Time management: 10 Top tips to improve productivity in the workplace

Kelly Hayman 13.11.2013

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by the number of tasks that need to be completed at work each day? As the day flies by, do you often feel as if you haven't paid enough attention to each task because other tasks keep landing on your desk, co-workers interrupt you with questions or you can't get it all organised? 

You probably know that managing your time effectively will help you get more done each day. But it has important health benefits, too. By managing your time more wisely, you can minimise stress and improve your quality of life overall.

But how do you get back on track when organisational skills don't come naturally? To get started, choose one of these strategies below, try it for one to two weeks and see if it helps. If it does, consider adding another one. If not, try a different one.

  1. Plan each day

Planning your day can help you accomplish more and feel more in control of your life. Write a to-do list, putting your most important tasks at the top. Keep a schedule of your daily activities to minimise conflicts and last-minute rushes.

  1. Prioritise your tasks

Time-consuming but relatively unimportant tasks can take up a lot of your day. Prioritising tasks will ensure that you spend your time and energy on the ones that are truly important to you.

  1. Say no to non-essential tasks

Consider your goals and schedule before agreeing to take on additional work.

  1. Take the time you need to do a quality job

Doing work right the first time may take more time upfront, but errors made usually result in time spent making corrections, which takes more time overall.

  1. Break large, time-consuming tasks into smaller tasks

Work on these tasks for a few minutes at a time until you get them all done.

  1. Practice the 10 minute rule

Work on your least favourite task for 10 minutes each day. Once you get started, you may find you can finish it.

  1. Evaluate how you're spending your time

Keep a diary of everything you do for three days to determine how you're spending your time. Look for time that can be used more wisely. For example, could you take a bus or train to work and use the commute to catch up on reading? If so, you could free up some time to exercise or spend with family or friends.

  1. Limit distractions

Block out time on your calendar for big projects. During that time, close your door and turn off your phone and email.

  1. Get plenty of sleep, eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

A healthy lifestyle can improve your focus and concentration, which will help improve your efficiency so that you can complete your work in less time.

  1. Take a break when needed

Too much stress can derail your attempts at getting organised. When you need a break, take one. Take a walk, grab a tea or coffee, or even a day of vacation to rest and recharge.

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