Time Management Best Practices for the Workplace

The art of time management has become increasingly difficult. 

Why? 

Never-ending social media distractions, constant notifications, and the spread of remote work environments are just a few culprits. 

In a survey by OfficeTeam, they found that working professionals squander an average of 56 minutes per day using their phones for non-work activities. This time quickly adds up and is a serious (but often unnoticed) revenue leak problem. 

Time management skills are crucial for workers. Good time management has its benefits:

  • Skyrockets employee productivity 
  • Improves work-life balance 
  • Reduces employee stress levels and turnover 
  • Saves the company money

To help you achieve all these benefits, I’ll cover the do’s and don’ts of time management in the workplace. These tried and tested practices are used by my team at GoLinks.

Time Management Don’ts for the Workplace

Let’s kick things off with what you shouldn’t be doing. These common practices and mindsets can get you stuck in a productivity rut. 

Don’t: Stick to the same daily schedule 

Many time management articles and resources suggest that you stick to the same daily schedule. Routine isn’t always bad, but the exact same routine every day just isn’t practical. Our energy levels, workloads, and priorities change — so our daily schedule should change, too. 

Don’t: Be overly attached to your processes 

You’ve probably heard the saying “death by process.” Even though processes are meant to streamline workloads and help you meet due dates, they can quickly become time wasters that slow you down. 

For example, let’s say you frequently assign tasks to your coworkers. To ensure they have everything they need, you spend time writing the same specifications every time. We are creatures of habit and often stick to those processes. However, there are better solutions – like an automated template that would save you from outlining the same details every time. 

If your processes slow you down, it’s time to look into alternative solutions. 

Don’t: Fall into the always-on mentality

If you’re someone who works remote, then you know it’s hard to set aside deep focus time for important tasks. We can’t visibly be seen working at a desk, but we want coworkers to know we’re working. We do this by adopting an always-on mentality, leaving our notifications on at all times. 

When we do this, we risk the temptation of context-switching. Say you’re working on an important project that takes a lot of focus. If you constantly take a short break to respond to messages, you will get that project done at a much slower pace. This method has a negative long-term effect. 

Don’t: Use bookmarks to manage your resources 

Every month, thousands of people search “how to restore bookmarks” and “how to find lost bookmarks” on Google. People rely on bookmarks to organize their essential work URLs, but this is a big problem. 

It’s easy to accumulate hundreds of bookmarks, and then it takes a lot of time to search through them. In addition, if you leave a job, the next employee won’t have access to those important bookmarks you saved. 

Fortunately, there are alternative ways to manage your knowledge. I’ll share a few solutions and benefits of knowledge management under the Do’s section. 

Time Management Do’s for the Workplace

Now that you know what to avoid, here’s what you should actively do for more effective time management. 

Do: Intuitively task block

Our mental energy, workloads, and priorities change. This is why many people find success with intuitive task blocking. It involves analyzing how you’re feeling in relation to what needs to get done.

For example, if you wake up full of energy, maybe you schedule those more challenging tasks first. If you’re feeling under the weather, get started by knocking out those easier tasks. If you’re feeling easily distracted, maybe you schedule frequent breaks to help you reset. 

Do: Automate processes with the right tools 

It’s so easy to fall into the habit of doing unnecessary manual processes. Maybe those processes were in place when you started the job, or they evolved to be more lengthy than needed. Whatever it is, it’s time to re-evaluate those processes. 

Though it takes more time on the front end, it’s incredibly beneficial to invest in tools that can automate processes for you. For example, a project management tool like Jira lets you create custom templates that can be used again. This way, you don’t have to start from scratch every time. 

Do: Enable asynchronous collaboration 

We’ve all had instances where we’ve left a meeting and thought, “that could’ve been an email” – I certainly have had many! As this Harvard Business Review says, “Every minute spent in a wasteful meeting eats into time for solo work that’s equally essential.” 

The solution is passive modes of communication (aka asynchronous collaboration). You check emails or instant messages on your own time rather than interrupting your schedule. The key is to encourage and enable it throughout your entire team, because it only works if everyone is on board. And by setting these boundaries, everyone will manage their time better.  

Do: Organize and centralize company knowledge 

Coveo recently found that the average employee spends 3.6 hours daily searching for information. That’s a ton of wasted time. As I mentioned earlier, bookmarks are a quick fix that makes us feel organized, but they just aren’t cutting it. 

There are better ways to save your personal resources and centralize company knowledge.

At GoLinks, we use tools such as Google Workspace and Confluence to organize resources. We also use our own product. 

GoLinks makes it easy for you to access resources without messy bookmarks or back-and-forth emails. This tool transforms any URL into a short, memorable go link. For example, you can use “go/todo” to access your daily to-do list. Because go links are intuitive and easy to share, you can stop jumping through hoops to find what you need. 

Reap the Rewards of Better Time Management 

What do these time management tips have in common? They aren’t quick fixes — they take more time upfront but help the entire team save time in the long run. Invest in these smarter workflows and processes and start reaping the productivity rewards. 

About the Author

Alexa is the Sr. Content Marketing Manager for GoLinks, a knowledge management tool that lets you turn any long url into a short, memorable link that’s easy to share. With 6 years of experience in the B2B tech space, she is passionate about sharing tips and tools to help professionals with productivity.