Updated: Oct 11, 2020
For Time Management in the Workplace Part 2, we will look at the finer details of managing your workload in a more timely manner.
First things first, if you are not in the job path that you feel equipped to do, you will probably not work effectively. No tips on time management can help you if you are not in the right role. If this is the case, then pray about leaving that role and begin looking at refreshing your resume. That alone can make a world of difference at maximizing your performance at work.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's get down to business. These tips can help you, regardless of what type of job you have. Whether you are working at a computer all day, out on a construction site, or are engaged in outside sales professionally, these tips will not only
cause you to be productive at work; they will also benefit the Kingdom of God as well.
Make the most of your time, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:16
Work with wisdom towards unbelievers and make the best use of the time.
Have an On-Ramp Method to begin your workday
Start off prioritizing your day with a to-do list. Manage your expectations in how many tasks you can reasonably do in one day and then write them down. Make sure you put the more critical tasks in the beginning. Get those done first and go from there.
Email, the song that never ends!
One of the most common tasks that we all start with is reading and responding to emails. While this is a necessary evil, it can also be a significant time waster. When you first come into work, read your emails that are most important and then figure out when the best time to respond to them will be. It may not be immediate, and if it is not crucial, it can wait. Also, set a time limit on how much time you are going to spend doing this in the morning. Maybe you can get through your email in 10-15 minutes first thing in the morning, and others may take 30 minutes or more. Regardless, set a time limit on how long you will stay in that task so you can focus on other things that need your attention. As the day progresses, check your email on a set schedule, like every hour or so. If you continually check your email, you will get stuck in a trap of being in bondage to your email and will not be very productive in anything
Use Your Calendar
Look at your calendar for the day. Become acquainted with the events you have to attend or listen in on for a conference call. Those are times that you will not be able to do any other tasks because your full attention will be required. For the moments that you do not have anything slotted for a meeting or a specific job, allocate time for the tasks on your to-do list. If these tasks are essential, make sure you are spending time addressing them.
Wear a watch
I'm a huge believer in wearing a watch. Other than I think they look cool, they are also a terrific tool that can help you manage your time. Some people are not good with time management, and wearing a watch is an excellent way to curb that kind of behavior. Develop a habit of looking at your watch. Why? So you can make sure you are owning your time instead of wasting it. If you are not aware of your time, then you are not paying attention to the tasks that need to get done on time. Make time count! We only get 24 hours in a day.
Distractions in the workplace are a tough topic, but one that needs discussion. When you are at your job, identify time wasters, and remove them with great vigor. Fantasy sports, online purchases, and updating social media can all be great, just not at work. If you must get on social media or update your fantasy sports selections, do your best to do it during specific break times and your lunch break. Remember whom you are representing at work.
Work diligently at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23
Get all the Breaks
Speaking of breaks, schedule those as well. You are essential, and if you have been sitting at a desk all afternoon, get up and stretch. If you have been on your feet all morning, give them a break. If your eyes have been staring at a screen for an extended time, find something else to look at that is not on a monitor. Do what it takes for you to have a moment to "Evaluate the Vessel." Your work environment may not be conducive to certain things like jogging in place, yoga, or rocking out to your favorite song, but do what you can do to detach and get refueled for your next series of tasks. A word of caution on breaks: do not abuse them. You are getting paid to work, so make sure your breaks have a defined purpose.
Know your best time to work
One of the other vital skills in Time Management is knowing when your energy level is at its peak. Some people are highly productive early in the day, regardless of coffee consumption. They have no problem being productive at work from the get-go. However, after lunch, these same people drag through the rest of the day until they finally cross the finish line of 5:00 pm. Others start their day slowly, but as the day progresses, they turn on the go-go juice and are working after the sun goes down. Knowing which one you are can help you when you are scheduling your day. Do the tasks that require the most attention to detail when you feel most energetic. Reserve the monotonous tasks for when you are more moderate or low on the energy spectrum. It's a known fact that most surgical mistakes occur at the end of a workday rather than the beginning. Why? Surgeon fatigue is very real, and the more tired a surgeon and their nursing staff are, the higher the rate for potential errors.
Know your Pacing
Every job is different, and each role requires a certain level of speed. If you are highly detailed and methodical, do your best to obtain a low-speed type of job because that is the kind of work that God created you to complete. If you are an intense, fire breathing, results-driven Type A, you can handle the more hyper-speed jobs that require you to act on the fly. If you are at the wrong speed of work, you will not be productive. You will either lag behind at work or be stuck revving your engines with nowhere to go. Use the gifts and skills that God
has given you for His glory and your sanity.
Set up tomorrow for success
We all like a sure thing. One of the best ways to do that for yourself at work is to plan for tomorrow. If possible, make your to-do list for tomorrow and also update your calendar to reflect any new meetings or changes in the schedule. Doing this will streamline your morning routine and help you to get a leg up on the next day's workload.
Adapt: Every job is different. Every work culture is special. Every boss is unique
Understand what success looks like in your workplace and hone in on that. Replicate those that are successful and mimic how they do things. Be humble, teachable, and ready to learn new skills that will bring you more accomplishments. You are in your work environment to both represent Christ to your co-workers in addition to delivering high levels of productivity to your employer. Your vocation is your calling, be faithful where you are until the next assignment comes along.