By Ronnie Green, Career Coach
I know it doesn’t make sense, but this is one of the ways that my college friends remember me. It was how I described why I had to get everything done asap. I wanted to finish my class assignments so that IF an emergency (broken car, dorm flood or even a really good party) came up, I didn’t have to miss anything. Although I was sometimes teased for it, this unique time management technique served me well in my academic and personal life, and I have found that it also has very useful applications to the workplace.
Managing many different priorities in today’s busy, 24-7 technology assisted world is very difficult. In spite of (or maybe because of?) the computer, FAX, and email, our workloads seem to be increasing, rather than shrinking. If you have difficulty getting everything done at work, here are some tips to help you manage your time better.
- Conduct a self exam to include physical, emotional and logistical elements.
- Evaluate your own body clock. Are you a morning person or do you have your highest energy level later in the day? Does eating lunch or a snack give you a burst of energy or make you tired? Figure out what is your most productive time of day and tackle the most challenging tasks then.
- Identify your motivation. Are you saying you can do a task, but appearing resentful or angry, rather than asking for help or delegating?
- Set priorities. Figure out what you really need to do vs. what you would like or prefer to do.
- Remove the emotion and panic by just doing it! We can complain, be frustrated and spend more energy on the negative than we would using the time wisely to actually do the job!
- Build a toolbox and fill it with some of the time management techniques listed below.
- Create to-do lists. Nothing feels greater than crossing things off your list when you’ve accomplished them.
- Establish a timeline, set realistic goals and reach for them. Some people get an emotional charge when they accomplish their stretch goals.
- Plan ahead by using a calendar. Adhere to deadlines (whether real or those artificially created by you).
By creating strong time management strategies, you reduce stress, work more productively and may be able to enjoy your work more because of the renewed focus. Time is the one commodity that cannot be changed. What we do with our time often has to do with choices we make. How we manage our time can have a great impact on our quality of life, both professionally and personally. Though I’ve grown and changed since my college days, those hurry-up-to-relax techniques are still serving me well.
By Ronnie Green, Career Coach, Jewish Community Services, Baltimore, MD
For tips on time management in your life outside of work click here.
JCS offers a full range of career services. For more information about JCS Career services click here or call 410-466-9200.