Lifehacker's Better State of Living Conversation series is brought to you with the support of State FarmTM. Today, time management ninja Craig Jarrow is live in the comments to answer all your questions about workplace efficiency.
Is your workplace a place of stress for you? Can you keep up with the daily flow of tasks? Or does every day feel like you are navigating white-water rapids?
It doesn't have to be that way.
As the author of the website Time Management Ninja, I help individuals and companies reclaim their time. My philosophy is that simple solutions trump complex ones, and your time management system shouldn't need a flowchart. With some strategy and simple tips, you can take better control of your time management at work.
No matter what industry you work in, you probably face many of the same time management challenges, be it an overflowing inbox, constant interruptions or looming deadlines. The key to de-stressing your day is being able to identify exactly what it is that's slowing you down.
Here are some of the top common productivity issues that I've witnessed in the workplace:
- Meetings —The entire corporate world bemoans meetings: Too many meetings, meetings that are too long, even ones that are unnecessary. How do you get your work done if all of your time is spent locked in a conference room?
- Email — Surveys show that employees spend anywhere from 25 to 50% of their time processing email. It has become one of the biggest time sinks in the workplace. How do you get your head out of your inbox and back in the game? Even more importantly, how do you deal with all those endless number of emails?
- "Time Management" — "I don't have enough time to get my work done." It is a common refrain in many companies. Yet, many of these individuals aren't aware of where their time is being spent. Do you have a clear vision of your schedule and a defined time management system? How do you know what you need to do today?
- Gadgets — A common fallacy is that the newest shiny gadget will save you. Yet, many people who splurge on the latest gadget soon give up and that gadget ends up in a desk drawer. Before you buy a new productivity tool, be honest about whether that gadget is going to be a productivity booster or a waste of time?
I'm looking forward to sharing some of my best work productivity tips and answering your questions. So head below, and ask away!
Illustration by Ramona Udvardi, Studio@Gawker