Optimize Your Day: Time Management Strategies for Professionals

09 July 2024 by Emma


Having a proficient time management skill is vital to your professional life. If you struggle with using your time efficiently, this article might help you.

Sometimes occasional overtime is unavoidable when faced with unreasonable targets and deadlines. However, if you constantly find yourself staying late in the office even with a normal workload, you might have problems with your time management skill. Due to inefficient time management, your work will pile up slowly, so you have to work until late night to get it done.

If you have a similar situation, continue reading to learn how to improve your time management skill and fulfill your professional responsibility in an effective way.

The Effect of Poor Time Management

There are many factors that prevent you from managing your time strategically. Frequent meetings, indecisiveness, and lack of planning are some of the reasons for bad time management. However, no matter the reason, the failure of managing time has some consequences. Adapted from GeeksforGeeks, below are some of the things that you may face with bad time management skills.

Strained Professional Relationship

Bad time management will disrupt your workflow and make you miss deadlines repeatedly. This can affect your relationship with superiors, colleagues, and clients. It can make you appear unreliable, hindering future collaborations or career advancements.

Reduced Job Satisfaction

When you fail to meet the deadline, it will also affect your sense of accomplishment. You will also feel overwhelmed, because you work with additional pressure weighing you down. This may impact your innovative thinking, making it difficult to come out with creative solutions and fresh ideas.

Increased Costs and Wasted Resources 

Missed deadlines are crucial, especially in project-based environments, because of the budget and resource allocation. With poor time management, it’s possible to drag out the project longer than it should, leading to increasing cost and wasted resources.

How to Improve Time Management Skills

There are various methods and apps that can help tracking your busy time. However, without good time management skills, those tools will be useless.

Here are some tips that you can do to make the most of your time at work.

Improve Awareness, Arrangement, and Adaptation

According to this HBR article, time management is essentially a decision-making process that structures, protects, and adjusts a person’s time to changing environmental conditions. To improve this, you need to understand these 3 aspects: 

  • Awareness, or thinking realistically about your time by understanding it’s a limited resource
  • Arrangement , or designing and organizing your goals, plans, schedules, and tasks to use time effectively, and
  • Adaptation, or monitoring your use of time while performing activities, also counting any possible interruptions or changing priorities.

By building these 3 skills, you can understand your time-measuring capability, which task to prioritize, and how to improve its time efficiency.

Sort Goals and Priorities

Sorting priorities according to their urgency is effective for optimizing your focus. If you know which task to prioritize, you can schedule and adjust your time around it. Make your to-do-list first time in the morning, including the unfinished work from yesterday if there’s any. This list will act as a visual guide, to make sure there are no overlooked tasks.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is not a good way to get things done. According to Lifespan, the constant switching between tasks during multitasking tires the brain more quickly. It affects your focus and attention, makes you more distractible and prone to errors. If you really need to multitask, work on one task for 20 minutes or longer before switching to another task.

Set Boundaries

Sometimes your coworkers or managers can be the source of your messy time management. Depending on your job type, sometimes you can’t help being interrupted with non-urgent requests from your coworker. Unless your job description is to help other coworkers, this will prevent you from doing your main job. In this case, try to set your boundaries and ask them to approach you at specific hours or after finishing your main job.

See Time by Externalizing It

Some people need to actually ‘see’ the time to understand how much time they need to do something. According to ADDitude, keeping analog clocks within eye view will help in making the passage of time more visible. Aside from analog clocks, it’s also helpful to set reminders and alarms to stay on track.

Depending on its urgency, sometimes it’s okay to move to another task although it isn’t completed. Rather than having a list of completed tasks, knowing that you have utilized your day wisely will boost your motivation for the next day.

Final Thoughts

Becoming adept at time management will increase your productivity and improve your work quality. However, time management is a personal skill. One method might not work for you, but it might help your colleague. Hence, it’s important to periodically evaluate your time management system until you find one that resonates with your job and working style.

Share This Article

More from Blogs and Insights

See All  
Published on 09 July 2024
Optimize Your Day: Time Management Strategies for Professionals

Having a proficient time management skill is vital to your professional life. If you struggle with using your time efficiently, this article might help you.

Published on 05 June 2024
Keeping Your Cool: How to Survive Toxic Coworkers

While it’s impossible to click with each of your colleagues at work, some people do have toxic personalities that might affect your mental health and work performance. Read more to find out about toxic coworkers and how to deal with them.

Published on 03 April 2024
Ramadan at the Office: 5 Tips to Stay Energized During Working Hours

While fasting during Ramadan can impact energy levels, it’s possible to navigate your workday productively. Here are some tips to stay focused and thrive throughout this holy month.