An alarming amount of time is wasted in offices across the country every single day and much of it is avoidable. Whether it’s down to poor time management or simply being bogged down under piles of work and the stress that comes with that, it’s very easy to take a long time to do things that really shouldn’t cause any problems at all. This blog post is going to look at a few of the worst offenders and how to avoid them.
Plan Your Time
Proper planning and preparation is key to utilising your time as well as possible. Set aside some time at the start of each week or even each day to plan how you are going to use your time. Prioritise important tasks and set an amount of time for each of the things you need to do. This will ensure you know when you need to move onto the next task.
Dealing with Email
Email has made a massive difference to how people in office environments work. It allows the instant communication of anything from small memos to large briefings. The instant nature of email is definitely it’s biggest benefit but it can also be it’s biggest downfall. When using email as a primary form of communication many people fall into the pattern of checking and actioning emails as they come in. While this ensures all emails are dealt with as efficiently as possible other work tends to get left behind.
The best thing to do is set yourself certain periods of time each day to deal with emails. Schedule your email time just like you would any other part of your work and stick to it. If there is anything seriously urgent in your inbox, whoever sends it is sure to follow up with a call if you don’t respond.
Dealing with Phonecalls
If you work in a client management role it’s quite likely you’ll have clients phoning you every five minutes to ask what you’ve been doing or pass on some fairly insignificant piece of information. It is of course necessary to take these phone calls and make a certain amount of small talk to build and maintain a relationship with your client but it’s important not to let it get out of hand. Taking advantage of a telephone answering service could be the perfect way to more successfully manage your time and prioritise call backs. Additionally, you could encourage them to send any small enquiries by email rather than calling.
Take a Break
Taking a break seems like a weird way to save time but it can work. If you find yourself getting bogged down under piles of work or getting less and less productive, taking a break can get your focus back. Even if you only walk to the toilet and back or go and get a coffee, taking your eyes away from your work for 5 minutes can make a world of difference.
If you have any time saving suggestions please let us know in the comments. If you run a business have a look around our site and see how virtual office or telephone answering services could help with your time management.