5 Questions for Better Time Management
The art of time management is a hot topic in the tech industry, where many IT professionals struggle to balance increased workloads due to a shortage of talent. Whether you’re on top of your deadlines or struggling to keep up, it’s essential to have effective time management skills to stay ahead of the game. To stay productive, you need to focus in on managing time like the true professional that you are.
To help you achieve this, we’ve rounded up five crucial questions you need to ask yourself to improve your time management skills, along with actionable steps and real-life examples to put each suggestion into practice.
What are my favorite tasks on my schedule?
The first step to improving your time management skills is to identify your favorite tasks. These are the tasks that you look forward to and are the most motivated to complete. To put this into practice, take some time to reflect on the tasks you enjoy the most, and then make a plan to spread them evenly throughout the week. Consider scheduling the tasks you enjoy the most towards the end of the day, so you have something to look forward to after completing the less enjoyable tasks. This will help keep you motivated and ensure that you don’t burn out.
For example, if you’re a software engineer and enjoy coding more than anything else, you might want to schedule coding sessions for the end of the day when you’re feeling refreshed and energized. On the other hand, if you’re a tester, you might prefer to tackle testing at the beginning of the day when you have the most energy to devote to it.
What would I like to do more of with my time?
Another crucial question to ask yourself is what you would like to do more of with your time. This could be anything from having lunch with friends more often to making more time to exercise. The idea is to identify activities that bring joy and balance to your life, and then make room for them in your schedule.
We all have things we’d like to do more of with our time, whether it’s having lunch with friends, exercising, or focusing on a specific aspect of a project. But, with a packed schedule, it can feel like there’s no room for these fun, life-improving tasks. To make room for what you love, consider these actionable steps:
- Make a list of what you’d like to do more of
- Prioritize your list based on what’s most important to you
- Start by incorporating one item from your list into your weekly schedule and see how it feels
- Gradually add more items from your list as you get comfortable with the new changes
Which tasks take up more time than I think they should?
Next, you need to identify tasks that seem to be taking up more time than they should. This could be anything from checking your email to brainstorming sessions. To put this into practice, set time limits for these tasks and stick to them. This will help you avoid wasting time on trivial tasks and ensure that you have more time to focus on the things that matter.
For example, if you find that checking your email is eating up valuable time, set a specific time slot each day to check and respond to emails, and stick to it. You could also consider using tools such as Boomerang or Inbox Pause to help manage your inbox and prevent email from taking up too much of your time.
Which tasks do I put off or procrastinate?
It’s easy to put off tasks that we don’t enjoy, such as testing or documenting. But if you find that you’re frequently procrastinating, it’s time to tackle these tasks head-on. The best way to improve your time management when it comes to tasks you frequently try to push off is to tackle them at the beginning of the day. This is when you’re most motivated, energetic, and focused, so use that extra energy to push through the tasks you’d normally put off.
Stay on schedule.
Part of time management is staying on top of when things are due. To ensure you’re organized and on schedule, try these actionable steps:
- Take time at the end of each workweek or the beginning of each Monday to organize your desk, set deadline reminders, and create a to-do list
- Use a planner or calendar to keep track of your deadlines and appointments
- Set aside a specific time each day to check and update your to-do list and calendar
By following these actionable steps, you’ll be well on your way to improving your time management skills and maximizing your productivity. Remember, it’s a journey, not a destination, so be patient with yourself and celebrate the small victories along the way. With a little effort, you can improve your time management and be more productive that you ever imagined professionally possible.