It’s a well-known fact that we are most satisfied with what we do when we are successful at doing it. The biggest impediments to success in our jobs are procrastination and wasted time. The way to tame both of these time-goblins is to begin each workday with a time management plan.
Planning Your Workday
Start with a simple to do list, prioritizing your tasks. Keep what has to be completed today at the top and longer projects and future projects at the bottom.
Next, schedule the events of your day from start to finish. As well as phone calls you must make, meetings you must attend and errands you must run, schedule routine activities like filing paper files and checking e-mail. In addition, schedule your breaks. Knowing that you can rest at a specific time gives you something to work towards and actually can help keep your mind off the clock!
Work your prioritized tasks into your schedule or alternatively schedule blocks of time to whittle down your to do list. As you work through your list, just because something is rated #2, doesn’t mean that you have to do it second. Alternate activities you enjoy with those that are less enjoyable. Mix short jobs with longer jobs. Remember to add extra minutes to each activity, long or short, difficult or easy, to give you time to cope with interruptions.
Having a scheduled day puts you in control of what to do next instead of encouraging you to procrastinate. Mixing things up gives you a sense of accomplishment when you finish a difficult job and the reward of something shorter or more enjoyable as well.
Use those times when business is slow or current tasks are completed to prepare for busier times. Office workers can print a few fax cover sheets or other often used templates from the master copy or put stamps on some envelopes for future use. Retail workers can neaten up displays or open up a few shopping bags. Factory workers can organize tools, sweep up debris, or gather parts for later use.
No matter what type of work you do, you can have a hand in making your workday more satisfying when you learn and use some time management techniques.