Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how your time will be divided among specific activities. Good time management enables you to work smarter - not harder - so that you can get more done in less time, even when time is tight and pressures are many. Failing to manage your time hurts and causes you a lot of anxiety and stress.
It seems there is not enough time in the day. But, since we all get the same 24 hours, why do some people achieve more with their time than others? The answer lies in good time management.
Most People Manage Their Time Very Well Using the time management techniques in this section, you can improve your ability to work more effectively - even when time is tight and pressure is high.
Good time management requires an important shift in focus from activities to results: being busy is not efficient. (The irony is that the opposite is often closer to the truth.)
Spending your day in a flurry of sluggish activity often pays off, because you divide your attention between so many different tasks. Good time management allows you to work smarter - not harder - so you can get more done in less time.
What is time management?
Time management refers to the way you organize and plan how much time you spend on specific activities.
It may seem counterintuitive to devote valuable time to learning about time management, rather than using it to communicate your business, but the benefits are enormous:
- Increased productivity and efficiency
- Better professional reputation
- Less stress
- Increase opportunities for progress and development
- Greater opportunities to achieve important goals in normal life and professional life
Failing to manage your time effectively can lead to some very undesirable consequences:
- Delays in deadlines and project deliveries
- Inefficient workflow
- Poor work quality
- Bad professional reputation and stagnation at work
Taking the time to learn about time management techniques will have huge benefits, now — and throughout your career.
Tips to improve your time management skills:
When you learn and maintain good time management skills on an ongoing basis, you will find that you enjoy freedom from the pressures of deadlines and from stress in general. You'll be more productive, procrastinate less, and have more time to relax, which helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Time management skills are like shoes or a great pair of jeans - you may have to try on several pairs before you find your perfect fit. It's different for each person and you have to find what works best for you. Here are some tips you may want to borrow to improve your time management and organization skills:
Prepare a list
The thing about making lists is that you actually have to use them. You may want to set reminders on your phone and computer. Lists actually work if you use them. One of the most important things is to make sure your list is achievable. No one wants a 30-item to-do list and, at the end of the day, has to look at the 20 that haven't been done. Prioritize your needs and the needs of others and plan accordingly. You might even want to make three lists - personal, home, and work.
Again, there is no point in setting deadlines if you make executive decisions to always push them back. Set a deadline and do your best to stick to it. Set your deadline a few days in advance of the task. This allows other things to get in the way but also allows you to get the job done.
It seems to many people in work and personal life that multitasking often gives more and faster results and some believe that they achieve more, but it is not always the most productive or efficient way. Let's face it, our minds work better when we're really able to focus and focus on one thing.
For those who like to have everything under control and get rid of as much stress and anxiety as possible, the thought of this is likely to cause some anxiety. The fact of the matter is that no matter how good we are, we can't do everything. Sometimes we encounter more than we can handle. Delegation is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of intelligence. Find competent and reliable people and share some responsibilities with them. It will allow you to be less stressed and more productive.
Use free time
This idea may require some balancing. Using free time, or the time you enjoy without working or constantly moving, is a golden opportunity to plan and prioritize. It may seem like a bad thing on the other hand, and it can lead to increased stress and burnout. However, if you find yourself sitting in traffic early in the morning, it might be a good time to start prioritizing your day or making plans for dinner. If you've been waiting at the doctor's office, this might be a good time to write down your grocery list. (Just don't forget about it.) If you have opportunities like this, take advantage of them, but also remember to use them to relax as needed.
Being self-aware is very important to a time management skill. And it's important to know your energy cycles: when you're at your peak and when you're slowing down. This helps you know when to do tasks at the right time.
Knowing what helps boost your energy allows you to prepare and act when your energy starts to drop. It is also important to recognize when you need to rest or rest and to step away from what you are working on.
It is important to know your strengths, weaknesses, and weaknesses. You need to know what you're good at, what you're not good at, and what you enjoy and don't enjoy.
Knowing these things can help you know what you need to improve on, what tasks to focus on, what tasks to delegate, etc.
Examine and review yourself honestly
Being able to check and review yourself (honestly) frequently helps you know where you are well and where you need to improve. If, "for appearances or for some other good," you try to pretend that you have everything together and that you're okay, you're missing out on a great opportunity to improve, improve, and evolve for the better.
