Are you about to start at a new job? Congratulations! You’ll finally be able to have your own source of income, pay your own bills and are en route to being financially independent.
That said, whether you’re fresh out of collage or changing careers, starting at a new job can be a daunting task. There are several challenges you can expect to face.
Among all, these include:
- Fitting in with your new colleagues
- Information overload as you try to learn about your new role and catch up with the rest of the team
- Adjusting to the new workplace culture
- Adjusting to your new workload (or lack thereof)
- Gaining confidence in your new role
Admittedly, finding balance can be one of the most challenging things when you’re just getting started in your career.
Time management is a skill that many workplace newbies often underestimate and even fail at. Taking the time to develop good time management skills will help you better adjust to your new workplace, roles and life in general.
Lucky for you, we have broken down 11 time management tips for you to get the most out of work!
Time Management Tips For Your Career
If there is one skill that you should learn as you start out with your career, it is time management. Time management skills will help you better manage your tasks and be able to complete them on time and well.
You can avoid rushed jobs and ensure that management notices you for your efficiency. This will in turn boost your confidence and help improve your career prospects in the long run.
1. Understand Your Roles And Responsibilities
It’s not uncommon to be confused about what you’re supposed to do when starting out at a new job. This is especially true if this is your first job in this particular field.
The danger with this is that you may end up doing tasks that aren’t your responsibility and therefore waste time and perhaps never complete your own tasks.
Your first task when starting out in your career should be to determine what your roles and responsibilities are. Your supervisor will most probably give you a breakdown of your duties for the day, as well as moving forward.
Understanding what you’re responsible for will help you stay organized. You can better manage your tasks.
2. Set Goals Right From The Start
Don’t put off your goal setting for when you’ve finally settled in your career. You’ve only just started your career and have a long way to go!
Start setting goals right from the start. These don’t have to be big goals. They only have to be SMART goals, i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
Set short-term goals for your day-to-day tasks to ensure that you are able to get the most important things done. As you learn more about your career and the opportunities available, set some long term goals to keep you motivated at work.
3. Perform A Time Audit
It is easy to fall prey to time-wasters such as making personal calls, social media, surfing the internet, reading emails and much more.
While you may think you are only spending a few minutes on these activities, an audit of your time may reveal something different.
Keep track of how you spend your time for at least seven days straight. Assess what you spend your time on.
How much time is spent on your primary tasks and how much do you spend on time-wasters?
Create goals to spend less time on these time waters and more on your primary tasks.
4. Be Ruthless At Prioritizing
What tasks are the most important for you to complete? Which tasks are urgent? What can you put off to the next day? What requires more effort to complete?
If you have many tasks to complete, be sure to prioritize your tasks and determine which you should tackle first.
5. Start Your Morning With The Most Important Tasks
Food coma after lunch? Relatable.
This is why you should start your morning, when your brain is probably the most active, with the most important tasks.
It is easy to become busy with tasks that are part of your responsibilities but are not urgent or important.
Identify tasks that are the most important and start your day by attending to these tasks.
Completing these tasks will give you the momentum you need to get through the rest of your to-do list as the day progresses.
6. Make Use Of Time Management Tools
Your phone doesn’t necessarily have to be a time-waster. You can use it to better manage your time.
There are various time management apps that you can download to your phone to help you keep track of your goals and tasks.
Apps such as Todoist, Be Focused Timer and Focus Booster are all great time management apps for you to download. If you prefer, you can install time management software such as Outlook to help keep you on track.
These apps and software programs allow you to schedule events, set reminders for tasks and keep track of your goals.
7. Establish A Routine And Stick To It Whenever Possible
Having a routine ensures that you can get down to your tasks as soon as possible.
You are less likely to waste time on settling down or other time-wasters. However, this does not mean that you should stick to your routine strictly. You can always adjust your routine when something unexpected arises.
This way, you’ll not only be flexible, but focused on the tasks at hand as well.
8. Set Time Limits For Your Tasks
This is the easiest way to ensure that you keep on track with your tasks and are able to complete them.
Setting time limits will ensure that no single task consumes your whole day. For example, if you need to attend to emails, set a time limit such as thirty minutes every morning to answer emails.
9. Schedule breaks when working
Let’s face it. It’s quite impossible for us to be fully focused 8 hours a day.
Sitting at your desk all day will not make you productive. Studies have shown that taking frequent breaks helps to boost productivity.
Breaking up your work sessions keeps you mentally alert. It is also good for your physical and emotional health.
Take a short break every hour. This could be a short five-minute walk to the water dispenser and back to your desk.
10. Make Time For Exercise
Do you want to have the stamina and the mental focus to get through your work day and actually be productive? You’ll need to make time for physical exercise.
This will help to improve circulation and boost your energy. It also helps to improve your mental focus.
You do not have to engage in physically exerting activities for extended periods. Thirty minutes of gentle stretching or yoga can have far reaching positive effect on your productivity at work.
11. End Your Day With A To-Do List
Before you go to bed in the evening, ensure that you have prepared a to-do list for the next day.
A to-do list is a great way to ensure that you remain focused throughout the day. It is effectively setting goals for the next day.
Making this list the day before ensures that you are not bogged down by tasks while making it. You can therefore focus on the most important tasks.
Time management skills are amongst the most vital skills you will need for a successful career.
However, do not expect to be efficient at managing your time at the workplace from day one. It takes time to adjust to your career and its demands.
Be patient and kind with yourself. Find what works for you and go with it. Do not give up even when you think you are failing. Take a step back to see how far you have come and what changes you need to make.
The more disciplined you become about how you use your time, the more you will be able to accomplish.