Time management is an essential skill to have to ensure that you have a proper work-life balance. Poor time management can lead to stress and feeling overwhelmed at work, anxiety in both your professional and personal life, and negative impacts on your mental and physical health.
You’ve probably heard the ‘phrase work smarter, not harder’ – this is one of they key elements of good time management, as it is more important to work efficiently with a plan, than relentlessly with none. Some of the techniques used to achieve this include:
- Prioritisation – What needs to be completed first? What tasks will take you the longest? What resources do you need? Ask yourself these questions when planning your work.
- Scheduling – Once you’ve figured out what you need to work on, decide when. Think about what time of day you are most productive, or if there are external factors, such the presence of distractions, that you need to consider.
- Goal Setting – Set yourself clear, achievable and reasonable goals that you hope you achieve. If you’re someone who is motivated by deadlines, set one for yourself – you could also ask a colleague or your manager to check in with you at this deadline, if an external party will help the deadline seem more ‘real’.
- Focus – Easier said than done sometimes! However you can help yourself by removing distractions, and working somewhere that you find helps you concentrate – for some people this may be at home (if this is a possible choice for you), in the office, or somewhere else! This may even change depending on what type of task you’re doing.
Proper time management can improve your productivity, reduce stress, and help your opportunities and reputation at work.
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General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Data Protection is the safeguarding of the privacy rights of individuals relating to the processing of personal data.
Those responsible for using personal data must follow ‘data protection principles’. These rules dictate that they must make sure the information is:
- used fairly, lawfully and transparently
- used for specified, explicit purposes
- used in a way that is adequate, relevant and limited to only what is necessary
- accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date
- not kept longer than is necessary
- handled in a way that ensures appropriate security, including protection against unlawful or unauthorised processing, access, loss, destruction or damage
More sensitive information has stronger legal protection – this includes:
- ethnic background
- political opinions
- religious beliefs
- trade union membership
- biometrics (where used for identification)
- sex life or orientation
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Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers by law must protect their employees from harm by:
- identifying hazards in the business that could cause injury or illness
- determine the risk of someone being harmed and how seriously
- take action to eliminate the hazard, if possible, and if not control the risk
A basic risk assessment should cover:
- who might be harmed and how
- what you’re already doing to control the risks
- what further action you need to take to control the risks
- who needs to carry out the action
- when the action is needed by
These risk assessments are vital in keeping your workplace as safe as possible, and should be recorded and regularly maintained. They should also be reviewed in the event that there are changes in the workplace, such as new staff, process changes or new substances and equipment used, or if the controls are found to no longer be effective.
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Time Management, General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), and Risk Assessment training courses are essential tools in ensuring your business runs smoothly. Make sure you don’t miss out on our 10% off deal on these courses, available until the end of November. Simply enter the code ‘planning10’ at checkout to save!
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