Examine yourself. See where you are doing well and where you need to work on it.
One suggestion for doing a daily check is to ask yourself each night: "How well am I doing (on goals/plans/priorities/areas you're working on)? Where did I do well? Where can I improve? What steps can I take to improve?"
You can also check your goals each week and see where you are and how well you are doing towards that week.
Find other options
Although this is more of a decision-making skill, it can also help improve your productivity. As humans, it's easy for us to find ways to find other options and then we can waste time trying to decide which ones to make.
- Should I buy this or not?
- Should I marry this person or not?
- Should I apply for this or the other job?
- Should I do this or that task?
Often, decisions are not one or the other. Sometimes there is and sometimes, if you look, you can find a way to do both.
Or there are other options. Not "should I buy this or not", but should I buy this? Or should I save my money for something else? Or can I do something else with my money? "...etc.
Find other options. Not only can this help you achieve more, but it can help you overcome the decision paralysis that so many people experience when trying to make the right decision about something.
Maintain health and energy
Our daily healthy habits can either hurt or help our productivity. If you're constantly feeling tired and low on energy, or if you have to live on coffee or some form of caffeine just to stay energized throughout the day, you're effectively and constantly hurting yourself and your productivity.
When you don't get enough sleep, it hurts both physically and mentally. You don't have a lot of energy and you won't be mentally sharp. If you are constantly eating junk food, it will negatively harm your energy.
Instead, try to get enough sleep consistently (generally 6-8 hours). Eat healthily. Do not stop exercising on a daily basis.
Doing so will help you stay mentally sharp and give you the energy you need to bring your tasks and projects to life for the day.
If you have sleep or energy problems beyond these suggestions, you may want to see a doctor.
You must distinguish the urgent from the important.
It's easy to get bogged down in everyday life and work, we got an email or someone came up with this "giant" problem that needs to be fixed now. It seems urgent because it's an emergency, but when you look at it from a long-term point of view, it may not really be.
Have you ever had a very busy day but felt like you didn't get anything done? This is probably because your day was filled with urgent rather than important tasks. These urgent tasks feel important because they are right in front of us. However, we need to learn to distinguish the difference.
This is one of the reasons why knowing your goals and priorities and why planning is important - it helps you distinguish between what is important and what is not. When you have your goals, priorities, and plans in front of you, when something "urgent" pops up, you can use those things to help you decide whether or not that task is worth doing now or later.
Reduce sources of disturbance
Disruption and confusion are productivity killers. Whether it is external or created by yourself, if you do not manage it, it will harm you. Sources of distress can come from many directions: people stopping at every email and notification that constantly beeps and alerts, a quick glance at Facebook, an uncomfortable chair, the room too hot, and so on.
You must try to fight against them. If you can't resist wasting time on the internet, get a blocker app that will do it for you. If it's very hot in the office, get a fan if possible (or find a way to lower the temperature).
If people keep interrupting you, find ways to stop them (eg with a do not disturb signal, setting times for visitors, wearing headphones, etc.). Turn off notifications for email and phone and only check them at specific times.
Sources of disruption and confusion need not control you. You can find ways to manage and reduce these sources.
Many projects and tasks are done wrong or poorly due to poor communication. It can sometimes be easy to assume that someone "knows" what to do or how to do it. Or sometimes we or the other person may be afraid to ask for help or clarification about a project.
Either way, there are visible signs of trouble to come.
When communication is not clear, or work is done wrong or bad, it may have to be done again, and this wastes time and money.
Perfectionism can kill productivity outright. While it's important to do our best, looking over a project to make it "perfect" only wastes time. There is a point where "good enough" is really good enough.
The truth is that on some tasks (especially ones that aren't really important), you may end up wasting time on "mastering" those tasks instead of spending that time on more important tasks. Perfection is the enemy of productivity.
Focus forward, not backward
We all make mistakes. We all fail. this happens. What matters is what we do next. Too often we focus on our mistakes. We continue to look at them, regret them, and fight for them. And we may feel depressed because of them.
This is devastating. When you look back, you cannot look forward. Yes, you should take the time to look at your mistake and learn from it, but once you've done that, you can move on. Focus on what's in front of you, not behind you. It is the next most important step, not the last. Focus on the next step.
When you accomplish something, celebrate it! How do you celebrate it? up to you. And make sure it's something you really enjoy.