How to Manage Your Time Effectively

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Manage your time effectively.
Manage your time effectively. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Managing your time effectively helps you accomplish more each day. An effective time management strategy also can reduce your stress, which means you're more relaxed, focused and able to complete your tasks on time. It's easy to become distracted at work, but you can maintain a higher level of productivity if you apply time management tips that can help you organize your office time more efficiently. Just a few simple ideas can help you get more out of your work day.

Let your calls go straight to voice mail at times when you must work without interruption. Be sure to set aside time each day to return the calls you missed.

Schedule a block of time to answer email. Email is a constant distraction -- particularly if you use an instant notification system. Turn off the notifications, and limit use of the email program to every couple of hours rather than checking and opening email as messages arrive.

Create a to-do list. Before you leave the office at the end of each day, prepare a to-do list for the following day. Prioritize it so you know what you need to focus your attention on as soon as you arrive at work.

Recognize tasks that will take less than five minutes to complete and do them immediately. This way, you get the small things out of the way so you do not need to think about them.

Keep your desk and office organized. A major cause of ineffective time management is disorganization. Keep your desk and office organized, have everything on hand and return items you use to the place you have assigned them so you don't waste time searching for them.

Prioritize. Know what your priorities are on both a daily and long-term basis. Revisit your list often and make changes as new projects cross your desk or as other projects change or become less urgent.

Delegate. You do not need to do everything yourself. Entrust someone who has the skill and the time to handle part or all of a project you are unable to complete on time.

Choose technology carefully. Ensure that the technology you're using really does improve your productivity and efficiency. Sometimes, a handwritten note is the best way to get a message to someone or remind yourself of a deadline.

Tips & Warnings

  • Effective office time management means setting SMART goals, prioritizing, focusing, and using technology that improves effective time management instead of hindering it. By implementing these time management tips you should be better able to manage your time effectively and get more out of your work day.

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