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10 time management tips for IT professionals

Rich Hein | Sept. 18, 2012
Time-management skills for most people are learned along the way, a necessary part of getting the job done.

iPhone Users

aTimeLogger

Eternity Time Log Lite

iTimeSheet Lite

Android Users

Android Time Card Free

Time Recording

TimeCatcher

PC or Mac

Google Calendars

Toggl

Harvest

Tick

Once you have all the data laid out before you, it will be clear where time can be saved. People are often surprised by what this simple experiment will reveal.

7. Don't Procrastinate

Procrastination will literally get you nowhere, so don't put off important tasks or wait until the last minute to put together your presentation. As humans it is part of our nature to avoid unpleasant tasks--to avoid this, try using the reward system. Plan something fun or relaxing after a difficult task, like take a ten minute break and go for a walk or work on something that is more compelling to you.

8. Recharge Your Batteries

Eat right, exercise regularly and get enough sleep. When we're healthy and all is well this often is taken for granted--it sounds like a no-brainer yet so many of us find it difficult to do.

9. Eliminate Distractions

No matter where you work, distractions abound in the form of email, social media, meetings or coworkers wanting to chat about last night's episode of "The Newsroom," current events or their children.

What can you do to limit these distractions and concentrate on the task at hand? If you've taken the time to monitor how your day is spent you'll know right where to start, but some other things you can do include, putting your phone on silent during your work hours or setting up specific intervals for the checking of email. Some people use noise-cancelling headphones or listen to music to drown out the other office sounds, while others use a do not disturb sign on their office or cube.

Do you have a coworker or boss who likes to drop by while you are trying to be productive? A great way to circumvent this is by making a preemptive stop by their office or cube just before you begin working on something. Let them know you are about to enter a meeting or work on a task that requires your complete attention, then ask them if there is anything you need to discuss before you get started. It requires a little extra effort on your part but the payoff is uninterrupted time to be productive.

Whatever you do to eliminate distractions, cutting through the noise of the everyday will allow your mind to focus on the task at hand more easily.

10. Delegate Responsibilities

Are you always on the run or behind schedule? Do you skip lunch or eat it at your desk while you work? Chances are you aren't delegating. Failure to delegate properly can be a career-limiting factor. There are 24 hours in the day and each of us is only one person. Founder of Virgin Group and billionaire adventurer Richard Branson had this to say, "I learned to delegate from a young age. Actually removing myself from the office has helped me look for the next big venture." Regardless whether or not you think you can do it better, some things need to be delegated so you can focus on your top priorities or take on new responsibilities.

 

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