It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when your to-do list is a mile long. The key to tackling your to-do list is to implement time management strategies. These top tips will help you improve time management at work (and some may come in handy for your personal life too):
- Prioritize your to-do list
- Structure your day
- Create a “stop doing” list
- Make meetings more productive
- Manage your email inbox
- Take an end-of-day assessment
How to Tackle Time Management at Work
These easy changes will help you get more done in no time.
1. Prioritize Your To-Do List
At the start of the day, glance at your to-do list and determine the most high-priority tasks. Set a realistic goal like accomplishing three to five of them by the end of the day. For example, you may want to prioritize tasks that:
- Generate revenue
- Are client- or customer-facing
- Are requested by management
- Have the nearest due date
2. Structure Your Day
Figure out what time of day you are most productive. Schedule your most challenging tasks during this time. For example, if you have a big presentation coming up and you do your best work in the early morning, schedule it in the morning rather than the late afternoon when you’re losing steam.
3. Create a “Stop Doing” List
In his book “Good To Great,” Jim Collins suggests that people who build great companies make as much use of their “stop doing” lists as their to-do lists. As you’re evaluating your to-do list, consider whether there are tasks you can delegate or automate and any tasks that are unnecessary.
4. Make Meetings More Productive
To improve time management at work, run efficient meetings. For example, it’s helpful to:
- Invite all the necessary decision-makers
- Create a meeting agenda
- Have a set end time
- Send a recap email with clear action items
5. Manage Your Email Inbox
Email is essential, but it can be an obstacle when it comes to time management at work. So, when you’re working on important tasks—those on your to-do list—turn off your email. Set up an auto responder to let people know you will get back to them later. (You may want to tweak your settings to get notifications from high-profile people like your boss and clients.)
6. Take an End-of-Day Assessment
At the end of the day, take a tally of how the day went and how your time was allocated. It’s helpful to track this in your calendar so you have a clear record. At month’s end, look for the themes that happen time and again and consider how you can make improvements to your time management at work. Ask yourself:
- How much of my day was spent on proactive versus reactive tasks?
- When did I work on the most challenging task of the day: morning, afternoon, or evening? Did I complete it?
- What time of day did I do my reactive tasks?
Taking a more deliberate and analytical approach to your day can help you find what strategies work best for you.
Continue to Improve Your Workday
You’ll be more productive after you implement these time management at work tips. Make more improvements to your workday by acting on expert-recommended hiring and management advice from Monster.