Think of it this way: If you’re too focused on completing a giant list of menial tasks every day, you’ll be unable to focus on your larger goals and core values. It’s also worthwhile to remember that by delegating whenever possible, you help yourself grow because you give yourself space to take on the newest, most challenging tasks yourself, and can delegate someone else to handle the smaller, everyday items on your to-do list.
How to improve time management
Have you ever found yourself using the phrase, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day”? Everyone feels this way from time to time, whether you’re a working parent, busy entrepreneur , student or any other human in our fast-paced world. Now think about it this way: Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day. So what separates the Warren Buffetts and Sheryl Sandbergs from the rest of us? The answer is time management skills .
What is time management?
Time management is your ability to use your time effectively, be productive and accomplish not only your daily tasks, but your larger life goals. It means knowing the difference between being busy and being productive : When you’re busy, your mind is preoccupied with your to-do list, skipping from one task to another without focusing on anything. When you’re productive, you have a plan for tackling everything you need to do and you’re able to get laser-focused on your goals .
Real time management skills go beyond making a daily planner or writing an endless to-do list that only seems to get longer, not shorter. The first step toward learning how to improve time management is realizing that it’s a mental game that anyone can master – and that you will be paid back tenfold for your investment of time and energy.
Benefits of having good time management skills
There are many things in life that are outside of your control, but how you spend your time is not one of them. Using your hours to work toward the outcomes you value the most will help to not only bring you success, but will also sustain that feeling of fulfillment that comes from accomplishing your goals and bring you plenty of other benefits.
Skills are closely interlaced with techniques
A proper technique can guide you through acquiring a new skill or shows how to put a certain skill to practice in the best possible way. A proper technique or best practice recommends the right set of procedures and methods to follow and which tools to use.
Now that we know the important difference between time management skills, techniques, tools and personality traits, let’s analyze the core time management skills and how to acquire them. The five most important time management skills are:
How to create a
productive & organized
working place, where people
love to perform
7 organizational time management skills with examples for your resume
The time management skills that we shared above were of the more behavioural variety and consequently less easy to measure, but there are definitely time management skills that are organizational in nature and therefore easier to quantify.
They also lend themselves to being easier to describe on your resume and therefore paint a picture of your time management prowess. What are your time management skills from an organizational perspective?
1. Make your priorities work for you and those around you
Using your energy and brainpower on the most important tasks is a hallmark of the most successful people. Look at how you are spending your time and see which activities are contributing to your goals. Then reduce all the other things that aren’t making a difference. Maintain your focus by doing what matters most.
2. Delegate tasks that will help to develop others
It is easy to farm tasks off to everyone around you, but if you consider not who is able to do a task but who would benefit from doing a task, then you may well get a more receptive audience. Everyone wants to develop and if they are handed tasks that will help them along their journey, then stuff will get done.
3. Plan and measure your time realistically
How you plan your time management and measure the effectiveness of your time at work will go a long way to dictating whether you are efficient at work. Sure, having the right attitude will help, but if your plan is flawed then no amount of attitude will get things done. If things are taking too long, either cut the quality or delegate.
4. Optimize the work flows within your team
Looking at how your team is operating together and making sure that each of the individual working styles combines with one another is no simple matter. When you get a variety of time management approaches mixed up in one team it may take some time to iron out the kinks, but it will be worth it. A team that works in one direction at the same tempo is a team that makes things happen. This is especially important for project managers .
5. Communicate at the right time and in the right way
Strong written and verbal communication skills will help to explain your timelines and expectations to others. If you need their support, they will know where you stand. Equally, if someone else is getting in the way of you making something happen, letting them know in a timely and polite way will soon break the log jam.
6. Schedule similar tasks together in bite-sized chunks
Chunking your time into groups of similar activities is a great way of maintaining your focus and avoiding constantly switching your mind onto different things. If you have a month’s worth of performance reviews to do, block out a morning or a day for them. There is nothing worse than wasting ten or fifteen minutes between tasks because it takes you this long to get into something new.
Thinking through a difficult problem with a logical and unbiased approach lies at the heart of great decision making. Critical thinking skills are highly prized by all employers, so make sure to talk about them during your job search.
7. Always avoid multitasking if you can help it
It might feel great doing multiple things at once, but are you really doing them all to the best of your ability? Having to redo something because you weren’t giving it your full attention will just take up more time along the line. Wait to finish one task before you begin another, and you will be impressed by how much you can achieve.