Do you want to make better use of your time in your science job? Take a look at our top tips.
Write a to-do list
To get started, address your tasks head first by writing down everything that needs to be completed by the end of the day or the end of the week. It would be beneficial to invest in a planner if you don’t already have one, as this will help you stay organised and on top of your responsibilities. Using your time wisely will increase productivity and you will achieve more.
After writing out your to-do list, you could assign each one to a category – such as ‘urgent’, ‘important’ and ‘maintenance’. Based on this, you can then decide how to proceed with the day ahead, ensure that the most paramount assignments are completed first and dedicate accurate amounts of time to getting things done.
Take a break
You will inevitably achieve more when you are feeling fresh – working through your breaks won’t achieve anything other than making you feel more fatigued. Therefore, be sure to take some time away from your desk during the day to eat your lunch and relax. You could go out for a walk, listen to some music or read a favourite book during your free time if you want to stay occupied.
Organising your physical and virtual workspaces will avoid precious time being wasted on looking for information, freeing you up to concentrate on what is important. It would also be useful to take some time to declutter and sort out your belongings: get rid of the things you don’t need, coordinate the things you do need into designated areas or folders and personalise your zone to make it your own.
Avoid unwanted disruptions
Sometimes we need to work without any distractions and shut ourselves off from those around us in order to reach our maximum productivity level. If your office has a door, close it from time to time. Likewise, if a colleague wants to chat at an inconvenient time, politely ask to organise a better time to catch up.
You might also find it beneficial to create a playlist of calming music that helps you focus, or set times of ‘do not disturb’ to allow you to work without the worry of being interrupted.
Cancel unnecessary meetings
Are all of your scheduled meetings essential? Or, can an issue be solved through a quick email or phone call? Finding simpler ways to communicate with your colleagues will save everybody time and prevent resources from being wasted so that you can dedicate your time to the most pressing tasks.
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