Feb 19, 2009

Time Management in the Workplace - Slow Down and Still Get More Done

Do you know what an overworked machine looks like? It functions at its optimum level right before it finally breaks down.

Does this seem like you?

Has your life turned into one big race to beat the clock? Does it feel like no matter what you do, you can never seem to catch up? Has this pressure to catch up caused you to go into overdrive - working faster and harder - fearing that one day you too might just break down?

Being on overdrive leads us to belief that we are being more productive. However, the reality is, it can be the quite opposite. When you are on overdrive, you are in a "do, do, do!" mode, without being able to slow down and step back.

As a Result, Time Management in the Workplace Suffers.

Instead, step back and slow down. Doing this can be very beneficial to your overall productivity in the workplace. Slowing down allows you to plan so you can do more with less effort and time. It also allows you to think more clearly and strategize better as you are less stressed and have more energy.

So, if you seem to be caught running on all cylinders, yet can't seem to get anything accomplished, it's time to step on the brakes and slow down.

Listed below are useful strategies for time management in the workplace, which you can use to ease yourself out of overdrive, yet still be as productive as you want to be.

Time Management Strategy #1 - Learn to delegate tasks. Whenever possible, delegate less important errands, especially repetitive tasks that can be done by a lower level staff member or assistant. Assigning minor tasks to others gives you extra time to take care of the more important projects and assignments, especially those that are critical for decision making and those that impact the bottom line.

Delegation not only saves you time, but money as well. The less time you waste on petty errands, the more time and money you can save by focusing on the bigger goals. Of course, there will always be tasks that require your attention and personal touch, so focus on those tasks yourself.

Time Management Strategy #2 - Brainstorm. Hold meetings with your staff to brainstorm better time management in the workplace techniques. They may have fantastic ideas that they have not voiced because they were never given the opportunity. Their specific skills and experience puts them in a good position to make thoughtful recommendations on use of time, ease of work, and improving job efficiency. This will encourage your staff to work together as a group to become a more effective, time efficient unit.

Remember, heed smart ideas and give credit where it is due. Otherwise employees will be unwilling to share their ideas in the future.

Time Management Strategy #3 - Go for a Walk. Slowing down means clearing your mind from the cluttering effects of your office. The best way to do this is go outside, walk around, and get some fresh air. This may sound like a waste of time, but it is very effective in de-stressing which plays a big part in easing you out of overdrive.

Also, talking a nice relaxing walk helps you remove all the ancillary worries from your mind that can get in the way of important obligations you have to focus on. By eliminating these distractions, your mind can be freed to better focus on these obligations, be more creative, and hence, be more productive.

In the workplace, it is easy to find ourselves falling into a fast track routine. However, the fast track might not be the right track. Meaning, it might not be the best pace for you to do the things you need to get done. Instead of the fast track, focus on the smart track.

The smart track is to slow down, relax, and plan ahead on ways you can save time. Doing so will allow you to do more without burning out like our overworked machine we mentioned in the first paragraph.

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