Overtime not only results in an additional cost to the company, but it also affects employees work-life balance. And nothing good can come from overworked, tired team members. There is a big drive to look after our mental health these days and overtime is definitely something that is going to affect that.

We asked Peter, the Project Manager here at Blend Commerce, to share with us some key hacks to eliminate overtime. Here are his top 5 things to implement today to make your day more efficient, to help you avoid procrastination and ultimately to eradicate overtime.

1. Create a weekly schedule

A daily and weekly routine is key to time management and planning. But you need to make sure that you also have time for non-scheduled tasks (like your to-do list). As a first step, put the necessary recurring meetings and tasks into your calendar and see how much time this takes up. You can then see how much time you have left for your to-do list. Although we always hope to have smooth-sailing days, we inevitably have unforeseen tasks that we need to resolve or complete and planning for the unplanned will help you get through it all.

Get it done

2. Organise your day

Being your day with a fresh page in your calendar. List everything that you need to accomplish that day. Separate the items by project and then related tasks within each project. Once you have the list, try to prioritise the tasks and groups the tasks that can easily be completed together. Now, if something new in, you can open your priortised list and add the new task into the correct place and make sure it gets done.

3. How to start working

You know that feeling of procrastinating? When you are just delaying the inevitable and the time is ticking by and you know that you could have been way more productive? Here is my advice: don't start your day with the task you hate the most. Rather, start your priority list with something that can be done easily and that will give you a little dopamine rush just before beginning the task that might not want to do. This will help you feel productive and motivate you to get through the task that you aren't most looking forward to.

4. Measure your time (and how to get better at it)

Pro tip: try to estimate the time it will take you to do each of the tasks on your to-do list to determine what you are capable of doing in one day. It would be worthwhile logging your time during the day or at the end of the day and see if you can match it up with your estimated times. Analyse any tasks that weren't accurately estimated and find out where you went wrong and why. This will help improve your time estimations so that you can better at this and it will give you a realistic idea of what you can accomplish in a day.

Measure your time

5. Thinking time

Try to set aside at least half a day per week where you don't work on actual tasks. Let your mind wander. This will help you problem-solve tasks or challenges that you wouldn't ordinarily be able to do while working under pressure.

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