How to Better Manage Your Time at Work

How may times have you wished that you had to sleep for only 4 and not 8 hours a day, or wished that one day could last at least 36 hours?

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by John

If I were a betting man, I would bet that these kinds of thoughts emerged mostly when you’re under pressure at your work place. I would also bet these problems included a great surplus of duties, and an equally big shortage of time. No matter what is your profession, here are a few tips on how to better manage your time at work.

Time is Priceless

young businesswoman with a big clock

A lot of times, in any workspace, time may seem like the most valuable commodity. Your boss is asking for results, your co-workers are too busy to help and your nerves are getting thinner and thinner. Unfortunately, in that moment, you’re on your own. Most likely, the problems you’re experiencing started to pile up earlier, and the majority can be traced to your time management skills. In other words, you might have not been in this predicament if you knew how to better manage your time.

Fortunately, this process isn’t difficult or complex. In fact, in its essence, it’s simply a streamlining how you perceive and fill your regular, everyday office hours.

Minimize Distractions

Distractions are notorious problem for humans, as individuals and as a species. In part, our curiosity and easily bored minds are the reason we are so successful and adaptable. But, in the professional sense, this is often a choke point for your daily chores. That’s why you should close that browser window, and put away your mobile phone. Don’t let yourself be fooled by “only one more Youtube video clip and then I’m getting back to that boring analysis” mental maneuver.

Treat yourself like you would treat a child that doesn’t want to study. Explain yourself that you’re doing something that’s important for your career and your future. You have to feel committed to your work. That’s why, when you’re working, all distraction should be rooted out.

A Break Should Mean a Break

resting at work

One of my clients complained that she worked so hard she didn’t take breaks for weeks at a time. In spite of that, the quality of her work steadily declined. She didn’t realize she was burning herself out, and avoidance of short breaks only added fuel to the fire.
As much as you should avoid distractions, you should also rigorously force yourself to take a break for 5 or 10 minutes at least every hour.

Your mind isn’t a machine. Taking regular breaks clears your thought processes and in fact improves your cognitive abilities.

Regulate the Things that Your Body Needs

Don’t eat any kind of junk food. Replace soft drinks with water. If it’s possible, drink green tea instead of coffee. Get informed about nutrition values of different foods and beverages – they are instrumental for a balanced management of time. Sugar may pick you up, but will make you gain weight. This will affect many vital functions in your body, like, for example, sleep regulation. If your sleep loses quality, you will have less concentration and your memory will become weaker. A lot of people just run to a bakery of a fast food restaurant for breakfast, all under the excuse that they don’t have time for anything else.

The truth is completely opposite. Ignoring your health will only decrease the time you have in the office, as well as in your whole life. While you’re at it, learn also about 5 simple ways to have more energy.

Focus on Time, not on the Tasks

Time is in one sense similar to money – you have to spend it to make more of it. Every day, instead of jumping on the first possible job task you have, take a few minutes to plan out that day. Do a “work triage”: decide what are the most urgent things, the things that can wait for a few hours and those that you can set-aside for tomorrow.

This way, you will maximize your time, and also give yourself a feeling that you control your responsibilities, instead of them being in control of you.

With this and other things I mentioned, you will surely learn how to better manage your time at work.

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I am a psychologist, author and a journalist, currently in training for a Gestalt therapy degree. I am mostly interested in emotional relationships and the process of change in people endlessly fascinates me. When I’m not working, I enjoy movies, novels, travel and snowboarding.

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