When you’re working with a system that lacks all semblance of organization and scheduling, introducing the concept of time management may seem frustrating at first but in the long run it will have a huge impact on the way you work. You don’t need to throw out your whole work routine, but slowly adding a few time-saving steps can get you started on the right path to efficiency and productivity.
Reflect On Your Day
The first thing you’ll need to look at is what you’re doing to get in your own way. Keep a log of what you’ve done all day and include even the simplest of tasks. You’ll likely find there’s stuff on there which is wasting your time that you don’t need to be doing. You may also see pattern of when you’re procrastinating more or tend to take longer breaks before or after doing certain jobs. Another thing to keep an eye out for is jobs you could be grouping together and doing all at once to save time.
Plan Your Day
After you’ve analyzed how your day usually progresses, try revising your schedule and planning it out in advance. Schedule each job into a reasonable amount of time for that specific task and stick to your schedule as closely as possible. At first it might not always be completely accurate, but with time you’ll learn to schedule yourself more realistically.
Clean Up All the Clutter
While having an organized work space can help with efficiency, be sure you’re also cleaning up the clutter on your to-do list. Creating a list of everything you need to get done can keep you focused throughout the day. While you should generally put the most urgent tasks at the top of your list, it may be a good idea to knock off some of the smaller jobs right away to give yourself a more manageable and less intimidating list.
Just staying positive and trying to keep yourself motivated can go a long way in helping you work more productively. It’s important to break the habit of procrastination, but keep in mind that you still deserve breaks when you’re starting to feel frustrated or tired. Burning yourself out won’t help you to work more effectively, so pace yourself and take it one step at a time.