How to Achieve Work Life Satisfaction by Managing Your Time Effectively

Achieving work life satisfaction can be challenging, especially in today’s fast-paced and demanding world. However, there are many tools and strategies you can use to make your life easier on multiple fronts. One of these strategies you could improve on is your time management which is the ability to plan, prioritize and execute your tasks efficiently and effectively. By doing this, you can increase your work life satisfaction and enjoy the benefits of a balanced lifestyle.

What is the relationship between time management & work life balance?

Time management and work life balance are closely related concepts. They have allowed many to not only find sufficient time to complete all their tasks for work but to have quality time for their personal and family life as well. Because of this, time management has been found to have many benefits including:

Reduced stress and anxiety

By planning ahead, setting realistic goals and avoiding procrastination you can reduce the pressure and uncertainty that comes with managing multiple tasks and deadlines. This can help you cope better with stress and helps prevent a burnout at work or home.

Increased productivity and performance

By prioritizing your most important and urgent tasks first you can keep on top of your deadlines more easily. Allocating sufficient time and resources to your tasks also allows you to accomplish more in less time and with less effort. Minimizing distractions is very important as well if you want to achieve your work objectives and meet your expectations.

Improved quality of life

No one wants to be stuck working forever! By focusing on the tasks that matter most and delivering quality results in a shorter amount of time you can reach your goals faster and more efficiently. This allows you more options and more to do with your time. You might be able to go home early, spend more time on what you love or hang out with friends. This can help you enjoy your life more and allows you to fulfil your personal needs and aspirations.

Time management apps are great time management tools to help you achieve work life harmony.

How can I improve my time management?

Improving your time management requires some planning, discipline and practice. You also need to have a drive for change and improving yourself otherwise it won’t work. It is also important to be realistic. You won’t achieve superman goals straight away so start with something small and move to the next stage from there. Over time you will be able to progress and manage your time more effectively.

Some useful tools to help you get started include:

Calendars or Planners

Using a calendar or planner is excellent to help you organize your schedule. They allow you to keep track of your tasks, meetings, deadlines and other events at work but you can also use your calendar for personal goals and events as well. It is important to make sure to update and check your planner regularly so you stay on task and on time. Paper and digital planners both have their benefits but it ultimately comes down to your preference and needs.

To-Do List

A to-do list can help you identify the tasks that are urgent and the ones you need to complete each day. You can use a notebook, a sticky note, an app or any other tool that works for you. Make sure to write down all the tasks that you need to do, no matter how big or small they are and, more importantly, cross them off!

S.M.A.R.T Goals

S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. SMART goals can help you define what you want to accomplish, how you will measure your progress, whether it is realistic and attainable, why it is important for you or others and when you will complete it. This allows you to manage both your daily tasks and long term goals better so you are more in control of the outcome and your time.

Time management tools aren’t the only things you will need to improve your work life satisfaction. You will also need the skills to compliment them. Some of these time management skills can be learned fairly quickly while others will take time and practice. You can start by implementing them into your daily routine and building on them to suit your work style and commitments.

Time management skills that will help you create work life balance include:

Prioritizing tasks according to their importance and urgency

Not all tasks are created equal. You can use a matrix or a system to prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. For example, the Eisenhower matrix divides tasks into four categories:

-do first (important and urgent)

-schedule (important but not urgent)

-delegate (not important but urgent)

-eliminate (not important and not urgent)

By placing these categories within a quadrant or even a list and moving each task to its relevant category you are able to organise your workload better. This also helps you break down your work for the day so it is more manageable both physically and mentally which will help reduce stress and worry.

Estimating how much time each task will take

One of the common pitfalls of time management is underestimating or overestimating how much time each task will take. This can lead to unrealistic expectations, missed deadlines or wasted time. To avoid this try to estimate how much time each task will take based on your experience, knowledge and available resources. You can use a timer or a stopwatch to measure the actual time that each task takes. This will allow you to make more accurate decisions when prioritising tasks in the future.

Breaking down complex tasks into simpler ones

Large or complex tasks can be overwhelming and daunting, especially when you are starting a project and you don’t know where to begin. They can also take longer than expected or encounter unexpected challenges. Therefore, to make them more manageable and achievable, try to break them down into smaller or simpler tasks that are easier to handle. This will prevent stress and anxiety over the project you are working on while enabling you to tackle the task more efficiently.

Avoid multitasking as much as possible

Multitasking is the act of doing more than one thing at the same time and is a time management killer. It may seem like a good way to save time and get more done, but in reality, it can have negative effects on your work. Multitasking has been known to reduce your concentration and attention span while increasing the risk of errors. It can also leave you stressed and flustered while also impacting on your work life satisfaction.

