From the day we were born we have a limited time to live, so it is important to understand time and to know how to use it wisely.
Although the concept of time applies to our daily life, the place where its value is seemingly apparent is the workplace, because our professional life is tightly tied to minutes and seconds we spend, so by analyzing time usage on a regular basis, it is possible to understand the most efficient ways to use it both in and out of the workplace.
Have you ever been warned by your direct supervisor for being late at work? I hope you had excuses for that. However, if you want to use your time efficiently to accomplish all that you need to do at work or wherever else, believe me, you need to be aware of the habits and attitudes that shape your use of time. Sometimes people call it time management. If you don’t want to be stressed in your day-to-day activities you have to know how to manage your time. Bear in mind that time is like a sword, if you don’t cut it, it cuts you.
In our professional life, perceptions of time and its usage vary according to the place you may be found in. In some countries time is important indeed, but the most important is the fulfillment of your commitment, but in the western world punctuality is gold worth. So, be prepared to adapt to other’s practices and timetables wherever you are working.
Anticipate and use your time wisely.
Every one of us is increasingly aware of the cost of time. It may cost you your job, or even your life. Let’s say, the cost of time is high. So individuals and institutions are held accountable for their use of time, although company’s culture can have an important influence on how employees use their time. In some institutions especially public ones, the wasted time is more than the valued one; I mean by the valued one the time an employee take to perform their duty for which they are paid.
In some institutions working overtime or long hours is associated with working hard. If you always leave on time, some people may think that you are not pulling your weight. When I was a student I used to work as cleaning agent in an institution with two other colleagues. We start working when everyone is supposed to be gone, but everyday when we come we find one employee still pulling her weight till late, and I’m used to say that she works more than any other employee of the institution without knowing why she overstays. But when I started working as an administrative assistant, I came to realize that in some cases or often the so-called long hours decrease efficiency and productivity.
So, as ways of using time has become habitual, it is very important for an individual to rethink and improve this habit. By doing so, you will be able to control your workload and have more time to focus on the most important aspects of your job.
Moreover, it is important to consider delegating a task, especially if you are a manager. Because a manager who is constantly interrupted by the staff for decisions or information has little time for substantial tasks. When I went into career re-orientation and started working as payroll manager’s assistant, I’ m used to constantly interrupt my manager for directives and information at the beginning, but after some times I realized that constant interruption is time-consuming and I organized myself the way to avoid such act and fulfill the duty as it is required. I was very happy to finish different tasks ahead the expected timeline. It gave me the opportunity too to deal with multiple tasks in the Human Resources.
You know why I said a manager should consider delegating tasks to others? It is because their cost to the company is high, so it is generally most cost-effective to give routine tasks to more junior staff.
Some people keep up a daily log of how much time they spend on particular activities, and according to my experience in workplace, maintaining a daily time log is fundamental to managing your time more effectively. Consider for example preparing an agenda for a meeting. The success of the meeting is mostly bound to how you assign time limit to each issue to be raised in the way you avoid overrunning the allotted duration of the meeting.
Finally, consider short and long-term events. In short-term for example once you have analyzed your use of time, there are a number of time-saving strategies you can implement. First, write a to-do list and update it many times a day, according to your progress. Second, if you established a time log look on it at wasted time and think of ways to fill those time slots more constructively in the future.
If you have long-term problems, try to change your work patterns more radically; pinpoint all the work patterns you are unhappy with, in particular look for any bad habits you have slipped into. Once you have identified these problem areas, set aside time to review and improve your approach. Good luck!