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Investment Banking Analyst M&A – Irvine, CA
Pre-MBA Associate – Boston, MA
Big projects and small tasks have a way of piling up at work. Your boss throws something new at you while you’re in the midst of another assignment, and soon you find yourself juggling a multitude of jobs, making your one job seem unmanageable at times. The key is time management, folks! It’s a skill that was introduced to us back in our schooldays, but one that many of us just can’t quite seem to master. If this sounds like a familiar setback, read on for some tips to staying on top of your workload.
1. Track Your Schedule Online
Time management in the workplace is all about what to do, when to start, and when to stop. Keeping an online schedule with tools like a gmail or outlook’s online calendar will keep you organized and alert you to meetings and project deadlines. An online schedule is always with you, as it can connect to your phone, laptop, work and home computers.
2. Make a List
A lot of the time it helps you stay focused on your work if you just write it all down. If you have a piece of paper or a computer document right in front of you that details everything you have to do, you’re less likely to forget something important. Another great part about lists is the ability to cross stuff off. A lot of people derive great satisfaction from checking things off as they complete them, after which they can seamlessly move on to the next item on their agenda.
Something you can do right on your list is prioritize your tasks. What needs to be done now and what can wait? People are often tempted to complete projects based on the order they receive them. This is helpful in that it prevents the break in concentration it takes to switch from one task to another; however, some jobs are more important than others, and should be handled accordingly. Being able to discern what needs to get done and the ability to multi-task are highly important in the workplace. Use you list to help you keep track of due dates, levels of importance, and long-term projects.
The dark, scary vortex of numerous projects and deadlines is a lonely place – so that’s why you should keep an open communication with your boss and coworkers in order to avoid the chaos! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to your boss about ways you can better complete your work or the possibility of extending deadlines. If you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s probably a good idea to check in with him or her anyway, as staying on track is difficult when you have a lot going on. When things get busy, talk to your coworkers as well. Aside from moral support, they can also lend a helping hand if you’re particularly pressed for time.
5. Take a Break
Taking a break is often the last thing a busy person will do, but it’s extremely important. It’s imperative to take a step back from your work from time to time, in order that you can remain your most productive self.
Time management doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and so those of us graced with a more scattered approach to our work must enact tangible strategies in order to stay on top of it all. Get in the habit of creating lists, talking with others, and taking breathers, and things will start to fall into place more easily!
Until next time,
The Doostang Team