My Blog.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Ways To Improve Time Management.

Time management seems to have become a major bugbear of mine over the last couple of years.   It is probably the one skill I have yet to master, and despite the fact I am not expecting to master it completely, as it stands at the moment, I still have not yet been able to utilize my time as effectively as I would like.

So recently I have been looking for some quality tips to help me out, most of which I have heard of before, and straight away there is one phrase that has kept cropping up time and time again....

Stop procrastinating!

So, procrastinating is; putting something off time and time again, particularly if it needs immediate attention.

I don't feel like I put things off that need 'immediate attention'.   If something needs doing immediately, I will do it ( and get it out the way with), but I will admit I do tend to put things off in general.

Things like:

Taking cash out.   On occasion my mum will pick something up for me, lately it has been coffee, and I'll say I will get the cash out for her.   Three days later, still not done it.   This I need to improve.

What else....

Work tasks.  Sale for example.  Leaving it too late to start printing tickets for sale.   Leaving it too late to have my lunch, though that one is slowly improving.   I used to be a bugger for that in the past.  Oh and my favourite one, leaving it till twenty past five to start cashing five tills up.   All because I think 'I'll wait five more minutes' just in case we have a late customer.   No! You just need to do it.  Or at least start them.   I do still need to improve on that one.

When you really think about it, managing your time will considerably reduce stress, and that is definitely what I want to achieve for myself.  Not just at work, but at home too.  Here are a few tips I have found that I think might help me, and hopefully others too, in improving my time management.

1) Know what it is you have to do.

Write a jobs to do list.  If you are at work, and you are unsure of what needs to be done, ask for a job list.  If you are at home, it's a bit more relaxed and you are probably not restricted to any time limitations, but you could still write a to-do list, and tick it off as you go along.

2) Prioritize.

Ok, so after you have your jobs list it is good to prioritize.  This is an area I do struggle with occasionally, but the best thing to do is just ask for help.   Which I have vowed to do a lot more of now, if I get stuck.

3) Know your goals.

This is handy to know too.  What is it exactly do you want to achieve by the end of the day?  And then at the end of the day, how many of your goals have you managed to achieve? And why didn't you achieve any that are left?

Normally my answer to that is, there were too many customers and not enough staff.  Just remember at the end of it all, you can only do so much, so just do what you can.

4) Don't commit to doing more than you can.

I suppose this goes back to prioritizing.   Don't over-commit.  I have made this mistake a few times in the last few years.   It's best not to take on more than you can, know your own limits and start small and work your way up.   That's how I look at it.  It's the easiest way and it save a hell of a lot of grief.

5) End well.

This is, again, is one I am yet to master.  This actually ties into leaving myself enough time to cash up several tills at the end of the day.  One of the handiest tips in any job, not matter what it is, is to leave yourself plenty of time to stop the days allotted tasks, and start tidying and preparing for the next day.  It might mean that some tasks might not be completed, but that's why (on the chance you are not in the next day) they created 'the handover'.  And yes you do need to leave enough time to do that too.  In the past I had a habit of managing to cash up all the tills at the end of the day, but not do a handover, so I used to do one really, really quickly on a scrap piece of paper that most likely wasn't in my best handwriting.  Another thing I need to improve on, and I am sure I will soon get the chance.

For now, I feel these tips are pretty cool to start with, and admittedly, I will more than likely refer back to these on a few occasions myself.

Thanks for reading.

Sarah x


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