Lagging behind at work? Need to get serious about your time management? Here are 7 ways to be a more productive employee right now:
7. Answer your emails right away. Are you one of those “I’ll respond later” types? Sure you are, and that’s OK—but if you’re at work, you want to make sure you’re quickly answering everyone, especially your superiors. Start today–like, right now.Create folders and make sure you’re filing important emails into some sort of “urgent” file. It sounds simple, and it is, but it takes discipline to keep to it. Each morning, spend a few minutes doing this. Here’s how: when you get into the office, respond to each email or file it away to be answered as soon as you can.
6. Get off of Facebook. No one really works a full 8 hours without distraction but that doesn’t mean you can sit on Facebook all day. Sometimes you need to get in the game, and that means controlling your distractions. Allow yourself five minutes each hour (or, say, at 1pm and 3pm) to make your way through the black hole of the web.
5. Make 2 to-do lists. Sound insane? It’s not. Make one list for urgent matters (for example, your boss needs a spreadsheet by noon) and another for long-term projects. Spend your day finishing urgent projects but don’t forget to chip away at the longer-term projects. By not combining all of your projects and duties, you won’t feel like you’re lagging behind.
4. Set goals. It’s easy to show up to the office and get inundated with the day, its projects and your meetings. If you set goals (which you should share with your supervisor) you’ll be able to track your achievements. And guess what? When you have a list of verifiable accomplishments, that’s what’ll help when you ask for a raise.
3. Aim to please. Jobs are difficult, stressful and often thankless, but if you show up every day with a helpful attitude, your employers will notice. So many employees stick to themselves and to their respective duties, but when you show initiative, you won’t be expendable. When you’re helpful, you’re perceived as productive and reliable, and that’s a good self-esteem boost. Confidence = happiness.
2. Go old-school. Utilize a calendar. Yes, you probably use your smart phone to store appointments and dates, and that’s cool, but buying an actual, physical calendar (you know, the kind you hang from a wall!) can really keep yon track. Instead of getting that digital daily reminder box–or even that Outlook reminder–having dates and times right in front of you can super help the way you see and manage time.
1. Don’t overwork. This one is a freebie. If you want to be the best employee you can be, you seriously need to think about salvaging your sanity during the workday. That might mean taking multiple breathers, getting outdoors for a few minutes every day or taking a break from the screen. When you’re burnt out, you’re no good to anyone.