Home > Working from Home > Managing Your Work Time

Managing Your Work Time

By: Ross Wigham - Updated: 27 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Time Management Getting Things Done Work

Having too much to do and not enough time available is a common complaint that all of us will make at some point during our working lives.

It seems the problem is getting worse with productivity levels in Britain among the lowest across the whole of Europe. Despite working some of the longest hours in the developed world Britons seem unable to manage their working time productivity.

Although everyone has their own individual way of getting things done there are some techniques and rules that can help maximise the working day, making the most productive use of the time available.

Getting Started

It may seem obvious to say that it’s important to know exactly what all your tasks are but this is vital in forming a cohesive and successful plan to make the most of the available time.

It’s a common mistake to simply tackle each task as it comes in and can often lead to a situation where workers are just ‘fire fighting’ each individual problem instead of working through all of the tasks in a methodical way.

You should draw up a list of daily, monthly or any regular tasks and then look at other things that may come up as part of your duties. This will help you plan effectively for the usual peaks and troughs of your workload and deal with tasks or projects that come your way.

Evaluating the Workload

It’s very important to make sure you don’t become overwhelmed with excessive work or try to take on too much as this will usually result in even less productivity. Becoming swamped with more than you can handle is totally counterproductive and will soon lead to even less being accomplished.

Demands on your time will always rise and fall but you should place sensible limits on what you hope to achieve in any set period of time.

Too much work or being put under excessive pressure can lead to workplace stress which can in turn lead to a host of other problems for workers and employers. If you feel too much is being expected of you don’t be afraid to speak with your manager or supervisor to discuss the workload.

You should always ensure that:

  • Any targets associated with your work are achievable.
  • The agreed deadlines are realistic.
  • Work isn’t forced on you or your colleagues.
  • You don’t agree to take on tasks that you cannot realistically complete.

Managing Your Time Effectively

Time management is one of the most important skills to have in the workplace, although it can be something of an art because most people have different ways of working. Some find it better to work flat out until a job is complete but others are more productive when they break work up into lots of smaller, more manageable chunks.

Identifying your own strengths or weaknesses and finding the style that works best for you is really what effective time management is all about.

  • Prioritise. You must look at the most important tasks to complete and make some difficult decisions about the urgency of things facing you. Deciding on the most important jobs will help you tackle the working day more effectively and put your plans into action.
  • Make to-do-lists. Preparing daily or weekly to-do-lists will set out all your tasks and act as a permanent reminder of what needs to be done. Many people find that these sort of lists help them avoid procrastination and keep them organised. However, you should set a maximum number of tasks per day or the list will become unmanageable.
  • Delegate tasks or get help. You will become stressed and overworked unless you can calculate your maximum workload, and develop delegation skills.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Carl
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    Hi im a maintenance worker and i am being made to jet wash outdoors in cold temperatures (its december in the uk) is this allowed or…
    5 December 2019
  • Joe
    Re: General Workplace Safety
    Can I be forced to put my belongings in a unsafe locker
    5 December 2019
  • Reddwalf
    Re: Criminal Background Checks: CRB & DBS
    Hi, I want to work as a nursery assistant, but a few years ago my daughter made a false allegation that I threatened…
    5 December 2019
  • Sunny
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    Iam heart patient and having high blood pressure issues and iam on medication 4 tabs a day and i work full time at night shift and my…
    5 December 2019
  • Chris
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I've had a shoulder injury for 3 years that happened before I started employment at my current job. For this injury I've been…
    4 December 2019
  • Dave
    Re: Lead Poisoning: Causes and Prevention
    Hi, Can anyone tell me whether the lead shot that falls on the ground as a result of shooting clay pigeons, is…
    4 December 2019
  • Calling Out The Corr
    Re: Violence at Work
    How do HM Revenue & Customs get away with bullying and harassing staff ?
    4 December 2019
  • Fred
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I have been with my employer for over 11 years now. For the last 2 months I've struggled on and off with sciatica. I have taken the last 2…
    3 December 2019
  • Steve
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    My employer has got me starting my first two days on nights then a day of rest then next three days…
    3 December 2019
  • Mr T
    Re: Guide to Your Rights When Working Alone
    If you are not using a lone worker devise and checking via say a raido, is there a maximum time limit to monitoring?
    3 December 2019