How to Find More Time In Your Work Day
Surveys conducted throughout the United States have found that the average employee admits to wasting approximately two hours out of every eight-hour work day. This does not include lunch and other scheduled breaks.
If you find that you don't have enough time to get your work done, it may be because you're wasting more time than you realize.
Reclaim Some Scheduled Time
Look over your calendar for the past year to find meetings, conferences, committees and other work obligations that took a large chunk of your working hours. In the future, ask your boss whether it's really important for you to attend each one. See if someone else can attend in your place. If your job requires you to attend, think of ways you can multitask while you are there.
Limit the Amount of Time You Spend on Email
This can be tough, since so much of our work-related communication now comes through email. But some workers report spending over an hour each morning just dealing with the contents of their inboxes. Each time an employee is distracted by an email, reads it and returns to the task at hand, approximately five minutes is wasted. Here are seven tips:
Create a timeframe that is realistic for the amount of material you need to cover. Stick to the agenda to ensure that the material is covered during the allotted time, and adjust your schedule if actual time needed varies from your original time estimate.
Limit Your Chat Time With Co-workers
Sure, you want to be friendly with your colleagues, but sometimes they can keep you from your duties for too long. When approached by chatty co-workers, say that you have "X" amount of minutes, then must get back to work. You can always suggest getting together at lunch, on a break or after work to finish the conversation. And refrain from getting involved in office gossip or rumors that focus your attention on an issue that has nothing to do with work.
Make an Honest List of Personal Activities
Most of us do spend work hours on personal activities, and may not even realize it because they are now habit. Eliminate these, and you may be surprised at the amount of free time you find:
Give Yourself Time for Transitions
Many people routinely waste 15 to 30 minutes at both ends of the work day mentally and physically preparing for the work/home transition. If you get to work even 10 minutes early, you can begin your actual work on time. Continue working until the end of the work day, and then give yourself time to get ready to go home. And if you can, use your commute time for mental preparation. On the way to work, visualize yourself starting your day, go over your calendar and get yourself ready. On your way home, focus on letting your work day go and think about your home time and evening plans.
Strengthen Your Time Management Skills