entrepreneur trying to launch a startup, a mid-level manager who wants to reach the C-suite before retirement, or you just want a raise, wasting time will not help you get there. Instead, read relevant news articles, check out competitive product, do research on how to be a better leader, learn a new skill. Having a goal in mind can remind you to be more productive.
6. Practice Self-Care
You might also find that you are distracted at work and wasting time because you're not taking good care of yourself. When you get plenty of sleep and exercise, your mind will be more alert, you'll have more stamina, and ultimately you'll be more productive and focused at work.
7. Make a To Do List
Finally, try breaking your work down into more manageable tasks. When you list out all the tasks that need to be accomplished in order to complete a project, it can be a big motivator to get it all done as quickly, efficiently, and effectively as possible. Plus, it gives you a game plan for when you want to switch activities and you'll have a roadmap for getting back to the task when you're ready.
How do you effectively manage your time? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.