If you could free up between 30 to 60 minutes of your time each day would that appeal to you?
Companies both large and small the world over need their staff to maximise productivity. So it is interesting to note that a US survey of 10,000 at random respondents showed an average of 90 minutes wasted time per person per working day. Depending on the number of staff this can represent a sizable cost to the business. By introducing effective time management strategies most respondents were able to productively re-channel their time.
I’m going to share with you three Handy Hints. If you are not already practicing them, it’s time to do so.
TIME LOG Do you feel that your working day is out of control? Is there too much work left undone at the end of your working day? Are you dreaming of greater work/life balance?
Handy Hint: The first step in generating greater control over your competing tasks and priorities is to analyse your current daily pattern of activities. First you create a daily time log and complete it on a daily basis for at least one week. Don’t leave anything out, coffee breaks, short phone calls, even the few minutes you might spend checking your shares on the internet. Tedious? Yes, but the effort is well worth it as it will show up patterns of ‘wasted time’, ‘interruptions’ and even ‘task avoidance’. Once you have identified how you are currently spending your working hours, then you can introduce strategies to increase productivity and efficiency.
PRIME TIME Are you aware of your body’s mental and physical cycles, and do you know at what time of day you work best? Performance levels fluctuate depending on whether one is alert, focused, energized, or tired. Some people come alive in the mornings, whilst others tend to be far more energetic and focused later in the day.
Handy Hint:First identify your own personal peak effectiveness time as this will enable you to schedule your key activities within this time frame. If you need to schedule an important meeting, or maybe a task where concentration is vital, this approach can be extremely valuable and give you the performance edge you need.
MULTITASKING AND STRESS Are you one of these people who thrive on multitasking? Females, more so than males, are good at multitasking and we pride ourselves on our juggling acts! Studies by behavioral psychologists, efficiency experts and information technology researchers, are showing that contrary to common believe, multitasking often decreases work output. What’s more, it makes us more prone to mistakes, and increases stress and irritability.
Handy Hint: Multitask if you must, by try and concentrate on maybe 3 tasks maximum, ideally routine tasks that do not require much mental focus and can be carried out easily due to repetition and familiarity. Other time wasters include focusing on tasks that are urgent but not important, constant interruptions, misunderstandings due to miscommunication, copious emails, and more. We will provide more tips to cover these points in future articles.
About the author: Silvia Wright-Davies is partner for the Centre for Achievement. As both a professional trainer and business improvement specialist she works with organisations to create winning teams and accelerate sales and profitability. She travels Australia conducting training in Customer Service, Time and Organizational Skills, Conflict Management, Supervisory and Management Skills, Telephone Skills, and more.