Decrease your workload and manage your time effectively. It’s the rare balancing, yet synergistic act in the workplace that can stop you from chasing deadlines day-in-day-out. In maximizing every minute, you can increase your productivity levels and clamp down on waste such as idle hours, equipment used unwisely, and poor performances.
There are also other intangible, long-lasting advantages in workload reduction and effective time management. First, as the work gets done, the pressure slows down. Your stress levels become more manageable, leaving you refreshed and eager to meet the next challenge. This confident outlook can also reduce your risks of incurring depression, boredom, indifference, and even illness, which are all consequences of stress left unmanaged.
Second, you and your company can also incur savings. Time spent wisely and productively at work means fewer mistakes that have to be corrected. That can lead to saving the dollars which would have been spent on equipment that had to be repaired, customer repair damage control to prevent customer exit, and the hiring of temp staff to fix the damage.
There are smart ways to reduce office tasks and partition time to make sure it is wisely and well-spent. Follow these ten tips to make your workplace more efficient, more results-oriented, and less stressful:
1. Start with the end in mind.
Segregate your different projects into different components, each with its own timeline. Create a production calendar that will give you an overview of these major responsibilities that you have to finish within a certain period of time.
2. Set your priorities.
Now that you can see the forest and not just the trees, mark which are the first areas that you have to cover. Decide which requires your attention ASAP and set an allotted time for it. Lytespark gives this tip: Put the toughest, most important jobs first in line. Putting them off, especially when the thought of them scares you, will only make you procrastinate. This delay of one major piece of work will spread like wildfire and affect other things in your to-do list.
3. Break down your priorities into a to-do list.
Now that you have identified the projects that have to be tackled first, create a list of actionable items that will help you finish each one. Set a definite time frame for the accomplishment of each task on your list.
4. Manage your email habits.
The Team Building Directory advises you to manage your email exchanges, or else they can manage you and ruin your schedule. Once you have finalized your to-do list and its respective timeline, stick to it. Do not allow anything to distract you, not even emails. Turn off email notifications for the next hour while you are finishing your priorities. This act will also help discipline yourself to check your email only within specified time frames.
For example, check your first batch from 10 to 11 a.m. Then pause to focus on your work. Resume reading your email from 4 to 5 p.m. A lot of your important tasks would have been done by then.
5. Practice the same discernment with your conversations.
Restrict your conversations to matters related to the workplace. Avoid watercooler gossip and endless unproductive arguments. If an insensitive colleague insists on chatting with you about the next store sale she will visit, just smoothly but firmly say that you have to run because you have work to do.
6. Learn to say ‘no.’
It is not always wise to do favors for every colleague who asks for help. Regardless of how much sympathy you may feel for your busy teammates, check first if you do have the available time and energy to lend them a helping hand. Hint: finish your tasks first before going the extra mile for anyone.
7. Learn how to negotiate.
It would be hard to turn down extra work if it comes from a colleague you are working directly with on a project. It can be tougher if the request comes from your supervisor. Point out the difficulty in finishing all those assignments in the allotted time. Once they have realized your point, negotiate for the things you do need, like extra hours, deadline postponement, or more resources.
8. Delegate extra tasks.
Career Advancement Blog advises entrusting other team members with excess work in order to free yourself up to focus on the more important tasks. Delegating tasks you aren’t required to do while you’re plate is full will decrease your workload dramatically.
9. Brainstorm with your cubicle comrade-in-arms.
In line with delegation and negotiation, take the time to have a creative session with your project colleagues. Two heads are always better than one in coming up with solutions to difficult problems. The next bright idea just might reduce the time in completing the work.
10. Make technology your friend.
Use software and other tools not just to decrease your workload but organize it as well. Through various kinds of technology available today, you can streamline communications with your colleagues, and make the entire process even more efficient.
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