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Tips on how to manage your time efficiently

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Are you struggling to finish tasks on time or find yourself staying in the office late? Time is precious, especially when you have a busy schedule. The trick is to work smarter, not harder and to plan and set yourself realistic deadlines. Here’s a few tips on how to manage your time efficiently:

Set deadlines:

Deadlines are very important and effective as they enable you to support business goals, complete tasks and help you to become motivated. If you want to achieve a deadline then the first step is to write a to do list and prioritise your most important tasks. You can also break up large projects into smaller tasks and start each part one by one. Once you have prioritised your list you can set your deadline and keep yourself on track. If you don’t set deadlines then you will never know where you are with your workload and will feel unaccomplished.

Setting deadlines comes in line with SMART objectives which are:

Specific – be specific with what goal you to achieve
Measurable – a goal or deadline which can be measured with specific online tools
Achievable – make sure your goal or deadline is achievable and can be completed on time
Realistic – is your goal or deadline realistic and what will you get from this
Time-bound – set your deadlines in advance so you have enough time to complete

Deadlines make a massive impact on business and us as individuals. If we didn’t have deadlines that make an impact then we would never push ourselves!

Prioritise:

You have organised your day and suddenly you find yourself inundated with emails – how you manage this will determine if your day is going to be successful or not. A well structured work-load plan is key to good time management and will increase your productivity. Write your to do list and go in order of importance, important tasks need to be at the top of your list and less important tasks can just flow to the bottom. Eventually your inbox will become your to do list. Again you need to do this in order of importance, if you use a flagging system just make sure that your flagged items are always at the top of your emails. This way you will never miss anything and can keep yourself organised.

Learn to say no:

We know how hard it is to say no but unfortunately when you have important tasks to complete then there comes a time when you just have to say no. If you find yourself always saying yes then this could be a difficult task for you – if there is anyone in your team that is less busy and is able to help then always ask for assistance or communicate to your team. Always be prepared to move onto more important/productive tasks and learn from experience. This can avoid wasting time later on. Don’t ever feel scared to say no, it’s better to be honest than taking on a heavy work-load and trying to accomplish it all at once.

Avoid distractions:

Avoiding distractions is key to a successful and productive day! If you need to close your door, turn your desk phone off or even put your headphones in then don’t feel guilty doing so. Pay attention to who distracts you and the number of times they distract you. You may not notice this but you are your own worst enemy in self distraction, for example social media or checking your phone. Try putting your phone away or simply turning it off and try eliminating your social media use (unless this is part of your job then try doing less social media checks throughout the day). By simply closing your door or turning your phone off you are maximising your time!

Take a break:

Remember to always take care of yourself and take a break. Having a good work-life balance is key to keeping yourself happy and accomplishing tasks. To be happy you need to make sure you have time to do the activities that you enjoy, weather that be doing house work, spending time with friends and family or going to the gym. Research from the Mental Health Foundation tells us that one in six of us will experience a mental health problem in any given week. Always listen to your body and remember that having a poor work-life balance is what makes you have negative well-being and physical health. Take a deep breath, relax and stay happy!

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