Good time management skills are one of the most sought after qualities that hiring companies look for in fresh candidates – and for good reason. When you know how to manage your time wisely you become more reliable, organized, and focused on getting the job done. If you’re struggling to finish tasks on time, it is probably because you’re spending the wrong amount of time on your different projects. It’s common and easy to get into the habit of and can result in a mountain of work that you never end up getting to.
Improving the way you manage your time doesn’t have to be as difficult as you think it is. There are plenty of simple fixes you can add to your routine to ensure you’re making a significant dent in your work each day.
Read below for the 7 best tips on how to delegate your time more wisely.
- Prioritize your tasks – Before you start tackling your many projects, figure out which ones you should work on first. Often, we try to finish the projects that have the nearest deadlines before anything else. But sometimes this isn’t always the wisest thing to do. If there’s a big project due at the end of the month that needs a lot of attention but you have one manageable task due at the end of the week – work on the larger project first. The key to finishing large projects on a strong note is handling them one step at a time.
- Write things down – Keeping a to-do list is handy but sometimes it’s hard to notice it when it’s lying on your desk amongst your other files and papers. Try keeping a small whiteboard in your office with a built in calendar section. You’ll be able to easily see your upcoming tasks and also edit things as you go. There are also plenty of calendar web tools you can incorporate into your day that will email and alert you when you have a project coming up. Our favorites are asana.com and trello.com
- Learn to say no – As an eager-to-get-ahead type of worker, it can be natural for you to always accept tasks without caring that you already have so much to do. While it’s always great to let your managers know that you’re up for any project and willing to get on board as many as you can – sometimes this means you end up with too much to do. And when you have too many projects, you realize there’s no way you can accomplish all of them. Instead of accepting every new assignment, reflect on what you’re already working on. If you’ve got too much in your pipeline, just tell your boss you need to finish up a couple other projects first and that you’ll get back to them as soon as you free up some space.
- Use time management apps – If you find it difficult to manage your time on your own, make use of some awesome apps that could help you out! Toggl is a really modern time-keeping app that will help you monitor breaks and how long you spend on projects. Google Keep is an app that lets you manage your notes by color and label so that you can keep track of different tasks you have in each of your different projects. And Basecamp is a helpful client that lets you organize meetings with your team members in a more collaborative and intuitive way.
- What time works best for you? In order to get the most done in your day, figure out what times you are most productive. Try to schedule your day around those hours. If you’re most productive after your morning cup of coffee, start on bigger projects then. If you’re not a morning person, try and handle some simple tasks first.
- Take mini breaks – It’s never a good idea to burn yourself out from working too hard. Make sure you take some time to refresh your mind before you start on your next project. Get up and get some water or take a break from working and plan out what you have to do next. This way, you’ll give your mind some rest while also keeping yourself organized and focused.
- Reward yourself – Don’t forget to reward yourself! After completing a task, do something small that will uplift you and motivate you to get your next task done. Eat a snack or make lunch plans with a coworker so that you have something to look forward to after each project you complete.
Managing your time well is the key to making a good impression on your coworkers and boss. If your next interview asks you to explain how you manage your time, you’ll be able to provide examples with confidence that show your abilities to work under pressure and to tight deadlines. Keep these tips in mind when work starts to pile up and prevent yourself from pushing projects to the last minute. With better time management skills, you’ll be able to handle more projects with ease and make a strong lasting impression on your team.