A Few Strategies for Managing Time at Work

Most people need some strategies for managing time at work. This is because an erroneous common belief is that spending more time in the workplace means working harder or better. Thus, extending the workday is often a source of stress and anxiety, as the work environment becomes unstable. Mainly because the organization of work isn't well thought out nor properly defined.
A Few Strategies for Managing Time at Work

Last update: 21 January, 2021

Managing time at work not only affects productivity but also significantly affects physical and mental well-being. In short, it’s a factor with a decisive influence on your state of health.

A direct consequence of it is that the time you actually spend at work doesn’t really count and you end up spending more hours there. There’s the accumulation of pending issues and the time it takes away from planning. Thus, decision-making finally takes a toll on your health.

Some simple techniques and strategies can benefit you. However, it requires practice and effort, as in any process, especially during the beginning. The good news is that it’ll become another routine you’ll have to carry out over time without even realizing it.

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

-Douglas Adams-

A woman daydreaming.

Managing time at work – ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish

It’s important to wonder what the ultimate goals of your work are. In short, you most likely work for money, obviously. However, there are some factors to consider within the work dynamic itself that are clues as to how you intend to obtain your immediate and future income.

For instance, the only important factor in some jobs is money or productivity. In fact, there are situations in which you seek other goals such as performance, in addition to quantity and quality.

Factors such as productivity, performance, and perception are the basis of the art of knowing how to manage time at work. From there, you can develop a system that allows you to work with less stress, more control over what you do, greater motivation, and, thus, a feeling of greater satisfaction and energy.

Organize your goals

Another important strategy is to make an evaluation of the goals and objectives to achieve in the medium and long term. The organization of the daily work should be a consequence of the study of the goals. Thus, it’s convenient to fix it in a timely manner. This is because you’ll be able to plan the actions and activities required to be able to achieve them on time from thereon.

As you can see, it isn’t superfluous to organize the objectives on the basis of a month (at least) in order to later organize the goals of the week and with it the daily work. However, you can’t forget that goals are ever-changing and you must review them often.

For example, within medium-term planning, you must monthly contemplate a time for unforeseen or urgent actions that may come up. Also, you must exclusively plan work activities during working hours only.

Scheduling of daily activities

It’s quite effective to make a list of the things you must do or what you’d like to accomplish when organizing your daily work routine. In fact, you can divide both into three groups and classify them in order of priority as follows:

  • Group A. Things to do immediately and without delay.
  • Group B. Although important, you can leave them for another day.
  • Group C. Although important, they can wait a little longer.

Afterward, you’ll establish the things you need to do at a specific time on the agenda, such as a planned meeting, picking up the children from school, going to class, etc. Once you do all of them, add the activities of group A as soon as you’re free.

Then, add those of group B, and then those of group C in the remaining free time slots. Skip those of group B and C and leave them for the next day if there isn’t enough time in the day for all of them. That is, change the degree of priority if you have to.

Organized activities by the degree of difficulty if their priority level is the same. This way, you’ll prioritize the more complex ones and then do the rest within the first hours of the day. You can leave the more pleasant or easy tasks for the end of the day when you no longer have the same energy levels.

A man working.

More tips for managing time at work

It’s important to leave some free time between activities as you organize your daily schedule. It isn’t a good idea to program the day beyond a normal schedule. This is because you need time to do other things that have nothing to do with work, such as going to the bank or doing your daily shopping. You must mix these up with other personal activities that help you disconnect from work.

Finally, it’s also essential to learn to say no assertively when asked to do an unexpected task. Also, beware of the dangers of perfectionism. This is because, often, people can’t finish something because they think it isn’t perfect. Thus, insecurity forces you to delay a task at times.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Craske, M.G. ; Barlow, D.H.; O´Leary, T. (1992). Mastery of your anxiety and worry. Albaby, NY. Graywind.
  • Valerie P. Jackson, (2009) Time Management: A Realistic Approach. Journal of the American College  of radiology. Volume 6, Issue 6, Pages 434–436
  • Arezoo Mohamadkhani Ghiasvand, Manijeh Naderi, Mansoureh Zagheri Tafreshi, Farzane Ahmadi and Meimanat Hosseini, (2017) Relationship between time management skills and anxiety and academic motivation of nursing students in Tehran. US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Jan; 9(1): 3678–3684.
  • Wilson, Tim. Time Management in the Workplace: How to Run Your Day. Time Management Success blog. Recuperado de https://www.time-management-success.com/

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.