Managing Your Time Effectively

February's Course of the Month on the Development Zone is ‘Time Management’, a topic which will resonate with many at this time of year.

As the year progresses, you may be finding that resolutions set on the 1st of January have lost momentum or been forgotten about. Even with the best of intentions, juggling both life and work pressures can de-rail your personal and professional goals.

However, it’s important to keep up that momentum and desire to achieve.

That’s why effective time management is crucial.

Managing your time poorly can have various negative consequences. You may experience stress, poor productivity or even miss an important deadline. Continuously playing catch-up can also leave you feeling demotivated and reduce the quality of work being produced.

While you may feel as if others around you are achieving more than you are and wondering where they find the time, the answer is simple:they are better time managers. Remember that time is fixed and it applies equally to everyone. Regardless of your role or whether you are a director, manager or employee, there will always be 24 hours in a day and ideally 8 hours in a working day. It is how you use that time which makes the difference.

It’s important to accept that you simply won’t have time to do everything. This might seem like a step backwards, but there will be times when you have to be assertive and say “no” to tasks you simply haven’t got the time to complete. It can be tempting to take on as much work as possible, but you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes it is better to decline or delegate a task, if appropriate, and be able to fully focus on a more manageable workload.

To be an effective time manager prioritisation is key. Identify the tasks that are essential: what needs to be done and what is less pressing? Allocate your time wisely and spend it on achieving the important things. Small distractions, such as sending emails and checking social media, can waste hours of your day without you even realising. Instead identify the key tasks within your role and focus on these as they have the most influence on your overall success. If it helps, write a manageable to-do list to keep you on track.

For more information on becoming a more effective time manager, check out our Course of the Month, ‘Time Management’, on The Development Zone.

About the author

Lisa joined RWA in 2014 as an e-Learning Assistant and now heads up RWA’s Design and Content Team. Her role as Head of Content and Communications involves managing content creation and curation on the Aviva Development Zone platform and serving as editor of RWA Insight.

Lisa has diverse creative and technical writing experience. She holds a first class honours degree in English and Creative Writing from Swansea University and graduated from Cardiff Metropolitan University with a Distinction in Creative Writing in 2016.

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