5 Ways to Improve Your Use of Time
We’ve all been there. It’s the end of the workday and – although we’ve been in constant motion – we didn’t get nearly as much done as we’d hoped. It’s frustrating and downright discouraging. After all, you work hard every day but you never seem to catch up.
Listen: The problem may not be how hard you work, but how well you manage your time. Fact is, our lives are full of interruptions that get in the way of what we want to accomplish. The trick is to recognize the difference between what’s most important and everything else. Here are 5 ways to help you do just that.
- Clearly define your goals. What is it you most want to achieve? Grow the size of your business? Expand your capabilities? Reduce costs and improve productivity? Write down whatever you decide are your most important goals and remind yourself of them every day.
- Break down your goals into discrete steps. Going after your goals haphazardly is a sure way to waste time. Instead, think about the steps you can take to achieve your goals, and write them down in a logical sequence. Improving productivity, for example, may begin by analyzing the process you’re using to make a particular part. The next step might be to consider ways to improve this process by using different equipment, automating some functions or changing materials. Taking it one step at a time makes the task less daunting, and allows you to use your time wisely.
- The first thing to ask yourself at the beginning of each workday is “What are the most important things I can do today to move me closer to my goals?” Those tasks should be at the top of your daily “to do” list. Add the next most important items after the top one and so on. If something else comes up, consider if it is important enough to interfere with completing the tasks at the top of your list.
- Is there someone else in your organization who could take on the “something else” that could get in the way of your top priorities? Would it be a good use of their time? We tend to think it’s more efficient to put out all of the little fires ourselves, but if doing so takes us away from what is most important, we’d be better off to let someone else handle them.
- Avoid procrastination. It’s natural to put off unpleasant or less appealing tasks, but if tackling them is what gets you closer to your goal, you need to get it over with now, not later. Whether it’s a troublesome co-worker, employee, supplier or customer, letting them interfere with your goals is simply unacceptable.
Other helpful ways to keep you focused on the prize are making daily task lists, recognizing that not every seemingly “urgent” matter is really important, and regularly reviewing your progress.
If among your goals is improving productivity, contact your local LNS representative to learn about the many ways LNS products optimize turning machine efficiency.