Time Management: 10 Strategies to Maximize Productivity and Minimize Stress

Do you walk in to work in the morning confident, calm, and excited for another energizing day? Or do you dread walking in to the office knowing as soon as you sit down the phone will ring, interruptions begin, fires pop up and need to be put out, and no matter which way you turn someone or something seems to be demanding your attention?
If you ever experience days of overwhelm, distractions, interruptions, and utter feelings of inadequacy – don’t worry – you aren’t alone. In today’s business environment people are being asked to accomplish more and more in less time with less support. This article introduces 10 effective time management tips that will help you take back control of your work day and increase the likelihood you will leave the office with a feeling of accomplishment and success after a fulfilling day’s work.
1. Plan each day.
Planning your day puts you back in control of what is most likely going to happen to you. Start by utilizing an electronic or online calendar and begin to schedule your work days in advance. If your day requires that you keep time blocks open for unexpected events, schedule unassigned time for those events. The more time you devote to planning your days in advance and scheduling what you will work on when, and the more diligent you are to sticking to the schedule, the more likely you will begin to experience super-productive days. Proactive schedule management increases your chances for success immensely. As the saying goes, “By failing to plan you are planning to fail.”
2. Simplify and Lawyer For Business Startup Near Me Prioritize.
Time-consuming and unimportant tasks (like reading and answering every email you receive) can burn a lot of additional time throughout the day. Prioritize your tasks in order of importance based on your responsibilities. Define critical daily responsibilities and activities you must perform to ensure individual and business success. Schedule those items first and do not move on to other tasks until your most critical items are completed. Once you have completed the critical tasks allow for some buffer time at the end of the work day to answer emails, complete paperwork, and work on projects that aren’t directly related to your most critical tasks.
3. Just say no.
Before you agree to help out a team member or take on another tasks, consider the tasks you identified in step number 2. If you don’t have the necessary time available or the project isn’t quite suited to your skill set or responsibilities – just say no. Taking on a project you don’t have time for and will perform poorly on at best will only distract you from what it is you are most successful at. In turn you will end up being mediocre in all areas and your chances of success will decrease dramatically. Simplifying and choosing to say no is difficult for most of us – but is critical to maintaining balance and achieving varying degrees of success.
4. Delegate.
Review your responsibilities and to do list and delegate nonessential activities to other team members better suited to handle the tasks. The more you are able to focus strictly on what it is you do best the faster you will begin to see results. If you don’t have other team members you can delegate to, look for ways to outsource nonessential activities to other companies. There are many reasonable and effective ways to remove mundane tasks from your daily list by finding someone who is better suited and happy to take care of those items. You will find the investment you make in additional salary or fees will eventually come back to you two or three times over as your productivity and success increases in other areas.
5. Slow down and do it right the first time.
Rushing through projects and completing them without being thorough and allowing ample time for review is only setting yourself up for failure and future problems. Slowing down may add some additional time to the project, but by taking the time to ensure everything is completed How To Become A Customer Service Trainer accurately will reduce problems further down the road. You will often find yourself spending two or three times longer fixing a problem or remedying a situation after something has gone wrong. Slow down and allow for ample time to complete all tasks accurately and completely.
6. Break large projects down in to smaller individual tasks.
It is much easier to give yourself credit and feel continued progress if you take larger complex projects and break them down into smaller individual tasks. As you complete each task you will feel like a milestone has been reached and are more likely to give yourself credit for the accomplishment. Though you may not have completed the project, each milestone reached reaffirms that you are working hard and on your way to accomplishing the end goal.
7. Allow yourself to limit time spent on “dreaded” projects.
If you end up being assigned a task or project that you truly dread, don’t procrastinate. Common behavior often has you placing the project on the back burner – until ultimately the due date has arrived and you no longer have a choice. Instead of waiting until the end and being forced to fight your way through the entire project – chunk it up and handle small pieces consistently. Schedule time each day to work on the project. You may find that once you get started on one portion you are able to accomplish more than you originally intended. By doing this proactively over a few days you will find as the deadline approaches you already have the critical tasks completed and are ready to move on to a more enjoyable project.
8. Take a look in the mirror.
Keep track of what you do and where you spend your time over the course of a week. Be honest with yourself and look at every interaction throughout your day and determine if you are using your time productively and effectively. You will often be surprised at how little harmless habits can add up to be huge productivity killers when taken in context over a week-long period. Make it a point to change any non-supportive habits you encounter.
9. Limit distractions.
Set aside focus time to work on large or critical projects. During that time close your office door, turn off your cell phone, close out of email, and ask your team mates to assist you in blocking time out with minimal distractions.
10. Exercise, eat healthy, and make sure you get the sleep your body needs.
Exercise, rest, and proper nutrition ensures you have the energy required to be upbeat and productive throughout the entire work day. By maintaining proper health and balance in life you will find yourself able to accomplish more, which in turn leads to increased success and more time away from work. Working less frees up additional time to focus on balance and health and the cycle begins to build momentum. Work less, get more accomplished in less time, and experience a healthier balanced life.
These 10 time management and productivity tips when taken individually can prove to be very effective in increasing your productivity and effectiveness. When combined as a group I guarantee your work day will transform itself within 60 days or less. Start slowly and implement one or two items per week until you feel comfortable with your ability to maintain the new habits. As you build momentum and gain confidence you will find yourself able to implement more of these strategies simultaneously and your results will skyrocket.

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