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Time management: Learning the art of working efficiently

Step up your game with these tips that will reduce stress and improve your productivity.
By Priya Prakasan

As a leader you’re handling multiple responsibilities and roles, while often struggling with crises and paucity of time. In this reality it’s necessary you have a firm grasp of your day and the tasks to be done. This makes time management a crucial skill to achieve success. Here are five tips to help you get more out of your already busy day.

1. Organise yourself digitally
One of the first steps to get things right is being electronically organised. Just like you would set up an organised physical filing system, you need to work the same way on your digital document storage. Segregate into folders and sub-folders for quick action, access and retrieval. Also, make sure your smartphone and other electronic tools/gadgets are in sync so you can access information, your calendar, schedule, deadlines, to-do lists, etc easily from any device.

2. Delegate effectively
Yes, delegating is easier said than done. However, the most efficient managers are the ones who know how which tasks to assign to the staff and which ones to keep. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all, so take help where necessary and give your team a chance to grow, learn now skills and hone existing ones. This way work will get done on time with a host of other benefits. When delegating, appraise tasks on the basis of technical expertise and individual contributions. Detail your expectations and provide clear instructions, and a firm deadline. Remember to also provide support where necessary.

3. Track and measure where your time is spent
The digital world is slowly consuming our daily lives, and there are a host of distractions and ‘unnecessary’ tasks available. Without realising it these can take up a large chunk of your day. So you need to first understand how exactly you are spending your time. And efficient way to track and measure your daily digital activities, distractions and obstacles is to use a time management software on your computer, mobile and other devices. This will help you to track the time spent on different applications, websites, etc giving you a clear picture of your whole day. With this information you can block distracting websites while working and also set aside allotted time (with time alerts) to be spent on these digital activities, so as ensure your aren’t being sucked in by distractions.

4. Outsource chores
It’s possible there are certain mundane, daily tasks that take up a large chunk of you and your team’s time. Track how much time is spent on these repetitive tasks and seriously consider outsourcing them to a strategic partner. Wouldn’t that be an efficient use of resources so as to free up time that could be spent on more critical tasks? Seek to build a stronger partnership with providers who can help will these needs. Highly productive people are selective about how they spend their energy and it’s time you were too.

5. Incorporate breaks into your schedule
It is imperative to take breaks in between working long hours in order to get as much done as possible. Long working hours don’t necessarily translate into getting more work done. In fact, according to research, our brains can only focus on a task for a limited amount of time. So it is necessary for you to take regular breaks to re-energise. Actively plan your breaks before you hit that barrier of fatigue and return to work with a better mindset.

Photograph: Waewkidja – Freepik.com 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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