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How to...Make the most of your time

Your career

DO YOU feel as if there are not enough hours in the day, that your company is under-resourced and that your boss is dumping too much work on you?

This may be the case, but equally you could be managing your time at work inefficiently.

Better time management would allow you to cut out wasteful activities and work more effectively. It should not mean having to work faster or constantly watching the clock.

There are dozens of reasons why you are currently losing the time battle.

To identify them, log your main activities and the time spent on them over a three day period. You will be appalled at how much you have been side-tracked by peripheral tasks and interrupted by junk mail, social chat and telephone calls.

Once you have got a feel for the scale of the problem, take some time to define the priorities of your job. Plan your work so that you spend most of the day on these key activities and don't do easier and less important tasks first.

Think about how you work on the last day before your holiday and try applying that clarity of thought every day.

Once you have cleared your mind, stop other people from cluttering it. Go on an effective reading course, which will allow you to take in more information more quickly; ignore junk mail or low value material; and attend fewer meetings or stay only for the time you are needed.Key points Log your work activities to find out where you are wasting time Define the priority tasks of your job and focus on them Cut out time wasting tasks Delegate where possible Protect yourself from interruptions

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