Are your employees making the best use of their time at work? Heck, are you?

If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions without crossing your fingers behind your back, you might consider these five time management tactics:

1. Just say no. Taking on extra tasks can leave you with insufficient time to do the most important ones. And you may promise to do something you can’t deliver. Solution: Explain to the person asking you for assistance that you can’t take on anything else at the moment.

2. Leverage your best time of the day. If you conquer difficult tasks best in the morning or the afternoon, do your heavy lifting then.

3. Reward yourself for completion.. You’ll be more motivated to finish tasks expeditiously if you know there’s a piece of cheese waiting — even if it’s cheese you put there! Example: Buy yourself something nice when you get that tough task done.

4. Assign time limits. Observe how long it takes you to do certain things. Then stick to that amount of time to always get the task done.

5. Break tasks up into small pieces. If done in one sitting, any task may seem impossible to finish. If tasks are broken into smaller pieces, they seem less cumbersome. Best bet: Complete a small portion of each task daily until it’s done, making sure it can be completed by its deadline.

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