Some workdays are busier than others—sometimes leading to the point of feeling overwhelming stress or procrastination.
To avoid long-term consequences like work-life imbalance, an unprofessional reputation, or financial stress, it all begins with time management.
Here are three tips to help you form a time management technique that works for your schedule and projects.
1) Track Everything
When it comes to managing one’s time and efficiency, organization is key. Sometimes we may feel like we spent 30 minutes on a project, but we actually spent hours. This only adds on to the stress that comes with hard deadlines.
As the projects add up, it’s important to prioritize and stay organized.
Signing up for free project management tools, such as Trello, can help you track time by providing reminders about all upcoming projects and deadlines.
Project management tools allow people to input projects, including due dates and important notes, and create checklists. Tracking progress with a checklist can provide that sense of organization and accomplishment.
2) Create SMART Goals
People make goals in life for the month, the week, the day, or even the hour.
For example, a goal for the day could be to finish an expense report. But distractions happened, and the goal wasn’t accomplished. If SMART goals were made, maybe the day would have gone differently.
SMART is an abbreviation that stands for:
Revisiting the expense report example, step one would be to create a goal that’s specific. It could be something like, “I want to finalize my expense report by 5:00 PM today.”
The next step is measurement, which establishes when you’ll know the goal has been achieved. In this case, the goal will be accomplished when the expense report is sent.
The third step is determining how achievable the task is. This is where you find what stands in the way of you achieving that goal and how to overcome it. In this case, the goal is achievable because there is an open two-hour timeslot in the day.
The fourth step is examining the relevance of your goal. This goal is relevant because it must be done; it’s required for the job.
The fifth and final step is determining if your goal is time-bound. Since we know that the expense report needs to be in by 5:00 PM and takes two hours to complete, finding that two-hour time gap is crucial to getting it done.
Following this SMART model for multiple projects can help you stay on track with important deadlines and feel more accomplished.
3) Manage Expectations
As the SMART goals demonstrate, it’s crucial to be realistic and honest about goals and habits. Taking note of your bad habits can help you figure out why some projects are behind schedule or why your performance is off.
Get these habits under control, and it only goes up from here.
Combine your project management tool with a list of SMART goals. That way, you can ensure you’re prioritizing the correct assignments and communicating realistic expectations to your team and yourself.
In October 2021, 46% of stress among workers came from an overwhelming workload. Workloads can feel a bit less heavy through prioritizing, establishing realistic expectations, and managing time efficiently.
If you want to show off your time management skills and efficiency, check out our job openings today.