Success in the workplace depends on your ability to effectively manage your time. The ability to react to obstacles in a workday in such a way that regularly scheduled tasks are completed on time and the unexpected situation is resolved is a skill that takes practice, dedication and self-discipline. Applying good time management practices, while shunning poor ones, can help to put you on the road to workplace success.
Good: Project Planning
Planning the workday in advance allows you to understand what tasks need to be completed and what resources you need to complete those tasks. Planning also decreases the risk of taking the project to the last minute. Not only will completing tasks on a timely basis enhance your value in the workplace, it also reduces your stress level.
Bad: Failure to Purge Bad Time Management Habits
The desire to manage your time and be more productive is noble, and is a popular resolution. However, the process of becoming more time-efficient and productive can be hijacked before it gets started by neglecting to purge bad habits. Simply applying some new, good habits on top of the existing bad ones will not produce the desired results. It is necessary to completely purge old time management habits and replace them with ones that will produce the desired results. The urge to check email on a cell phone is one example of poor time management. Mobile devices have the capability to enhance productivity. However, unchecked use of your cell phone can derail your concentration. Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, sets aside blocks of time during the day to check email on his mobile device. Outside of these times, however, he sparingly uses it, allowing him to focus on the task at hand and use his time more wisely.
Bad: Refusing to Change or Improve Processes
Constant improvement has been the mantra of quality management programs and effective managers for years. It is easy to get stuck in a rut and use inefficient methods just because that's the way it has always been done. Approaching a task with an open mind, however, may expose time-saving alterations or completely new processes that allow you to perform the work more quickly and accurately than before. Co-workers are a good starting point to seek out new or improved ways to complete tasks more efficiently, as they may approach it from a different angle, shedding light on processes you have not thought of before.
Good: Effective Delegation
Delegating tasks allows you to be more efficient and propel the work flow. However, it is essential to delegate wisely and effectively. To delegate effectively, you need to be deeply familiar with that tasks that each of your employees performs. If a staff member is more intimately knowledgeable about a particular business process or possesses information that will speed up the task completion process, you should consider delegating those portions of the task to her. Delegating should not be thought of as a way to get out of work, but a means to complete projects properly and on time.