Instead of multitasking, try to focus on similar tasks at once. For example, if you need to make five lists in a week get them all done in one session. If you then need to print multiple documents, get them all done at once. Grouping like tasks together and doing them in the same session is both faster and more time efficient because you are focused on the same actions within a short span of time.

Minimizing distractions and interruptions

With social media, tv and other technologies available to us today it can be very hard to avoid distractions. Even working from home can be a challenge with family and other interruptions diverting your attention and disrupting your work flow. Everything seems designed to grab your attention from phone calls to emails to notifications and even other employees. All this noise can stop you from performing optimally and getting what you need to done.

The best thing you can do to eliminate or minimize distractions is to try and create a comfortable work environment that helps you focus. This means turning off your devices, avoiding apps or websites that distract from work (yes, Instagram is one of them) and resist the temptation to check or respond to anything that is not related to your current task.

Taking regular breaks and rewarding yourself

To prevent this you need to take regular “brain breaks” and reward yourself for completing your tasks. The Pomodoro technique is a strategy that involves working for 25 minutes and taking a 5 minute break to walk around, stretch or grab a snack. Once you have rewarded yourself then you jump in for another 25 minutes. If you are in the groove don’t try to disrupt your workflow. You can be flexible with this setup and extend your work time to 30 or 40 mins if you like and take a 15 minute break. It depends on what suits you and your working habits.

Working efficiently with time management skills increases work life flexibility and work life wellness.

How can I manage my time better at work?

We all want to try our best and improving our performance at work can help us be more productive. It also provides opportunities for growth within ourselves and for the business. Managing your time better will also help you improve your work life satisfaction and fulfillment as an employer or employee.

Some ways you can improve your time management at work include:

Planning your day

Before you start your workday have a look at and review your calendar or to-do list. Find out what tasks need to be done and decide what you need to start with, what comes after and what can be left until the end of the day. You can also set up a daily schedule that outlines your tasks in time slots so you can keep track of what you need to do and when.

Aligning your tasks with your goals

Delegating or outsourcing tasks

Isn’t it great to have things done for you?! If it is not essential that you perform a task yourself you can delegate it to someone else. This could be another employee or even outsourcing it to another company who can do them better or faster. This can help you save time and focus on the tasks that are more important or valuable to you.

Communicating clearly and effectively with others

Have you ever run around for 20 minutes searching for a document only to find out it was in an easily accessible folder? You would have known that if someone had told you, right?! Communication is vital for any work-related tasks and saves a LOT of time. You could have just saved that 20 minutes!!!

To communicate clearly with others try to use simple and concise language. Providing relevant, timely and accurate information can help you avoid misunderstandings and frustration during a project or key task. It is also important to communicate that you expect the same from others while also making sure you respect their methods and opinions as well.

Learning to say NO!

Time management strategies can also be used at home so you can have a better life balance and more time at home.

How can I manage my time better at home?

Managing your time at home is just as important as managing your time at work. You still have commitments to do the housework and look after the garden. However, you also need to make time for your family, friends and most importantly YOURSELF! The better you can manage your time the more you have to spend on what you need to and what you love. It will also give you a huge boost in the work life satisfaction department!

Some tips to help you manage your time more effectively at home include:

Establishing a daily routine

A daily routine allows you to create a sense of order and stability in your life. This helps those wanting to achieve work life satisfaction as well as those suffering from anxiety and depression. It also saves you time and energy by reducing the need for wondering what to do with your day and taking ages to decide. Establishing a daily routine is easy! Start by following a consistent schedule for waking up, sleeping, eating, exercising, working, studying, relaxing, etc. Prioritise what needs to be done and work your way from there.

Involve your family in time management

Your family can either be a great source of support or an extreme challenge when you are trying to manage your time. Communicating with them regularly about your plans, expectations and needs in regards to managing your time at home can be very beneficial. This helps them to understand what you need from them and allows you to involve them as well if there are tasks that they can do to help. You can also ask for their input and feedback while sharing the load and letting them know that you appreciate and may even reward them for their efforts or contributions.

Creating a separate space for work or study

If you work or study at home it is important to create a space just for that purpose. This will help you avoid distractions from your home environment while enhancing your focus and concentration. Mentally it also helps you maintain a clear distinction between your work and personal life. It can be very hard to feel like you have ‘left work’ when your office is on the other side of the wall.

To create a separate space for work or study choose a quiet, comfortable and well-lit area. Equip it with the necessary tools and resources you need to perform your work and even add a little bit of flare to make it fun. No point it having all boring work stuff! If you can, make sure to shut the door on all the family noise and make it clear that this is your “work space”.