5 Ways to Better Manage Your Time at Work

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The desire for extra time to get your work done, or less work to complete in the first place, stretches across jobs and workplaces of all types. Ironically, the best way to manage your time at work might involve slowing down to get things done right the first time, and carefully choosing when to complete tasks instead of letting them drag on until they’re finished.

5 Confront Time-Wasters

There’s no shortage of things that can suck the time out of your work day. Confront time-wasters head on before they become routines that are hard to break. Whether it’s personal calls from family and friends, a colleague who invites you on long lunches or even a boss whose meetings run long or start late because of small talk, address the issue in a courteous, professional way. Indicate that you want to do your best work and that once you do, you’ll be available for socializing at the appropriate time.

4 Ban the Internet

Some tasks require using the Internet. At other times, online distractions can be a time sink. Learn how to quickly disable—and re-enable—the Internet on your computer at work. Switch off your connection, and shut down your phone if needed, to get through tasks such as reading or memo writing that don’t require you to be online. This will remove the temptation to check personal email, surf the web or give in to any other online time-waster.

3 Take a Lunch Break

When people get busy at work, the traditional lunch break is often one of the first things to go. Taking a lunch break, even just a 30-minute one, in the middle of a busy day can actually increase your efficiency. Lunch is a chance to reassess your daily schedule and time to eat an actual meal. According to the Mayo Clinic, a good diet is essential to healthy stress management. Instead of constant snacking at your desk, step away from work long enough to eat something nutritious—then enjoy a productive afternoon.

2 Stick to a Schedule

A daily schedule helps your prioritize your work, break complex tasks into manageable chunks, and keep from forgetting about smaller tasks or last-minute meetings. The time you put into making a schedule or to-do list is wasted unless you stick to it. Creates each day’s schedule the night before, to avoid a slow start the following day. Move briskly from one task to another, tackling hard work first and leaving nonessential tasks for when you have time.

1 Arrive Early

Getting to work late means you’re behind before you even start. Instead, coordinate your schedule to arrive early. Being the first one in the office may seem like you’re working harder than everyone else, but it will also give you time to work with minimal distractions. Check to see whether your employer can move your daily schedule up an hour, starting early but also leaving early, to beat rush-hour traffic or. On rare occasions, stay late to finish special projects.
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