6 Common Time Management Mistakes which Impact Productivity at the office

Traditional workplaces have a way of coming out looking like a scene out of the walking dead, with zombie like glares and dull looks pervasive throughout the office. This phenomenon, which could be said to be something out of the X-files, occurs when human beings start being mechanized rather than inspired to utilize their highest potentials. Companies like Zappos, Google , and SAS do their best to keep employees engaged and motivated to do their best at all times. SAS for example knows that each of their employees is an asset to their business, they do their best to ensure that all employees feel as though they are more than mere numbers within the ever expanding matrix, but rather, individuals with varying needs and wants.

Here at EasyClocking we like to consider ourselves as having a similar tech startup atmosphere, with epic ping pong battles during lunch and a family orientated environment geared to really getting the most out of our employees. We operate in an environment of friendly cross-functional teams, all in line with the goal of providing the best Time and Attendance solutions on the market. To be able to sustain such an environment however takes work, and as we don’t aim to be extras in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” we’ve had to learn how to maximize our time for efficiency and productivity.

Sometimes you might find yourself like the rabbit from Alice in wonderland, Late with an abundance of tasks and so little time, take breath and repeat with me with a Thundercat like roar “I will conquer my time management issues!” Not unlike a twelve-step recovery program, The first step to conquering time constraints is to identify those pesky time wasting mistakes we’re most guilty of committing while on the job.

Just like children pestering their parents mid conversation, distractions at work have a way of occurring at the most inopportune times. With a constant string of emails, text messages, and instant messages being received throughout the day, it makes one wonder, how can work ever get done? Be like Drago and break the bad habit of being at the mercy of technology, don’t become a technology whore, use technology to your benefit, not the other way around. Set a designated time every day to respond to messages and learn to differentiate between the messages of importance to reply to throughout the day.

Trivial tasks often take the most time out of your day but, in terms of returns have a way of profiting you the least. If you really want that bang for your buck approach to time management, then focus on those tasks that really matter. Prioritize certain tasks, remember, those menial tasks can wait a moment, or two, and sometimes three.

Ever tried rubbing your stomach at the same time as patting your head? Not very easy to do is it? These two tasks, when done separately, are actually quite easy to do but, when combined can resemble a herculean task. Multitasking is not an actual skill, rather, it can be said to be a negative trait to have. According to Forbes Magazine, Multitasking damages not only your brain but your career! Single-Tasking therefore should be the new 2016 social media trend. Try it yourself, focus your undivided attention to one task, once that task is completed move on to the next, see isn’t that much better?

Prioritizing your day and tasks given to you is a surefire way to end up on the wrong side of time. Make note of the little things and evaluate time constraints or potential bottlenecks which could occur. Incorporate the varying needs of your company within your little black book of tasks, things like personal, organizational, or departmental goals. With luck, you’ll be the one knocking those tasks that really matter before the lightbulb finally flickers and decides to turn on within a colleague’s or supervisors mind.

Saying no is something which is often frowned upon. The word NO carries a negative connotation which at its core repulses, it’s been said that we, in general, remember negative events more strongly than positive ones. however, sometimes saying yes could be a bad thing but not everyone likes saying no for fear of the possibility of a bad reaction. Being a yes man can make you popular with your co-workers however, in the long term can be detrimental to your work. Overcommitting on promised tasks can lead to a backlog, hampering productivity as well as increasing stress levels. It is important to never accept a project or task without addressing potential time constraints, only accept a project if you can realistically deliver the goods on time.

Micromanaging or trying to take on the world without delegating for fear of improper implementation of assigned tasks has led to the downfall of many a manager. The Greek Titan Atlas was made to carry the world, don’t volunteer to take his place, learn to delegate. It is said that employees are hired to make their managers look good, for those of you in a managerial position, let your employees shine! Set clear expectations and deadlines and you might just be surprised at the end result. Providing coaching or guidance is one thing but being like DJ Khaled and taking over is another thing entirely. Providing employees autonomy and showing faith in other people’s talents is a sure way to increase both yours and someone else’s productivity.
Make Time To Truly Shine

We’re all busy, with places to go and people to see, this coupled with with modern 21st-century distractions such as television and social media, in the end it’s up to you to prioritize and make time for what’s important.

Mark Zuckerberg is Busy, Steve Jobs was busy, Davinci, and the many great renaissance artists were all busy but, they managed to make time for what was important to them and you only need to look at their work to see how making time truly sets precedence for accomplishing greatness in your craft.

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