Knowing how to manage your time is a valuable skill that will not only get you noticed in the workplace, but will also help you find fulfillment in your own performance at work. Basically, you start by defining how you want to spend your time by determining your goals and priorities. Once you have done this, it is essential that you focus on scheduling because it is the process in which all your plans will fit into the time that you have available.
When coming up with your schedule, you will have to consider the amount of time you have and how it should be used so your goals can be met. There are some very good reasons you should take scheduling seriously. First of all, it will give you an idea about what you may accomplish with your time. It will also allow you to make the most of your time while also having enough time to focus on your most important tasks. With a good schedule, you can also avoid not having time for the unexpected events. Finally, scheduling spares you from the stress of lacking time for yourself and for the people that matter to you.
It is recommended that you do scheduling on a regular basis, whether it is every week or every month. Below are the steps you can follow to prepare your schedule.
1. The first thing you should do is identify the time that you would like to allot for your work. The amount of time you need for this will actually depend on the type of job you have, as well as your personal goals.
2. Think about the things you MUST do to be able to do your job effectively. If, for instance, you are a manager, it may be easy to overlook your responsibilities with your people. You might be too focused on your goals that you have forgotten how to deal with the people you work with. As a manager, it is important that you communicate well with your boss and your subordinates. In short, you have to take into consideration and include in your schedule the things you can be assessed against.
3. Take a look at your To-Do list and pick out the urgent tasks that are high in priority. These activities should be the first ones to be put into your schedule. Be careful not to overlook also the important maintenance tasks that you cannot avoid or delegate to others.
4. Include enough contingency time in your schedule. The amount of contingency time you will need depends on your past experiences. If your job is quite unpredictable, then you will need more of this time. You have to understand that there will be frequent interruptions in your job, just like everyone else’s. But of course, you will never know when such interruptions will happen. And so, you can become more flexible if you just leave some space in your schedule.
Determine your own free time. There is no sense in making a schedule if you don’t use it to find time for yourself and your loved ones. Ultimately, your goal in having a schedule is to afford some time to relax and recharge. You may also use this time to prepare the things you will need in case you are considering changing jobs.
Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Center, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.© 2014 Cecile Peterkin
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