Ways to Manage Workflow
Posted: August 7, 2014
Are you constantly struggling to meet those deadlines? Do you find yourself only crossing off half of the items on your to-do list? If so, then this post is for you! Let’s face it, there are two kinds of people in this world: the ones that always get everything done with time to spare, and the other 99% of the population. It can be especially difficult for those of us with stay-at-home jobs to find the balance between work and personal life, as there are infinite more distractions at home than in an office. We’ve come up with a few time management tips to help manage your workflow and still make time for your other daily activities.
You most likely make some type of a “to-do” list each day, whether it’s all color-organized in your online calendar or jotted down on a notepad. Be sure to label urgent and important tasks in a way that stands out from the rest of the list— try highlighting or underlining the item if hand-written, or using the color red on your Outlook® calendar.
Break It Down
Additionally, try to break down each goal on your list into smaller tasks. This will make it easier to figure out exactly how much time you’ll need to set aside. If there’s a large goal on your agenda that can be done over the course of several days, split it up and take it on piece by piece. It’s much easier to write a page every day for two weeks than to write 14 pages in one day!
(If only we had learned this lesson back in school.)
Give It Time
Things don’t always go according to plan — there will be bumps along the road. Maybe you have to wait for an answer before proceeding with a project, or your computer crashes, or you have to pick up your kid from school unexpectedly. Whenever possible, give each item in your list a little more time than you think is necessary. It’s always better to have a few extra minutes in your schedule than not enough.
Cut Some Slack
The saying “feast or famine” rings true for many of us. Sometimes it seems like everything has shifted to the same day and suddenly you’re juggling 20 tasks at once. When this is the case, remember that you’re not Superman. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help — there may be some wiggle room in the deadline, or one of your coworker’s schedules may have cleared up and he or she can take on some of the workload.
(If you are Superman, you’re secret’s safe with us.)
Stay on Task
Alternatively, during the “famine” phase, it can be tempting to put an assignment off until the last second in favor of going out to lunch or spending some quality time with Amazon®. If you have a light day and the task is small enough, do it first thing in the morning (or at least before lunchtime). That way, you can spend the rest of the day guilt-free!
Tell us: Do you maintain an efficient workflow? How do you manage your time?