Spring is here. While you may yearn for some fun in the sun, as a business owner or manager you’ve probably got too much on your plate for such frivolity. Don’t let your to-do list stress you out. With a few easy-to-master time management skills, you can learn to work more efficiently and have more leisure time. Here are eight tips to help.
Block distractions. Too much screen time kills productivity. If you don’t need social media in order to do your job, delete the apps from your phone or turn off notifications. Even email and instant messaging can interrupt your work flow. Consider placing them on silent and checking only at scheduled intervals rather than instantly as they appear.
Set office hours. Plan a specific time of day for interruptions. You can work on tasks requiring less focus such as sorting and responding to emails or listening to voicemail—things you don’t mind stopping and starting when employees come by your office to chat.
Organize your to-do list. Use the first thirty minutes of each morning to plan and organize tasks for the day. Have clear objectives and remember that not every task is equally urgent. Make your to-do list more manageable by placing tasks in order of urgency.
Delegate. If something can be done by someone else, trust them to do it. Not only will delegating lighten your workload, it also gives employees a chance to show their worth.
Take a break. It may sound counter-productive, but numerous studies show a short break between tasks increases ability to refocus on something new. Try taking a fifteen-minute breather to reboot.
Don’t multitask. While it may seem more efficient, when you try to do two things at once your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. Focus on only the task at hand to ensure optimum results.
Block your calendar. When you need to focus on a project, put it on your work calendar and your to-do list. It’s a double win. Anyone with access to your calendar will know when not to interrupt you, and the pop-up notification will remind you of what needs to be done.
Track your time. Download a productivity tracker and run it in the background of your computer or mobile device. It will record how much time you spend on specific apps and websites. Now you know where to cut back. Some time management apps provide options to block or limit time spent on time-wasting websites.