How To Use Excel For Time Management
Success Quarterly is a tech and business blog that focuses on the intersection of Silicon Valley and Hollywood, including technology, business, mobile, entertainment, media, and related topics.
Learning how to use Microsoft Office products like Outlook, PowerPoint, and Excel can be a helpful way to manage your time. With productivity tools such as these, you are able to create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets and organize all of it within the software.
By organizing information in a systematic fashion, you can make better use of your time once everything is pre-mapped and organized. This article will go into more detail about using Excel for time management.
Time is an elusive thing that we seem to never have enough of. It’s a valuable resource that many people don’t even notice going unused. Why not put some systems in place to maximize its usage?
The easiest way to do this is by using a good time tracking system. There are several ways to track your time efficiently, but one of the most popular ones is using an app or tool for your phone.
Many people use their smartphone for things other than just talking, so why not use it to its fullest potential? Some apps allow you to scan barcodes, add receipts, and even take photos which could help you keep tabs on what tasks you need to get done.
These apps also usually sync with each other, making it easy to transfer and analyze data from one to the next. The best time tracker apps depend on individual users, and it is hard to say who has which features that work the best.
Work on your projects
A large part of this is deciding what project you should work on next. You can use an index card or any type of note-taking device to make a list of all the tasks that need to be done.
Then, organize these tasks by order of importance so that you know where to start. By using expression marks and/or columns in Microsoft Office Productivity Apps like OneNote and Outlook, you can easily track how much time each task takes. This way, you do not have to remember!
By having everything in one place, it becomes easy to access and update. You will also get updates automatically because they are connected to the internet.
Time management does not exist unless you manage your time, so choose times of day when you feel most productive and focus only on those activities.
Manage your time
A few simple tools can help you manage your time efficiently, and there are many ways to use them. Many people start using an app that allows you to track your time as a way to get more done.
Tracy is one such person. She has her smartphone with her at all times so she was able to easily create an appointment book on their phone system.
This allowed her to make notes, add pictures, and then organize it by day, week, or month. Then, she could quickly access this list from anywhere!
She also uses Google Calendar which gives her easy access to schedule events, set reminders, and even integrates with some apps like WhatsApp so they will notify everyone about the event.
By doing these things, she’s been able to focus less on having extra money due in a couple of weeks and instead just keep moving forward with what needs to be done.
Multitasking is not good
There is a myth that because you can do several things at once, you should be doing as many things as possible without focus. This isn’t true! In fact, it's the opposite.
The more tasks you have going, the less time you will spend focused on each task. That means your overall productivity drops. You may even start giving up on some of those tasks due to lack of attention.
If you need to do one thing well, choose a field that is strengths of yours and stick to it. If you are very organized, maybe organize all of your tasks using an effective method. For others, creating a routine that works for you is the best way to manage their workloads.
A lot of time management theory assumes that you know what you need to do, so it’s not needed to work out how much time each task will take.
But if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing next, then this can be problematic.
If you underestimate how long something takes, you may end up over-estimating how many things you have to get done in a given period of time!
And if you overestimate, you could find yourself with a huge amount of left-over time at the end of your day, which means no progress was made.
So how do you estimate the length of time it will take to complete a task? There are several methods.
The easiest way is by using an average - but bear in mind that averages can sometimes be misleading, particularly when calculating timing.
For example, if you were asked to make six sandwiches, all with different ingredients, then their total time would be one hour. But if these six sandwiches were all made within the same minute, then they would only take five minutes to make!
A more accurate method is to use a standard time frame to determine how much time a task will take. For example, you could ask someone who has completed similar projects before or you could look online for past examples.
This article will go into more detail about some other ways to measure how long tasks take.
Do not procrastinate
A common cause of lost productivity is waiting until later to do something you need to get done. By doing this, you are wasting time moving forward with your task while also delaying start to next tasks.
By having a system in place, you will be able to recognize when you are running out of time and must take action. Using an app like Office365 can help you create reminders and alerts that let you know when it’s time to work on a project or run schedule.
This way, you don’t have to remember anything yourself, all of these functions have built-in features!
Another good idea is to make sure your own internal clock is synchronized with the world’s clocks. This helps you keep track of how much time you have left during the day and makes it easier to factor in any unexpected delays.
Sorting out your work
A good way to use spreadsheet software like Microsoft Office Excel is as a tool for organization. Rather than using it to track time, you can choose to use it for something more powerful – organizing all of your tasks and projects.
You can create an index column or sheet that gets organized by project or task. For example, if you are working on a business proposal, you could make a column for Project, a column for Introduction, and so on.
Then, once everything is arranged by project, you can organize the projects by stage (finding the right person, drafting, editing), and then into action items or milestones.
This helps you sort through all of the pieces quickly, since you have already categorized them.
Create an action plan
The next step in using Microsoft Excel for time management is creating an action plan or system of tasks that have a start and end date. This can be done by grouping similar items into categories or departments, then organizing each item within its specific category or department.
For example, if you work as a writer, you could create one group called “Writers” and another group called “Businesses seeking content writers.” Within the first group, you could organize writing projects by client name, and under the second group, you could add links to various business sites looking for content written content.
Then, when a new project comes up, you could grab a piece of paper and make notes about the project, who it will benefit, and what files need to be prepared before sending off. Once everything is completed, you just drag the appropriate box onto your spreadsheet to indicate that stage has been met!
By having this process organized in advance, you will save lots of wasted time chasing down missing pieces and notifying people of upcoming deadlines.
A big factor in having a successful time management system is taking breaks. You will need to take breaks throughout the day to refresh and re-focus. This can be done through any of several means, such as taking a short break at lunch or before work, switching tasks or projects, or simply doing something you enjoy to keep yourself motivated.
It also takes a lot of energy to maintain focus so make sure to give yourself some downtime after you have been working hard. You want to feel relaxed and refreshed afterwards!
You should allocate one set hour per day that is solely dedicated to taking a break. This can be spent either during the morning, afternoon, or evening depending on what works best for you.
Using this break schedule helps prevent you from overworking yourself and creating more stress. It also gives you time to reflect back on how well you performed the prior hours and week, which boosts self confidence.