Ever had a day where you spent the bulk of your time doing meaningless tasks? You have a moment where you’re like, “Ugh, today was a complete waste; I didn’t get anything done.” Whether it’s checking your email constantly throughout the day, or taking more breaks than you should, some days can be challenging. If only you had better office time savers, it wouldn’t be so frustrating.
Situations like the ones mentioned above are not uncommon in the workplace. If there is a project that you find stressful, it’s easy to dread the work. This mood may be because the worker is not excited about the project. Or, that person is worried about the final result of the project. For example, writing out a report to present to their coworkers may not be the best report they put together. The worker may fear rejection, and they might be asked to rewrite the story again.
Office Time Savers
Luckily, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose your job or the end of the world. From a worker’s perspective, you can easily change your habits and have a better mindset. If you’re a procrastinator, it won’t be easy at first, but if you can make an effort, then you’ll notice some changes in your work routine. In this article, I’ll list out best practices to saving time at the office. These tips include:
1.) Prioritizing your most important tasks
2.) Quit checking your email
3.) Avoid multi-tasking
4.) Use your peak period for challenging tasks
5.) Clearing out the clutter: Keep it simple
Office Time Savers:
Prioritize your essentials
Whenever you start your workday, you want to make sure you determine what tasks need immediate attention. If it’s writing a report, prioritize this task at the top of your to-do list. For example, if you have a project that needs to finish up within 48 hours, don’t put it off the night before or morning that it’s due. Unless you work very well under pressure, waiting until the last minute is an effective strategy.
As far as to-do lists, you want to make a list where you’ll take action on completing those tasks. A lot of times, people will write a long “laundry ” list of functions, so they can keep themselves busy. Unfortunately, I found that writing a long list didn’t get me to check off every task. So I ended up wasting time writing out dozens of jobs I probably wouldn’t get to that day.
Quit Checking Your Email
Do you find yourself checking your email first thing at work? An email is an excellent tool for communicating with others. Still, it can be a huge time waster if not used properly. Checking email as your first task can take up 20-30 minutes of valuable time.
My suggestion to professionals is to utilize the last two hours of your day to check email. When the end of your day arrives, you’ll know that you saved time for the little things, such as checking email. Even I’ve been more cautious about checking my email. I usually spend no more than 30 minutes a day reading and responding to emails. For this reason, I have other tasks that require more time and effort to produce the best outcome.
Multitasking has been a common practice among working professionals. It can be convenient and a requirement for some jobs. Still, there are disadvantages if you consider yourself a multitasker. We may think it’s an effective way to get things done quicker and be more efficient. But even some little tasks can make completing a project even much longer to get done.
So if you start working on a report while keeping an eye on your email often, be aware that you’re taking more time away. You may do the accounts for 15 minutes, then check email for five minutes. Then, continue the description for another 10 minutes and then recheck your email. Only to find out you spend the next 25 minutes getting back to your inbox. Do you see what I’m getting at? If you figured out this pattern, you’d be amazed to see how time you could have saved by doing one task alone.
Use Your Peak Time To Do Challenging Tasks
There is a time frame where we perform our best, and creativity is rolling through our minds. This term is what I commonly refer to as peak time. If you’re a morning person and work a traditional 9-5 job, you’re likely to get more things done during the morning hours. You’re starting your day, you have your coffee, and you’re ready to dive into work. But once the afternoon kicks in, you feel a slump and don’t have much energy as you did in the morning.
Many people experience this pattern on a typical day at the office. It’s good to know that if you’re this type of person, prioritize your difficult tasks in the morning rather than at the end of the day. Of course, not everybody operates on this schedule. For others, their bodies may perform the complete opposite of standard peak times. If you find that you’re more alert in the afternoon, utilize that time frame for more challenging work.
Clean out the clutter: Keep it simple
If you’re somebody who has a messy desk, this tip is a “must” for you to be successful. There’s nothing worse than having a dozen of crap lying around, and you have no idea where to start. Items such as empty bottles and old food have to go. If you have clutter sitting around, clear it up and make room for only the things you need during the work hours. Also, it’s excellent for you to stay on top of things and remain organized.
I consider myself very organized and somewhat of a clean freak. My workspace is never cluttered. But even if there are a few things that I don’t need, I move it. It may look nice to have something on your desk, but if you’re not using it, move it. Keep it simple. To show some illustrations, here are some images of my desk to get an idea of what your office should look like:
MESSY OR CLEAN
Hopefully, these were helpful tips that can help you save more time at the office. It’s incredible how much I’ve learned over the years that these bad habits resulted in wasted time at work. Now that I know better, I feel much more productive and make the most of my valuable time. Applying these practices to your daily work routine can make a significant difference for the better.
If you like to share some useful tips, please leave a comment below. Also, please share this article with others.
Eric is a time management consultant and owner of the blog, quitkillingtime.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time, personally and professionally. Eric is a firm believer in time freedom, as he believes in taking ownership of time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He likes to go for long walks out in nature and been taking Zumba classes every week at his local gym. You can follow Eric via Facebook and LinkedIn.