Where does the time actually go during office hours? The scenario is always the same: you have a long but manageable list of tasks to take care of, a full day ahead, and yet you often find yourself clocking out at 6 p.m. having done much less than you originally planned. Other times, you find yourself spending too much time coordinating projects, getting a hold of your team, or stuck with mindless, time-consuming but necessary organizational tasks.
This type of frustration is symptomatic of our busy, modern-day work life, which can be solved with quick time management tips.
Here are three ways to manage your time more efficiently:
Oftentimes, a long list of tasks can seem daunting and unmanageable unless you break it down and assign specific blocks of time for each. Set small, achievable goals for yourself, with specific deadlines for each task on your list. Use Asana to create a to-do list with set deadlines, which you can then cross off once the tasks are completed, or use Google calendar to block time for each of your tasks, and keep track of your day.
Think for a second. How many times have you been interrupted by incoming emails, phone calls, or Slack messages over the past hour? When working in an office or remotely, it’s easy to feel pulled in different directions as requests or questions come in from team members, clients, or external suppliers, limiting your productivity in the process. Frustrating, right? Here’s the secret to managing your time more efficiently and still getting back to everyone: streamline your communication and set time aside just to answer emails and messages.
Keep time for communication only: As mentioned above, setting aside time for specific tasks can do wonders for your time management. Suppose you were to dedicate specific time slots to answer messages and emails, as you would any other task? Avoid distractions by silencing instant messaging services and turning off email notifications, and get back to everyone during hours specifically designated for communication.
Find a great communication tool: Encourage your co-workers or staff to use one platform only for all communication. Favor online tools that’ll let you assign tasks, comment, and request/give feedback, streamlining your communication in a clear and concise way. For example, when it comes to visual projects, BOOM Worksite allows teams to work and communicate on projects from one place only. How? When you create a workroom on Worksite, you can invite team members to workshop visual assets and do everything from assigning tasks to specific members to reviewing content right from the workroom. Not only does the workroom allow you and your team to leave comments and mention specific people, but it also enables you to invite anyone (even clients!) to leave comments and approve and reject visuals submitted for review. In other words, you could save time uploading zip files and emailing clients or external parties, save time liaising with your team and make it easier to follow up on the projects’ progress.
Focus time: Alternatively, you could also set up “focus time” slots” on your Google calendar, which will dissuade all team members from setting up meetings, and which will allow you to work without interruptions.
Making the most of your work time is also about limiting the time spent on mindless tasks that take up more time than they should. How many times have you found yourself stuck renaming files for hours or even just looking for images that weren’t properly tagged and organized? Fortunately, online platforms and tools can now automate and optimize organization and management tasks to free up your time. For example, instead of single-handedly scrolling through hundreds of pictures to find what you need, Worksite’s search engine lets you filter and find content, thanks to automated tags added to all uploaded visuals. Likewise, sharing visuals doesn’t have to take up more than a couple of minutes, with a feature that lets you multi-select files and clip them together under one image sharing link. Can you imagine what you’ll be doing instead when you save that extra time?
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