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Time Management at Work

How to reduce your work overload



Overworked and overwhelmed and maybe under paid. Do you sometimes feel one or all of these at your work? Time Management at Work is becoming more critical everyday. It seems people are expected to do more, get better results, but have less resources and budgets. And somehow we are meant to have some work-life balance.

We have found most people can significantly improve their time management at work. The same core principles apply to getting control of time regardless of whether you are at work or for life in general (check out our Time Management Skills Page for the 4 core skills). There are though some very specific aspects to time management at work that can make your life less overwhelming and more fulfilling.

There are many aspects to getting control of time at work. We will start here with five key strategies that have had the biggest impact for our clients. These are:

  1. Agree on and document with your manager your performance measures and targets

  2. Decide what key activities will get you to these targets and do them

  3. Say no to tasks that have little impact on your targets

  4. Reduce the time taken by interruptions

  5. Get really clear about what is the next action


There are many more strategies that will improve your time management at work and we will be writing about these in the future. If you are in sales or if you manage people come back soon to see our suggestions for you.

Let's look at strategy number 2 in more detail.


2. Decide what key activities will get you to these targets and do them


The second strategy for improving your time management at work flow from the first.

As soon as you are clear about what you will be measured on, then you need to know what activities will enable you to reach your targets. Look at your action lists -- if you don't have one then write down everything that you think you should do at work and all the things you ahve done in the last week. Add an other tasks that you do on a monthly or as it comes up basis.

Review this list. Decide which of these takes is directly related to achieving your targets. Decide which ones are indirectly related and give them a strength rating out of 10 (where 10 means this task has a high impact on you achieving your targets, and 1 is a very low impact). Decide which tasks do not help you reach your targets at all - maybe there are even some that make it harder for you to reach your targets.

Now, everyday make sure that you spend the majority of your day on the tasks that help you achieve your targets. I suggest you highlight them in your system (if you don't have a system check out our time management systems page, the link is on the left of this page).

Yes, it is that simple. Now I didn't say it was easy -- some people find it difficult to stay on task. On the other hand many people have told us that this strategy for improving time management at work has made a massive difference because all of a sudden it is really clear them what they need to focus on and do. And because it is so clear it is much easier to stay focused on the tasks and get them done.


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