If you’re a quarterback in the NFL, you dream about the opportunity to lead your team to victory with an epic two-minute drive at the end of an important game. One of the biggest elements of success for a two-minute drill is clock management. You’ve got just 120 seconds to get down the field—and every second counts.

What can the two-minute drill teach us about managing our time at work? Let’s find out.

Know Your Game Plan

Just as teams often have a go-to strategy for two-minute drills, you should have a good understanding of what your tasks and priorities are. This can take many forms, from to-do lists to strategy meetings. But the important part is that you can figure out the best way to prioritize the time left in your workday. Finishing small tasks feels great, but it’s often the bigger projects that will get you in the end zone.

Know When to Take a Time Out

Sometimes, the best clock management is knowing when to take a time out. Just as coaches and quarterbacks try to make the best use of their timeouts during the game, knowing when you need a few minutes to regroup can help set the tone for the rest of your day.

Get out of your chair and stretch for a bit or do something else that relaxes you. When you get back to your desk, you’ll be more energized for the work you have left to do. But remember, just as NFL teams only get 3 time outs per half, limit breaks to when you actually need them – not just an excuse to stop working.

Have the Desire to Win

This one’s a bit of an intangible, but it all comes back to attitude. NFL players often say they’d rather be down by four than down by three because they’d rather have to go for the win rather than have the opportunity to go for the tie. This sounds counter-intuitive, but it’s that desire to win that drives them towards success.

Adopt a similar attitude for your work. Don’t settle for ‘good enough’ when you’re capable of so much better. Find ways to eliminate excuses or opportunities to settle so that you can strive for bigger, more meaningful wins.

Knowing how to manage the clock, whether you’re on the football field or sitting at your desk, is a crucial skill to have. One of the keys to managing your time is having a better understanding of how you’re spending time.

With ExakTime, companies can collect 100% accurate time and attendance data and use that information to implement better systems and processes to allow employees to make more efficient use of their work day—and help make every day like a successful two-minute drill.

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