You’ve just been assigned to an exciting project and you’re eager to jump right in! But before you get carried away with managing checklists and deadlines, take the time to think about how you can manage yourself to produce the best results. We all know how hard it can be to stay productive and positive on the job when there are so many projects and tight deadlines. Whether you’re nervous about beginning a new position or feel your performance at your current job needs a boost, there are several work habits you can adopt to help you feel more confident, productive and successful at your job.
The Importance of Time Management
Whether you use a day-planner or the latest mobile app, planning and tracking your time both at and away from work is essential for being productive. When you feel like you have too much to do and too little time to do it, consider these time management tips to help you through your day:
- Prioritizing works hand-in-hand with good time management. When overwhelmed with tasks, it becomes easy to lose sight of what’s important. Sometimes taking five minutes to review your long to-do list helps you realize it doesn’t need to be that long. Set a daily time each morning or late afternoon to compile your list. Tend to the urgent tasks first, and postpone or delegate the minor ones when possible.
- Setting goals and timelines creates a clear outline of when tasks should be completed, and how much time each one needs. Making this a habit not only helps manage your work load, but also allows you to plan your vacation and personal time off.
- Estimate realistic timeframes to complete projects, then stick to that estimate as much as possible. Many of us like to believe we are able to accomplish more in an hour than what’s realistic. If you find you need more or less time to complete a recurring task, adjust your daily schedule accordingly.
- Tracking your time helps you understand your work capacity and manage your schedule better. Emails, meetings, reports, and commutes can be time consuming and may get in the way of timely project turnarounds. Factor in a realistic and strict timeframe for these tedious but necessary distractions; set perimeters around your priorities and stay focused on them.
- Minimize the distractions. Taking breaks is healthy and encouraged to keep a positive moral at work. But beware of spending too much time on social media, your phone, and non-work-related items, as that might prolong your shift at work, leaving you with less time and energy for family and personal activities.
Be Accountable at Work
When it comes to your performance at work, and in an effort to make a good impression, it can be tempting to make promises you may not be able to deliver. Of course, when you begin a new position, it’s expected you “hit the ground running.” But it is also understood that a learning curve exists for every task, and mistakes happen. Some helpful tips to remember, whether you are new to a job or have been at a position for a while, include:
- Don’t overpromise and under deliver. Remember, it’s better to start small and grow steadily then start big and crash. If you have a big idea, you may need time and assistance to execute it effectively, so don’t be afraid to ask for training and help.
- Be accountable. If you make an error, own it immediately. Trying to cover your tracks after making a mistake will always backfire. Owning your mistakes shows you have courage and integrity; two qualities which are highly appreciated in the workplace.
Assessing and Developing Your Skill Set
As you continue developing and mastering your skills, make it a point to inventory your skill set and determine what could be improved. Ask your supervisor and colleagues for constructive criticism and guidance for improvement. Find time to develop a portfolio of visible, tangible outcomes that demonstrate your abilities and show off your performance. And don’t forget interpersonal “soft skills,” which include attitude, relationship building and personal character. They are just as important to being successful at work as other measurable skill sets.
Progress Equals Happiness
With all these tips in mind, you will find yourself less overwhelmed at work and more confident in yourself. Along with a positive attitude, this confidence will be contagious – making you a great team player. Take pride in your accomplishments, both small and large, and your commitment to continue embracing healthy work habits.
At Primary Services, we believe people create success, and we’ve been creating success with our clients and applicants since 1988. If you are a job seeker, we are here to match your goals and skills with new opportunities with some of the best companies in the U.S. Please visit our website to submit your resume or submit a job request. We look forward to working with you!