Guide to Effective Time Management Skills
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Guide to Effective Time Management Skills

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In order to be the most productive during your day, you must learn how to effectively manage your time. Learn the steps that you need to take in order to take back your workday.

In order to be the most productive during your day, you must learn how to effectively manage your time. Learn the steps that you need to take in order to take back your workday.

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  • 1. BEST PRACTICES Effective Time Management Skills
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS: Importance of Time Management Handling Disruptions Responding to Requests Staffing Plus Solutions 3 7 10 12 The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy.
  • 3. CHAPTER 1: Time Management Taking on too much at work can have several negative consequences in both your professional and personal life, such as:    It can cause a high degree of stress and eventually lead you to “burn out” Overtime can eat into your time spent with family and friends, relaxing or exercising, and It can result in a failure to meet your core work responsibilities because you are too busy with other tasks When you are trying to balance too many things at once you are more prone to making mistakes, which can be frustrating for anyone involved. Share eBook: Page 3
  • 4. Effective Time Management Feeling like you don’t have enough time in the day to get things done can be very stressful. Since there are only so many hours in the day – hours that cannot be reclaimed – it is essential that you learn how to effectively manage your time. Time management is about making the most of your time and making sure that the time you do have is used in the most productive way. Time management starts with identifying your goals. During the course of your day, you need to manage your tasks in relation to time available to you. The way you schedule most of your tasks will center around their deadlines and completion dates. Share eBook: Page 4
  • 5. Effective Time Management There are four main strategies for overcoming a tendency to take on too much work: Strategy #1 Know Your Job Responsibilities & Goals – it is important to know what your core job responsibilities and goals are, so that you can prioritize meeting these over taking on new or other assignments. Goals are specific outcomes you have identified to assist you in determining what it is you need to do and when. Without goals, it is easy to spend time on tasks that have no clearly defined purpose. Effective goals can be categorized by SMART:  Specific  Measurable  Attainable  Realistic, and  Time-related When setting SMART goals you need to answer several questions, such as who, what, where, when, which, and why. It is easier to attain your goals when you plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Share eBook: Page 5
  • 6. Effective Time Management Strategy #2 Plan Your Time – planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimize conflicts and last-minute deadlines. Strategy #3 Prioritize Tasks – When you are faced with an overwhelming workload, the best option is to prioritize. Prioritizing tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on those that are truly important. By giving each task a priority, you are distinguishing between tasks that are:     urgent and important important but not urgent urgent but not important not urgent and not important Strategy #4 Establish Time Frames – To manage your time well, you should know not only what tasks you need to accomplish, but also when those tasks must be completed and how long they will take. If you estimate timeframes accurately, you will be able to schedule work efficiently and meet deadlines on time. Share eBook: Page 6
  • 7. CHAPTER 2: Handling Disruptions For most employees, an important part of their workday is interacting and dealing with others. However, interruptions in your schedule can eat into the time you need to spend getting your work done, making you less productive and more stressed. Even the quickest of interruptions can require a lot of your time because you need to refocus on your work after you are done dealing with the interruption. It takes time to switch between tasks. Here are some strategies to help minimize interruptions at work:  Use voicemail to prevent phone calls from disrupting your work  Close your e-mail while you are completing a task  If possible, close your door and possibly even post a “do not disturb” sign until you’ve completed what has to be done Share eBook: Page 7
  • 8. Effective Time Management Handling disruptive phone calls Here are some strategies for reducing time you spend handling phone calls: 1. Delegating – if you receive a call when you’re busy, it may be appropriate to delegate the call by redirecting it to someone else. 2. Shortening the calls – you can shorten the time a call takes by letting the caller know there’s a deadline involved. Follow-up calls may not be required because setting a time limit encourages a caller to get straight to the point. 3. Rescheduling – if you are too busy to handle a call, it may be appropriate to reschedule it. Generally, you should offer a brief explanation of why you’re not available to talk and offer times at which you will be available. When you use one of the strategies for minimizing the time a phone call takes, it is important to avoid being rude or too abrupt. Share eBook: Page 8
  • 9. Effective Time Management Handling drop-in visitors Drop-in visitors are people who come into your office or at your desk without a prior appointment. Sometimes drop-in visitors want your help with problems or to discuss work-related issues. At other times, they may stop by just to chat. They can use up some of your valuable time. Here are two strategies that can help you reduce the time you spend dealing with drop-in visitors:  Set time limits – setting a time limit on discussions is a good way to prevent co-workers from settling in for a chat or taking too long to get to a point.  Ask how you can help – if you ask how you can help as soon as a drop-in visitor arrives at your desk it shows that you are only interested in a workrelated conversation. If you are too busy to deal with drop-in visitors, it is best if you just tell them. By asking them to come back at a more convenient time, you will be able to focus better on why they have come to you. Page 9 Share eBook:
  • 10. CHAPTER 3: Responding to Requests Setting expectations on when the project or request can be completed, allows all parties to be on the same page. Sometimes, the earliest start dates, time frames for completion, and deadlines are not compatible. If you have assessed all of your tasks and determined that some deadlines may not be achievable, you may need to renegotiate these deadlines. Generally, there is room for negotiation if your deadline is the final date for overall completion of specific work. And sometimes, no matter how much you want to participate or take on a new project, your schedule just will not allow for it. You have to learn how to say “no” in a professional, non-confrontational way. Share eBook: Page 10
  • 11. Effective Time Management How to Say “No” Saying “no” can be difficult, especially if it’s your manager who asks you to take on a new responsibility. You have to remember that it can be much worse to take on a new commitment that you won’t be able to meet than to just say “no” in the first place. To say “no” without having negative consequences, you can follow certain strategies: 1. Take your time to consider the request – By simply answering “no” it could be deemed as disrespectful to your manager’s authority, which is obviously never the point. Take some time to review your calendar and determine whether or not you have any room in your schedule to accommodate the new commitment. Taking some time to evaluate the request shows that you are taking the request seriously. 2. Say “no” in a respectful way that does not cause offense or appear unhelpful – The best approach is to make it clear how accepting additional work will compromise your ability to meet your core responsibilities. Share eBook: Page 11
  • 12. CHAPTER 4: Staffing Plus Solutions Staffing Plus offers personalized HR services that will help control cost, lower risk and minimize the financial impact to your organization. We will provide you with the HR expertise and resources you need, so that you can stay focused on your strategic business and financial goals. Sign up to receive our blog for all the latest industry updates: Get access to our free online eBook library: As it pertains to time management, Staffing Plus can offer the following assistance:  Provide solutions to help set SMART goals  Provide ongoing manager training on time management For further guidance on Time Management and other HR related areas, please contact our HR Outsourcing experts at (610)5254000 or via email at Share eBook: Page 12
  • 13. 551 W. Lancaster Ave. Haverford, PA 19041 Toll Free: 800-550-9212 Local: 610-525-4000 Fax: 610-526-6740 Email: