Time is a very precious commodity in today’s world and there never seems to be enough of it when we need it the most. We are also faced with distractions, deadlines and other stressors which make managing the time you have very difficult. For quite a while, I myself, thought time management was a myth they told you about when you started work because no matter how hard I tried, I never seemed to get it right! I am sure some of you out there feel the same way at one stage or another.
After I had a little bit of a breakdown, I pulled up my socks and started to REALLY implement some time management strategies I learned over the years in my office to try and help me keep focused, feel more in control and to be overall more efficient in getting my long list of tasks done.
I am going to share with you some of my favourite tips which helped me in my office.
Plan at the end of the day
At the end of every day, I sit with a cup of coffee and my task manager (I use Wunderlist) and I look at what needs to be done the next day. I then for the next 10 minutes or so do the following:
- Guess-timate how long each task will take and add 15 – 30 minutes
- What needs to be done first
- Is there anything that needs the help of others?
I then block my day out in hours and put 15-minute break every 2 hours and insert the tasks into these blocks. Now I already know what you are saying, this can only happen in a perfect world and with the busy office you sit in, this will never be possible. But that is why you are adding the 15 – 30 minutes to each task – this is your buffer time in case something goes wrong.
Catch up with what is happening
At lunch, I grab myself a yummy, healthy snack and cup of tea and have a look at how my day is going and what needs to be added and what needs to be taken out.
Because you are taking regulated breaks, and this is very important, you won’t get tired quickly because you will give your mind and body time to refresh and catch up with what you are doing – this will help you stay focused on the task, letting you finish things a bit quicker.
Switch off unwanted distractions
As a virtual assistant, I manage up to 8-10 email boxes, I am also on every social media channel for all my clients (I stopped counting how many), I am also part of many Whatsapp Groups – this can be very VERY distracting when you are trying to focus on getting a task done.
What I do is when I am focusing on a task, I mute my phone and close my emails, when I am finished with the task I look at my emails to see if there is anything urgent and attend to the many notifications on my hard-working smartphone.
These tricks may help you in the office, but every person and the way every office works is different, do not be afraid to invent your own time management strategy that works best for you and your office! Share your favourite time management trick that helps you keep on top of everything in the comments below.
Most people will go a lifetime before they discover what they love doing most. Kelly found her passion for working with entrepreneurs and small businesses in 2009. As a result, the Admin’s Niche was started. From there it just grew – from simple typing and formatting of word documents to designing and implementing social media strategies, as well as graphic design work to make a marketing message stand out. The Admin’s Niche has worked with many people in different industries across the globe, and they all want the same thing – someone to rely on to get the work done.