Professional Development

How to Manage Your Time Efficiently

Do you start work early? Do you work during your lunch break or at weekends? Stay later than you’re paid to? Of course we all do this from time to time. to others this can seem like you must be rushed off your feet – but is the truth that you are just struggling to manage your time?

In our “Time Management” course, we look at tools to help manage time, set, and achieve goals which enhance both personal and organisational productivity. In this blog post, you can see three key areas which will help you improve your own efficiency.


Delegation is a superb way to help you spend time on other more important or urgent tasks. You don’t need to have staff to delegate to either – you can delegate sideways and upwards, as well as downwards. Delegation is neither passing the buck nor the ultimate responsibility for the task. This will always remain with you.

It is challenging to handover work that you feel engaged in. However if someone can do the job at least 70% as well as you then you really should delegate it! The benefits to delegating, if done well, include being able to achieve more, increasing staff development, maximising output, assisting with contingencies, new and better ideas and a sense of trust and involvement.


Saying “No”

There are many reasons why we don’t like to say no to requests made of us, such as guilt, politeness, or a fear of expendability. However, there are times we all need to assert ourselves and say no to some requests.

You need to analyse a situation in order to say no more effectively. You should use your decision-making skills and examine alternatives. Always ask ‘What, when, how long, how important and who’ before agreeing to a task – you shouldn’t say yes if you have more important tasks to do, or if the task should not be your responsibility.


 As well as being able to say no, we also need to manage our seemingly endless series of interruptions many of us face every day. Research shows that it takes nearly 30 minutes to refocus after being interrupted. This can cost companies up to 6.2 hours of productivity a day. This is effectively like operating less one staff member. Interruptions also increase mistakes and, unsurprisingly, 40% of workers interrupt themselves.

Some ways to minimise these interruptions are to:

Meet with colleagues regularly

set a specific catch-up time for asking questions and reviewing progress

Agree on an office “quiet” time

be honest with your colleagues. If you need to get a report completed by the end of the day, ask them to give you space to concentrate. If you set the time limit, colleagues know when you’re available again. That will mean they’re more likely to respect it.

Find a hideaway

could you work in an empty meeting room, different desk, local coffee shop? Again, set a time limit on how long you will spend there so your co-workers know when you will return and so respect your space.

Use status settings properly

Use the settings in MS Teams etc. well and educate your colleagues to do the same.  Make sure you all respect the statuses. For example, “Do not disturb” literally means that!

You need to be a role model for the behaviour you want to see. If you want to work with quiet times and focus on a task, you need to respect others when they have their quiet times. Don’t be an interrupter yourself!

Closing Thoughts

Time management skills take time to learn. You need to follow the practices actively to embed them. In doing so, you will notice efficiency wins and productivity gains. We should all aim to use our lunch breaks to keep our energy up. This will improve our performance.

By Jacob Ahmadzai

Helping businesses improve performance with proven learning and development solutions. London based with a global reach.