By Canadajobs.com Staff
Squeezing more time into your workday isn't difficult if you know to make small changes. Over time, these small changes can make a big difference to how much work you can actually accomplish.
This is especially important if you work at home, or if you work by yourself a lot. For some of us, it's harder to discipline ourselves to be efficient when we're not being supervised.
These hints and tips can be applied to nearly every aspect of your life, and not just your work life. Try these tips out next time you are searching for a job, and you'll be amazed at how far you get.
What's important to your boss? What projects need to be done right away and which can wait? Once you know this, you can get started. To find out what's important, number your projects using numbers 1-5. Number 1 is the highest priority project. You may end up with a few of the same number. That's all right. Just start with those ones first and work your way down to fives. That way, if unexpected things come up, (and they always do) at least your important job is done.
The project that needs to get done right away probably isn't your favourite, and that's why you're dreading it. But it's critical that if it's the most important project, you actually move ahead on it. Set yourself some small goals. Depending on the size of the project, you probably won't get the whole thing done in one day. But if you can get a large chunk of it done, it's a start.
Be Aware of Time Wasters:
Meetings, checking e-mail, unnecessary trips to the photocopier, printer, and water cooler are all great time wasters. Sometimes we need a break, and that's fine, but if we're breaking more than we're working, that's not good. If you're on a deadline and there's a meeting you are supposed to attend, make sure you really do need to be there. Often, everyone gets invited to meetings as a courtesy, and sometimes, you can have someone report to you the important parts as necessary.
Checking your email and replying to personal messages, jokes, etc is a great way to waste time. More and more companies are being vigilant on how much internet and emailing is done at work that is of a personal nature. If you're at work, you should be working. It isn't the time to be paying your bills or playing games.
Work at Work:
The best way to actually get work done at work and to organize your day more efficiently is to be able to work at work. Make sure your work environment is quiet and you have all the tools you need to be doing your job. If you need something, ask. If you work for yourself, make sure you have everything to make your job easier. If you need a stapler and you find youself always going over to your office mate's desk for theirs, think of the time you waste. If you're office won't spring for a stapler, ask them if you can bring your own. At least it will help you.
Efficiency gets recognized eventually. Save time by doing like projects together. If you need to do ten reports, consider doing them all together. You'll already be in a "report" kind of mood, you'll have all the information you need, and you can set a specific time aside and know how long it takes you.
Other ways to be efficient - make a list of all the things you need from the supply room and get everything at once. Same goes for getting your photocopying done and your emails sent. Block off a section of time for each "project."
If you set time aside for each project, you prioritize your jobs, and you make it a habit to work efficiently at work, you'll be amazed at the actual time you do have. Apply these tips to all your tasks, including your job search, spring cleaning, etc. and you'll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.