We’ve all been there. You spend precious time preparing for a meeting. Your calendar has been blocked for weeks. You’ve declined other appointment requests, and then, last minute, the meeting is cancelled. You find yourself not only frustrated, but also at odds with what to do with this new white space on your schedule. Alas, your time management skills are being put to the test. What to do with this unplanned hour?!
It may sound like a blessing in disguise. However, if you’re used to filling your day with meetings, you probably have piles of paperwork, loads of voicemails, an overflowing email inbox and maybe even colleagues knocking down your door (or peeking over the cube), when they see you are actually at your desk for a change. So, where do you start? How can take advantage of this “free” time, and actually get some work done?
These 5 Last Minute Time Management Tips will help keep you organized and productive.
- Keep an Ongoing To-Do List. Having your tasks in writing will save you time when you find yourself with a free hour. Categorizing the list in terms of importance and time commitment is even better. Not only will you avoid spending half of the time trying to figure out what to do, but oh, how good it feels to cross things off of the list!
- Take Care of The Little Things. Speaking of lists…when some unexpected time falls in your lap, use it to knock out a bunch of those little two-minute tasks. If it takes five minutes or less, just do it, and be done with it. Your list just got a whole lot shorter!
- Organize. Have you seen your desk lately, or is it buried under stacks and piles of stuff you probably don’t even really need? Organizing your space will not only help your productivity, but will also greatly reduce your stress levels. Clutter = Stress. You have enough stress without your piles taunting you.
- Deal with Those Messages. Dedicate the entire time to your inbox. You know it needs a little love. Reply, file, delete. Repeat.
- Socialize. Don’t feel like working? Fine. Work on your relationships instead. Show your employees and/or colleagues that you are, in fact, a human being with a personality, and not just an email address or a LinkedIn profile. Check in. Say hello. It may sound small, but interpersonal skills can easily get lost in today’s social media-oriented workplace. Building face-to-face professional relationships is well worth the time. Your career will thank you.
Still staring blankly at your workload, wondering where to begin? Contact us at CTC Productivity, and find out how we can help you regain control of your workday.