Our 9-5 work day mode has been the standard for decades, and it has become the norm. We’re conditioned to “rise and shine,” be productive, check items off our list, stay creative and easy going, and climb the ladder to success.
This overall schedule may be on the horizon for some changes, and that could be a good thing. More flexible work times and strategic planning are on the forefront, so let’s be proactive to meet these changes with an essential skill set - Time Management.
Finding your best flow hours for high-quality work can be a challenge. Creative time management is a much needed skill to make these hours “work” for us.
Working smarter and more efficiently is the goal of any position. Our full schedule of meetings and messages keep us at a constant speed. We take a few minutes and catch lunch, return calls, and attend meetings. At this rate, our peak performance time slot is more realistically about 6 hours. How can we make the most of it?
Let’s slow down a minute and look at some strategies that will have “time on our side.”
When are your top hours of productivity? Some people are early birds who like to tackle tasks before lunch. Others get a brain boost in the evening and pour out creativity or work flow. Each of us has a different time of day that our work is most effective.
Companies are looking at modern ways to give more flexibility to our day. Some recent ideas have been a four day work week, allotting for more remote hours, or other days of flexibility may soon be on the bargaining table.
As leaders, our influence can give great support to individual co-workers and teams alike. Take the extra time to give clear instructions and discuss ideas and a possible project schedule from the get-go.
Allow the team to make the plan of action, and this will cultivate teamwork and may bring out strengths in each employee to hone in on what they do best.
Also, providing easy access to project information can reduce later questions if colleagues can find the answers on their own. An organized workspace is vital, having all documents and materials within reach is key to keep moving forward.
As you look at your “to do” list, prioritize your day. Which tasks are urgent and what needs a bigger lot of time?
Make a schedule, for the day or the week, to visually see the days forward for completion. Use a time track tool and work through chunks of time to keep distractions away, then give yourself a brain break to refuel. Even add some self-care and reward yourself for good habits and finishing tasks.
Adding Time Management tools to our daily planning can reduce the stress of conquering the “to do list.” As our workday ends, we can be confident in what we’ve accomplished. The best result will be improved productivity in less time, and that’s a win/ win for all!