Last updated: 24.11.15

5 tips for time management in the workplace

Whether you're the director of a company or an employee, it is important to manage your time in the most efficient way. Not keeping on top of your workload or schedule means that you are likely to make more errors in the workplace and in turn, be less productive.

Effective time management is a soft skill that many employers look out for during the recruitment process. Showing that you are able to manage your time at work means that you will go on to perform better and grow within any given organisation.

Here are a few tips to follow for better managing your time in the workplace:

Make a list

If you find yourself taking on a number of different tasks throughout the day, it is a good idea to make a to-do list in the morning. This way, you can see exactly what you need to get done without something important accidentally slipping your mind.

List-making is a great way to keep organised and on top of your busy schedule. You may wish to write your tasks on a post-it note and stick it to your computer screen or use an online tool that you can display on your desktop.

Prioritise tasks

Once you have created your to-do list, the next step is to prioritise your tasks in order of importance and duration.

For example, it is best to complete the most important tasks first and also those that will take less than two minutes to do. That way, you will get these out of the way at the start of your day and be able to spend your afternoon completing the less time-sensitive, longer tasks where you won't feel as stressed or under pressure.

Clear any clutter

As the saying goes, 'tidy desk, tidy mind', so if your desk is particularly crowded, spend some time decluttering it.

Having an overcrowded desk can hinder your productivity levels and you're more likely to misplace or forget about important documents. Recycle any old papers, throw out any broken pens and organise your files and stationery neatly.

Desk storage compartments are a good way to separate your documents and keep them in one place.

Shut your door

Sometimes it's difficult to complete your tasks if you are interrupted or distracted by last-minute meetings and queries throughout the day.

Rather than stopping everything you already have planned to take on something that's unexpectedly come up, set a window in your day where you will take on any last-minute tasks and meetings. Relay this timeframe to your colleagues so they know when you are available.

If you are in the middle of an important task, remember that it's okay to turn down something less important that is passed onto you or simply come back to it another time.

Manage your technology

Having your emails and calls sent to both your computer, mobile and landline can lead to you getting caught up chasing and responding to messages, rather than focusing on the task-in-hand.

Of course, it is important to take calls and respond to emails, but this can take up the most part of your day. Instead, check your messages at certain times, such as once in the morning, after lunch and mid-afternoon.

This way you will still be able to respond to any important issues and get work done at the same time!