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Effective Time Management at Work

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 8 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Effective Time Management Managing Work

Sometimes it can feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day, especially when you are at work and have far too much to do. Effective time management may sound like one of those modern corporate buzz words but it really just taking a practical approach to your workload so that it does not overwhelm you. By effectively managing your time you can get a more done and feel a lot less stressed about it.

Write a List

Some people are list writers and some people are not, but by noting down everything that you have to do it can help you clarify it in your mind. Take a piece of paper and write down everything that you need to get done in the day, even the small things. As the list grows it may be seem a bit overwhelming but it will feel equally as satisfying as you tick off each task when you have managed to complete it.


Once you have your long list it is time to decide what is important. Often, we put off the big tasks by filling our time with smaller, less important but easier to achieve tasks. This is not a effective way to manage your time and will just make it more difficult to achieve what you need to. Look at your list and prioritise what needs to be done – use your own system whether it is numbers, letters or colour coding. Then jump straight in and deal with the most important task, leaving the smaller ones until the end or if you have a spare moment.

Take Regular Breaks

When you feel bogged down with loads to do it can be tempting not to take any breaks as you feel that you can’t waste the time. However, this is not doing you any favours. Taking a break helps refresh you body and mind, making you more focused and better able to work well when you return. You can also use breaks to treat yourself once you have completed a task and therefore help motivate you through it.

Know When To Say No

It is no good doing all these things to help manage your time effectively if you then just keep adding to the list. You need to know when you have reached your capacity and be ready to say no when someone asks you to do something else. Explain to them clearly what you have to do, why you can’t so their task and when you may be able to help them. This can be difficult for some people and may not always go down well with colleagues but you need to prioritise your own time management.

Once you have worked out how to manage your time effectively, your workload will feel a lot lighter and your life will seem easier. Getting a handle on your pile of tasks will make your feel much more in control and taking regular break will help keep you fresh and focused. Effective time management is a skill that everyone needs to learn and you need to learn to turn away work if you haven’t got time to do it.

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