Work Efficiently and Escape the Overtime Traps

by Emma • Fri, 30 Sep 2022 12:56PM
Work Efficiently and Escape the Overtime Traps

As the deadline approaches and the workload piles up, it is not unusual for many people to believe that working overtime is the only way to ensure that the goals are achieved within the time limit given. Is it true, however, that working extra is the only way to meet the massive work demands? Of course, if the overtime is only done once or twice a year, this may not be a huge concern, but what if the overtime is done so frequently that it appears to be a never-ending loop of traps?


Understanding Overtime Traps

Overtime can be a tell-tale sign that you have bad time management. Since you are unable to manage your time effectively and efficiently, you are forced to remain at the office beyond working hours. It is fairly uncommon for work that is expected to be completed during normal working hours to slowly pile up, causing you to work extra to finish it. So, what is the answer to avoiding these time traps? Here are some tips you can put into action immediately to make the most of your office time:


1. Make a priority list

Writing a to-do list and sorting it by priority is one of the most effective ways to plan your working hours more efficiently and effectively. Set priorities ranging from the most important to the least important. When you arrive at the workplace in the morning, the first thing you should do is create a list of the jobs you need to do that day, as well as any unfinished activity from the day before. Make a specific and achievable to-do list to avoid feeling overwhelmed.


2. Don’t procrastinate

Some people have a habit of procrastinating until the last minute to complete their chores. However, procrastination is not a good habit for any reason. Avoid putting off tasks, even if it appears simple and easy to do. Sometimes simple activities might become overwhelming if you are unable to manage your time effectively.


3. Work smart, not hard

If you want to work more effectively, learn to work smart rather than hard. For example, you may begin using technology to assist with mundane and administrative duties, allowing you to focus more on more important strategic issues. Additionally, working quickly is insufficient. More than that, you must ensure that your task is done correctly in order to achieve the desired outcomes.


Read Also: Work in a Multilingual Workforce? Here’s What TO DO 


4. Block out all distractions

Gadgets and the internet might be the most significant temptations that cause you to postpone. If you don't want to work extra hours since the project isn't finished yet, you should be able to shut out any distractions that slow down your working speed. To be more productive, avoid seemingly minor distractions such as checking social media or watching Videos online. Sometimes the urge to check Twitter or Instagram for 5 minutes might quickly stretch into 50 minutes.


5. Learn to say ‘no’

Not only do internal temptations exist, but interruption from coworkers or even supervisors may also be a factor for work not being finished. For example, your manager may unexpectedly ask for your help in preparing a meeting when you are working on something far more important. To focus more on your main work, you must learn to say 'no' at this stage.


6. Do not get used to multitasking

You may think that multitasking is an excellent way to do multiple tasks at once. However, this thinking is unreasonable. In contrast, multitasking is a poor habit as it causes you to lose focus on your work. When your attention is divided during multitasking, you are unable to give proper results and may even have to redo it.


Overtime may be necessary on time in your profession to fulfill unrealistic expectations and deadlines. However, if you regularly find yourself working late into the night for days on end to complete your work, you should better understand yourself and ask yourself, "Is there something wrong with the way I work?" Make it a habit at the end of the day to consider what you did at the workplace and how you spent your time. Compare the evaluation to the to-do list you prepared previously to measure your own productivity. Good luck!


Read Also: What is an Employer CPF and How Does It Work in Singapore? 

image: freepik


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