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6 time management tips and techniques

14/10/16
Though most people develop their own time management techniques in an effort to remain productive, it’s always useful to reappraise your methods and establish whether you really are using your time as efficiently as you think. In the IT industry, where your workload can quickly begin to pile up if you’re not careful, there are ample tools to help put you on the right path, make the most of your time in the office and prevent you from finishing the day with the sensation that you didn’t accomplish half the things you would have liked. With this in mind, we take a look at a few of the best time management tips, techniques and tools available to you.

Make and use lists

It may seem a simple point to make, but lists are absolutely essential to proper time management. Without them, it’s easy to forget or ignore tasks, allowing them to accumulate and cause problems at a later date. The vast majority of modern tech includes list making or time management apps that can make this process quick and simple, ensuring you have your to-do lists with you at all times.

Prioritise important tasks to complete first

It’s also a good idea to begin and end your day by looking over your lists – start by running through your tasks for the day and asking whether you can prioritise or delay any of them. At the end of the day, draft a list for the next morning. It will give you a head start and allow you to jump straight into productive activity without having to spend too much time planning. 

Delegate tasks

If the opportunity arises, you may wish to delegate some tasks which you may consider to be time consuming  to a colleague. This is especially important for those in managerial type positions, as you can focus more on the tasks you’ve deemed to be more important. It’s vital that you delegate the right tasks to the right people though, as giving it to an individual without the necessary skills or abilities may mean you end up with more work in the long-run if they do a poor job.

Don’t be scared to say ‘push back

It can be very easy to adopt a can-do attitude in the workplace and to take on more work than is physically possible in the hours available in the day. However, while this approach may appease your boss for a little while, it is unlikely to benefit you or your company. That’s why it’s important to discuss and evaluate the importance of a task and say ‘no/push back’ sometimes. Taking on too much work can have a negative impact on your productivity and your stress levels, while saying no to some tasks allows you to keep some time spare to deal with any technical emergencies that might occur.
 
Make the most of ‘dead’ time

Though the workload can be tough for IT professionals, there is still a surprising amount of ‘dead’ time in the day. Whether this is during the commute, on lunch break or travelling to meet clients, it’s all time that could be used to streamline the rest of the day and maximise your efficiency. Fortunately, portable devices make this easier than ever before. Having planning and time management apps on your phone or mobile device can help you to put your ‘dead’ time to better use. 

Monitor your time

It can be very difficult to change your habits, routine and work practices if you don’t know exactly how you spend your time. You can get a better idea of how much time and effort certain tasks take by using one of the many productivity apps available for download. These log the time spent on various activities, providing you with raw data that gives you greater insight into how you work. It’s all too easy to delude yourself into thinking you’re working efficiently, but the numbers don’t lie and they may ultimately help you with problems you didn’t even know you had. 

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