Whether you are among leadership or an employee, your job can become stressful and overbearing. One of the primary reasons is that you take on too much or fail to break down tasks into manageable pieces. Fortunately, there are numerous ways you can better manage your time so you don’t become bogged with a considerable workload and miss important deadlines.
Call Experts for Advice
Everyone needs help from time to time. And no matter your position in a company, you can get a job better completed by calling in expert advice. For instance, you know about lawn fertilization and maintenance as a landscaper. But you can maximize the efficiency of a task if you consult with a horticulturalist for expert guidance about professional short and long-term plant care. Further, you can call on professionals for their support no matter your sector. Consultants are usually experts in the field with many years of experience that they pass to you.
Unfortunately, but true, not all tasks are equally as important. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is approaching tasks in a linear time frame as and when you receive them. For instance, as tech support for a multinational process automation company, installing a new office PC might sound like it requires immediate attention. And it probably won’t take long. But it isn’t as important as an international client threatening to pull a multimillion-dollar contract if an ongoing HMI issue isn’t resolved by the end of the day. Instead, distinguish urgent and non-urgent tasks.
Allocate Resources as Required
Like prioritization, resources also need to be managed. Further, effective time management of specific things helps reduce scheduling conflicts where a finite amount of time is necessary for a task. You can allocate resources as follows:
- Decide what resources you’ll need
- Make sure you’ve got the right people for the job
- Plan how much time you’ll need for each resource
- Make a schedule based on projected availability
- Watch the project’s progress
However, before trying to manage resources, it is helpful to determine the scope of an individual project. You can do this by identifying if resources are available and how you can make them available. Next, track the time it will take for any resource to become available. And finally, Manage resources in such a way as to not over-allocate anything, or you risk running out.
Don’t Carry a High Workload
Research by the World Health Organization determines that working for more than eight hours per day is damaging to your health. Working up to twelve hours per day might be necessary, depending on your circumstances and finances. Still, it’s highly recommended that you do not. Further, if you can do so, limit work stress. Work overload refers to taking on too many tasks while at work or taking your work home with you. For instance, leave paperwork at the office, switch off your work phone and never check work-related emails in your free time.
Compartmentalize Large Tasks
In a leadership position, you are chosen because your boss has every faith you can do the job. However, you might think that a task is too big and become stressed at the thought of what needs to be done. But don’t despair. You can break down even the most extensive projects into smaller ones, which are then delegated to capable people. This is called compartmentalization and is the essence of project management. First, form a plan on what can be done, when and by whom. From there, arrange dates and times around resources and personnel availability.
Set Realistic Project Milestones
An essential aspect of time management is identifying milestones. Milestones are critical steps along the timeline of a project. Typically, a milestone is achieved by a specific time, but project milestones are often unrealistic. Therefore, missing one looks like you have failed and gives the impression that a project is losing track. This simply isn’t the case because there are many reasons why a milestone is missed. Some of the most common include world events (like a pandemic), supply chain issues (like the current one), and natural disasters such as flooding.
Don’t Say Yes to Everything
As mentioned, carrying a high workload can be disastrous to both a project and your physical and mental health. One of the main reasons you can become burdened with work is because you say yes to everything. You can say no if you feel you are under pressure. Kindly ask that a specific task be delegated to someone with more available time. If possible, you can drop less critical tasks, prioritize others or pass leadership to someone else if you feel you have contributed what you can. It is illegal for your employer to force more work than possible.