Take Charge Of Your Time To Manage Your Job Better

Time is money, or so the saying goes. People who manage their time effectively get more done and go further in their careers.

Make the most of every minute with these useful ideas:

Act on email promptly. Don’t leave emails in your inbox, whether you’ve read them or not. Spend a few minutes on a regular schedule responding, saving, or deleting messages so important emails don’t get lost in the electronic clutter.

Do your most important tasks first. Identify your priorities (and those of your boss) so you know what’s critical and what’s trivial. Then take care of your top priorities first thing in the morning instead of putting them off or waiting until you’re “ready.” The rest of your day will flow more easily once you’ve got the important stuff under control.

Identify quick tasks. Make a list of everyday jobs you can do in five minutes or less. Tackle these when you’ve got a little spare time—between meetings, or waiting for a long document to print. That way they won’t distract you when you need to concentrate, or waste your time when you should be working on more important things.

Take good notes. Don’t try to remember everything. When you’ve got an idea, or realize you need to do something later, write it down. Review your notes regularly so nothing slips away.

Just say no. Avoid tasks and projects that don’t directly contribute to your primary objectives. Use your list of priorities to identify work that you need to do. Turn down (politely) requests to take on irrelevant work, or negotiate for a deadline that allows you to focus on your key tasks.

While managing your time better, it’s also a good idea to improve your relationship with your boss.

Impressing your boss isn’t about insincere flattery or hogging the spotlight. The best way to get attention and credit is to do your job as well as you can – and follow these tips:

Take notes. Carry a notebook to any meeting with your boss, and use it to record his or her instructions. This shows that you place a premium on detail and accuracy.

Save money. Look for ways to cut expenses in your organization. Most managers are under constant pressure to keep costs down, and yours will be grateful if you can help.

Arrive early, stay late. Don’t be a clock-watcher. Your willingness to put in extra time will show your dedication to the boss’s objectives and your organization’s success.

Dress well. Even in a casual-dress atmosphere, pay attention to your appearance. A professional wardrobe will stand out.

Keep the boss informed. Don’t be a gossip, but do give your manager a heads-up on anything happening in the workplace that could affect his or her goals.

Do a little extra. Seek out the small tasks that other people forget, or the big ones that everyone avoids. Going the extra mile will make a lasting impression.

Be organized. Keep your work area clean, and have the information your boss needs ready at any time. You don’t want to waste your manager’s time while you search for documents under piles of disorganized memos.

Double-check your work. Don’t be in such a hurry that you don’t have time to proofread your email or confirm the facts in a report. Small errors can undermine your credibility and reputation.