How To... Manage Your Time At Work
In Scheduling, Calendar & Meeting Arrangement By kathrynpless

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                                 Contributed By aprile

Love Your Inbox
– Your Inbox can be your friend.  Both email and paper.  Instead of avoiding the mass of papers that seem to endlessly pile up, or the email Inbox that keeps chiming every two seconds with new messages, take a few minutes at the beginning of your schedule and sort through everything.  Separate one, what needs to be done ASAP, two, what can wait until end of day (often abbreviated as EOD in business text), and three, what can wait until tomorrow.  Once you’ve done this, the fangs of dread begin to release their hold on you, and work, quietly slips back into feeling manageable once again.  

To-Do List – Make a list of tasks you need to accomplish.  Daily items, weekly items, monthly items… items that require you to leave your desk, versus what needs to be done by computer.  And if you’re not a list person, become one!  Just get over it. Effective time management involves knowing exactly what needs to be done.  And by having a list in front of you, you will be able to do exactly that.  Plus, crossing items off is probably one of the simple most glorious simple pleasures in life.  Be a list maker?  Check!

Back Away From The Distraction! – Check your mail when you come in for the day and set yourself a schedule to check it during the rest of the day.  Nothing eats up time like constantly checking your email and inevitably getting sidetracked with the lure of whatever is online.   What starts as a simple search on Google can end up as an hour long diversion.  Same goes for phone calls.  Check your voice mail in the morning and return phone calls at a specific time of day unless the call is urgent.  Keep your conversations short and to the point.  This will benefit you so much in the long run...

Re-check – Finally at the end of the day, clear out your paper outbox, make sure all email is read and check that you heard all voicemails.  And remember that handy dandy checklist from before?  Well pull it out again. Double-check to see that you took care of everything for that day.  Then check your list to see what needs to be added to the next day’s schedule.  And if you’re feeling extra ambitious from a successful day of managing your time wisely, go ahead and do some notations.  For instance, note which tasks are priorities, attach deadline times (ie. #1 & #2 by 2pm), or put them in order of execution.  

The last thing to do is clean up your work area.  Yes, this is a must.  A, because you have an image to maintain, B, because everyone notices untidy work spaces (trust me), and C, because when you arrive to work the next morning, you’ll be ready to go and ready to stay on task and manage your time.  All an effort to help you stay presented as a responsible and efficient part of the team.  

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