Time management is one of the most important skills people can learn for work. Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day, but not everyone can get the same amount done in the same stress-free way.

The key to that, as experienced captain Jako Hall explains, is time management. Many professionals have felt the effects of ineffective time management on their work schedules and productivity.

Luckily, many of the factors that contribute to time management are ones you can control. Here are several components you can apply at work to create an effective time management routine.

Create a Schedule

A fundamental step anyone can take to improve their time management is to create a daily schedule. This should start with a to-do list that will list all the tasks you need to finish before leaving work that day.

Writing everything down and being able to reference it throughout the day will keep you on task. It’ll also ensure you don’t forget anything important.

Before leaving work for the day, review the list and make a To-Do list for tomorrow. This will save you a lot of time the following day and allow you to jump right into it.

Prioritize the Schedule

Your To-Do list shouldn’t be arranged in some random order. You should prioritize your tasks from most important to least important. When you accomplish essential things first, it’ll leave you feeling very accomplished.

This will set you up for a less stressful remainder of the day as you’re checking off each subsequent task.

Stay Focused on One Task

You’ll hear people say that the only way to accomplish what you want in a day is to master the art of multitasking. This is not true.

Captain Jako Hall points out that multitasking often leads to a significant decrease in productivity. It’s too challenging to juggle multiple tasks at once, which creates more work than saves time.

Take Breaks When You Need Them

It may sound odd to suggest stepping away from work as a way to improve time management, but it’s true. Everyone needs a break from time to time. Stepping away and clearing your mind allows you to approach your work with all the necessary energy and focus when you return.

Sometimes, a simple walk around the office or outside is enough to clear your head. Some people practise meditation or breathing techniques to calm themselves when times get pressure-packed.

Find what works for you, and implement it into your daily routine.

Set Boundaries

One of the toughest — but most important — ways to improve your time management skills is to learn how to say no. You’re the only person who will know what you do and don’t have time to accomplish.

Be open and honest to others in your workplace, including your boss. While it may not be a good idea to flat out tell your boss no, it is good to put in perspective what else you won’t be able to accomplish if you take on this new task.

If you’re able to delegate in your job, do it. This will save you lots of time and frustration as well.

About Captain Jako Hall

Captain Jako Hall is an experienced mariner and a former naval officer known for his strong work ethic and ability to lead and motivate crews. He pursued Maritime Studies at the University of Technology in Cape Town and has received the highest level of training in Navigation and Seamanship during his years in the Navy. After 13 distinguished years in the Navy, Jako joined the superyacht industry, following his passion for creating unique and exclusive experiences for high-net-worth clients. He’s managed multi-million euro projects that required attention to detail and efficiency and has a proven track record of operating at sea in remote and unsupported areas.