Time management: The key to achieving work-life balance
Let’s face it – working a full-time job is challenging at times. And “full-time” can mean well over 40 hours if you don’t practice the skills to effectively manage your time. It’s crucial to master time management to maintain true work-life balance. Achieving this isn’t always easy – in fact, 24 percent of surveyed U.S. employees said the balance between their professional and personal lives is getting tougher to manage. We understand most companies don’t offer formal time management training, so here are four tips to help you achieve work-life balance, even in the most demanding of work weeks.
Stay organized. We’ve all heard the phrase “preparation is the key to success” – this especially rings true in the workforce. The power of a simple to-do list is stronger than you’d think, and we have technology to thank for the numerous apps (take Trello for example) to help keep you on track if you’re not the pencil and paper type. Take 5-10 minutes first thing in the morning or at the end of the day to prepare for the day ahead. Once practicing this exercise, you’d be surprised how much time this cuts off your day.
Prioritize action items. Most of the time, your list can be split into “top priority,” “medium priority” and “low priority.” When developing your to-do list each day, list each activity from highest priority to lowest. That way, you’re tackling the most important items first and less timely activities can carry over into the next day or two. You can even block time on your calendar for the high-priority items to make sure you’re getting them done as quickly as needed. With busy schedules, frequent meetings and emails flooding your inbox, it can be hard to make time for this work if you don’t have your schedule blocked off.
Ask for help. If you feel like you’ve taken on too much work, don’t keep this to yourself. Your manager is there to help you, and at times, it can be hard for them to fully grasp your workload if you don’t speak up. If you’re given a big project on top of your already full workload, ask for help prioritizing or if there’s someone from your team that can divide and conquer the work with you.
Don’t complain – it’s not the answer. Visiting a coworker’s desk to talk about how much you have on your plate won’t get it done any quicker. While productive conversation with colleagues and a break every now and then is great, focus discussion on the positives of the day and all you plan to accomplish.
Leveraging these four tips can help you maximize productivity in the workplace, contributing to better outcomes for your company and the clients you serve. Do you have any tips to share about time management? We’d love to learn what’s worked for you!