How to manage time and workload to improve efficiency
One of the main causes of stress that a public servant often faces in his service is mismanagement of time or failure in managing activities in time. There may be a number of reasons behind this phenomenon, ranging from time-wasters to lack of planning, organization or controlling activities in terms of time.
The word ‘management’ itself denotes and contains ingredients described above. But, first of all, one has to identify the reasons that are indicative of workload and mismanagement of time. “I cannot do it today, I need more time, I need more staff, whether I am doing the job right or the right job,” all these questions lead to the conclusion that among other things to be handled to avoid this situation, effectively and efficiently managing workload and time is also important.
Planning is how one can improve one’s productivity by acting upon the principles of time analysis, organizing activities, controlling and improving work environment in order to manage the workload while also sparing time for other unforeseen activities. While planning one should also be mindful of the fact that there should be flexibility in time management so that exigencies can be handled without compromising on other important tasks.
Working late hours particularly to meet deadlines may be considered appropriate and permissible but making it a routine to dispose of such matters which can be finalized merely through better time management reflects laxity and slackness on the part of the individual.
As a first step, time-wasters, which affect one’s performance, should be identified. Most often unnecessary phone calls, too much drop-in of visitors, waiting to meet seniors or attending meeting without prior circulation of agenda and keeping important tasks pending all waste one’s precious time and resultantly efficiency is compromised.
After identifying personal, managerial and environmental factors leading to wastage of time, one should draw up strategy to minimize the chances of creeping in of time-wasters while renegotiating the overall workload particularly by segregating urgent, important, important and urgent, and routine matters. Here one should be very much careful in prioritizing and segregating the whole job description keeping in mind how to delegate and monitor the activities.
It is often said that too much time is wasted away in planning which is a time-waster in itself. But, in reality, the time spent on planning saves time in the long run and its dividends are harnessed when a smooth sailing of things starts. Similarly, it may be equally important and vital to maintain daily, fortnightly and monthly time-management logs which must commensurate with one’s overall strategy to be effective and efficient in disposal of work.
Another important ingredient of time management to manage workload is to delegate not only powers but also routine work that most of the time serves as time-waster however eyes should be on establishing a monitoring mechanism supported by reviewing techniques after a certain period of time. Consolidation of similar activities shall serve as a time-saver.
Another characteristic of managing affairs is to delegate work according to one’s ability and job description particularly in the backdrop of administrative changes. One may not find oneself in enigmatic situation therefore proactive and anticipatory approach should be accorded priority in managing office affairs.
It, however, depends on one’s approach to applying the principles befitting to the situation; the purpose is to spare time for attending personal affairs to lead a peaceful family life that, is a fundamental right of every individual.