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How To Better Manage Your Time While At Work
By: Maryam Labani
Starting a new job is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, and it’s important to make sure you have all the resources you need to do your best. Working a 9 to 5 is quite different than being a student for multiple reasons. The transition from student life to work life can be a challenging one, especially when it comes to time management. As students, we often leave assignments to the last minute, frantically completing them and submitting them with 2 minutes to spare. That flexibility of submitting tasks last minute is not afforded in the professional workplace. Here are some tips to help you successfully manage your time at work.
Use a planner
One of the best tools for better time management is using a planner. Simply writing out the tasks that need to be done and the deadlines for each will provide a visual that will allow you to see how much time you have between deadlines and figure out which tasks to prioritize. Another option is to use an app on your phone, such as google calendar, instead of a physical planner. This way you can set reminders for yourself and get a notification in advance of any deadlines.
Put away distractions
In order to meet the end-of-day deadline, you need to make sure you maintain focus on the task at hand. Reducing the number of distractions that are near you can help you finish everything on time. It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be using your phone or any personal devices during work hours. However, sometimes work-related items can be distractions. If you’re like me, you might have thirty tabs open at the same time on your computer. This can be distracting because part of your mind might be preoccupied with thinking about other tasks that are less of a priority. Closing any tabs that aren’t related to the current task you’re working on can help you devote all your attention to the task and complete it more efficiently.
Many students talk about taking microbreaks while studying to help them focus. Similarly, taking microbreaks while you're at work can actually help increase productivity. Whenever you start to feel tired or less productive, take a short break (five minutes maximum) and do something like refill your coffee, get up and stretch, or go outside and take a deep breath. This will help re-energize you and allow you to return back to work and complete your work more efficiently.
Disconnect after work hours
It’s important to make sure you don’t take your work home with you (even if you are already at home while working). As soon as the workday is over, close your laptop, stand up and leave your workspace. If the weather is nice, go for a walk outside to clear your mind of anything work-related. Doing this will allow you to unwind after work and start the next day with a fresh mind, as well as making a distinction between work-time and personal-time, which will help you complete your work during work-hours.
It can be difficult to adjust to a 9-5 routine where you need to schedule your productivity within specific hours. Hopefully these tips will help you work more efficiently and improve your time management skills.