Handling an organisation’s IT requirements can be an overwhelming task. Even small and medium sized businesses have complex networking and connectivity issues that need to be carefully managed. In a day where urgent problems that crop up unexpectedly can hijack planned tasks or throw a to-do list completely off course, it is helpful to have some time management strategies up your sleeve. Seartec has compiled a list of some of the smartest time management tips to keep your to-do list on track.
Don’t end up drowning in emails
Phil Simon, the author of seven management books, recommends a three-email rule. If you cannot resolve an issue in three emails or less, call and speak to the person instead. This encourages clarity over email and can help declutter your inbox.
Get tech-savvy and app-happy
There are a number of great apps that can help you to track how you spend your time. Rescue Time runs in the background of your computer and mobile devices and shows you how much time you spend on apps and websites. This can help you to trim down on time-wasters. Evernote helps you to collate notes, thoughts and images in one place. It allows you to record meetings, create lists, add voice or text attachments and share information. Toggl tracks how much time you spend on various projects – and it can be used by teams, which is great for boosting productivity and tracking progress.
Use the 4 Ds
Jackie Bavaro, who helps to create productivity software, recommends the 4 D approach. When taking on a new task consider if you can
(1) Delete it – by saying no and declining to take on the task.
(2) Defer it – set a reminder to do it later if it is not urgent. Not every new task has to be done right away, as it can detract from more pressing work.
(3) Delegate it – can another colleague or team member handle the task?
(4) Diminish it – does it have to be as large or time consuming as it is? For example, set 30 minute meetings instead of standard hour-long ones.
Although today’s world is obsessed with multitasking, you only feel more productive when you do more tasks at once. In truth, the diminished focus and attention you give to each task lessens your output. Try a focus-boosting technique such as the Pomodoro Technique, which is simple and helps manage distractions. Simply set a timer for 25 minutes and work on a chosen task exclusively for that time. Close email, put your phone on silent and don’t get side-tracked. Once the 25 minutes is up, have a short break. Every four 25 minute sessions, take a break of at least half an hour. This method takes the stress away from a seemingly endless task, while narrowing your focus to one task at a time. Another technique would be to allocate a set amount of time to each task on your to-do list, a strategy known as time-boxing.
Plan for interruptions
It is inevitable that things will crop up during the day that demand your attention. Don’t try and jam-pack your schedule so much that you cannot accommodate these interruptions. If you feel as if you have planned for these interruptions, they won’t stress you out as much. Also, plan for breaks and time for conversations and thinking. These are vital for creativity, idea generation and to prevent burnout.
Get expert help and advice
Minimise stress and unexpected disasters by working with suppliers that you can trust. Seartec’s portfolio of brands provide top-quality products and services that create a seamless, tailored solution to your office’s requirements, with the added peace of mind that comes with excellent after-sales support and maintenance. This decreases time-wastage for you and your team.
Feel free to contact us for more information