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6 Tips to help you manage your time effectively at work

Hello, I am Darren and I’m an HR and Marketing Apprentice here at Limelight HR.

You’ve made the time to click through to our latest blog on time management. Well done for acknowledging that it is something you could improve!

Since graduating and taking on my first office job here at Limelight, I have realised how crucial good time management is and how different it is in the working world in comparison to my time at university.

I have tried all sorts of solutions to find the best way to manage my time at work and thought I would share some of them in the hope that they will be of use you.


1. Structure/ To do lists

We’re starting with an obvious one here but quite possibly the most effective one and that is to try and structure when you are going to complete tasks. I love a good to do list for the day and tick as I go through it. Have you ever written a task that you have already done so you can still give it a tick? I am definitely guilty of this

Time management is more than to do lists, you need to manage what is on the list otherwise you’ll end up with tasks sat waiting for another day and another and another (you get the point). Try and write up an average week or even an average month structure so you can work out which tasks seem to fall when. Then you can start creating time for them in advance and it will remind you if you have forgotten anything that is completed monthly. I use my laptop calendar to add in reoccurring tasks, so they remind me each month to complete them. Tasks that happen monthly are easily forgotten as we all know time flies when you are at work (and having fun!).


2. Don’t be afraid to say no

When time is tight sometimes prioritisation isn’t enough. Slowing down your yes and taking the time to review your situation can help you understand how much time you have and help you work out how much time the new task will take. This allows you to plan before accepting a task or piece of work, or simply saying no until you have the capacity to take it on.

If you feel under pressure all the time it may not be because of how productive, or unproductive, you are. It may be because you are taking responsibility for too many things, and you may need to delegate more effectively.


3. Exercise

Did you know exercise can increase productivity? We all know the general benefits of exercise, but it seems impossible when under time pressure (and also considering the weather in the UK!). We all make excuses not to exercise but even a 20-minute walk can increase your productivity. It is thought 20 minutes of walking increases your energy by the same amount as a cup of coffee!

I park my car a short walk away from the office as it helps me feel more prepared and energised for the day. And it means I can park for free! Saving money and increasing my productivity what a great combination.


4. Keep it fresh

If you feel like everyday is merging into one and certain tasks are becoming repetitive, maybe it’s time to switch things up a bit. I’m not talking about a complete career change but maybe change the ‘repetitive’ element. Find a new way to complete the task or a different time of day to do it.

If you can feel yourself switching off and losing interest, have a think about how you can change how the work is done going forwards. Can someone else in the team take it on as a development opportunity? Is it something you can outsource so you can spend your time doing something more interesting?

It may not even be work that you’re finding repetitive, it could just be life in general. Why not try something new whether that be a local class or cooking a dish you’ve never tried before. I truly agree that variety is the spice of life, and change is as good as a rest.


5. Take time out for reflection

If you go into the office, churn work out and then leave without reflecting on what you’ve done you will never improve the experience or how you do things. Every day is a school day so reflect and learn from projects or pieces of work that took longer than expected. Think about what held you up or held you back, consider how you could have achieved it more efficiently. Find the root cause to problems to help prevent them from happening again.


6. Making Routine a Habit

Ultimately, getting things done is easiest when it is part of your routine, making regular tasks part of your routine will help keep things ticking over. For example, you probably make a cup of tea every day when you get to work. This is a habit and if you didn’t make yourself a tea it would feel like you had forgotten something. You can do this with the tasks you complete regularly, such as dedicating a Monday morning to checking emails and planning the rest of the week, making phone calls, reviewing the week, having meetings with your team. Whatever the task if you incorporate it into a habit, it will soon become second nature.

I hope you have taken away something of value from this blog on time management and I’d love to hear any ideas you have that I might be able to implement or share with the team.

If there is anything people related we can help you with so you have the time to concentrate on something else then drop us a line at hello@limelighthr.co.uk