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Ten Unique Time Management Tips

We're heading full speed into 4th quarter...and that means it's time to focus and invigorate everyone on your team for the busy months ahead. And it's also a great opportunity to organize your team and make sure everyone is managing time wisely.

We've put together 10 unique time-management tips. Incorporate these simple steps into your workday and share them with members of your team. You'll find these easy changes can truly make a difference:

1. Have a plan. Each morning, make yourself a to-do list. As each task is accomplished, cross it off your list. It's a nice reminder not only of what you need to do, but also of what you've already accomplished.

2. Plan for the Unplanned. Don't fill your entire day up with meetings and tasks. All it can take is one unscheduled phone call or a small emergency to throw off your entire day. Give yourself room every day to answer e-mails, make phone calls and to deal with unexpected tasks.

3. Tackle the Big Stuff First. Our tendency is to put off the big or difficult tasks for later. But studies have shown that most of us are more alert and productive in the morning. And accomplishing the major assignments first will energize your afternoons.

4. Take the 10-Minute Challenge. Is your desk filling up with papers? Put aside 10 minutes every other day—you may even want to set a timer—to go through and file, pass along or trash those piles of papers. A clutter-free desk can add some much needed calm and makes other tasks seem less frenzied.

5. Make big tasks small. Here's another use for the timer: when you have a large task, break it up into 10- or 15-minute increments of work. Set the timer, and just do that amount of work. You'll find that, like small amounts of exercise, small amounts of work make any task less intimidating.

6. Learn to negotiate your time. Every project has a deadline, but if you need more time, ask for it. Communicate your needs with the project manager and work with them to get the time you need to complete the tasks at hand.

7. Lend a helping hand. If you have some extra time, share it with a co-worker. Even if it's just to make copies or get them some coffee, that little helping hand can make all the difference.

8. Respect other's time. If you have a meeting scheduled for 10 am, be there at 10 am. If you're meeting is only suppose to last a half hour, do your best to stick to 30 minutes. Don't abuse other people's time, and hopefully they'll respect yours as well.

9.Make work fun. It may seem like there can't possibly be time for fun, but that's when you need it most. Take just five minutes a day to free your mind of work and just relax. Take a short walk, learn to juggle, share a joke of the day—you'll return a little more refreshed.

10. Reward yourself (and others!). Celebrate your accomplishments—big and small. Give yourself a snack break, take a short walk or literally pat yourself on the back. Also make sure you acknowledge other members of your team that work with you to get the job done.

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