Create Time for Your Most Important Work
The era of overwork is no longer present in almost every industry. With holidays and weekends sacrificed, time is the one resource employees can’t afford to squander. How will workers ever find time to do the essential things in life? This article details some tips on how employees can create time to focus on their most important work, according to former arbitrage trader Helen Lee Schifter.
Determine Low-value Tasks
Helen Schifter says employees should assess their daily activities to identify the most important and relatively easy ones that can be dropped or outsourced. Schifter says all the activities carried out by a worker fall into these categories. Therefore, workers leave the low-value tasks and dedicate most of their time to focusing on the essential work. Mrs. Schifter proposes that, after the identification, it would be best if the employee decided whether to drop, redesign, or delegate the work to other people.
Group Similar Tasks Together
Lee Schifter says workers can save time by completing similar and important tasks before doing the rest. She gives an example where an office messenger can create time for making phone calls, answering phone calls, and filing. Such a worker needs to stick to this plan by assuming email and messages come in when they are busy. Schifter says to avoid the distractions from email and phone notifications; it is better to mute them to avoid the temptation of checking when the time is not appropriate.
Helen Lee Schifter believes multitasking wastes time and would therefore recommend avoiding doing it. Helen says it is important to focus on the essential tasks and block distractions that may lead to multitasking. She says multitasking will reduce productivity because there will be switching from one task to another. Schifter advises workers not to get overwhelmed by a long to-do list but to take one task at a time.
Assign Time Limits to Tasks
Helen Schifter says setting time limits is part of creating a schedule. She says workers should not get comfortable with to-do lists as they might waste more time doing one task than others. For a worker to get more time, they need to set a specific time that will be used to complete a project. This can be possible, especially if the tasks to be carried out were done in a past period.
Learning to Say No
Mrs. Schifter believes employees might never learn how to manage time if they don’t learn how to say no. The worker knows the time they have for which activities, and therefore they should decline any requests to focus on more important tasks.
What makes most workers not have time to complete important tasks are distractions from co-workers, text messages, social media, and email notifications. For an employee to practice time management, they have to be proactive about eliminating distractions. Shutting the door and muting all notifications can be a great way to limit interruptions. It is important to start with minimal changes; after a while, it will be easier to manage time and dedicate more time to the most important tasks.