How is it that some people manage to get all their work done within office hours while others often find themselves working overtime just to catch up? What’s the difference between people who can barely get their work done and go to bed and others who manage to get their work done and socialize too?
In most cases, it comes down to time management. We’ve all got the same 24 hours in a day but everyone has a different way of using that time. Time management can be challenging, but it’s key to accomplishing your to-do lists with ease and having a positive mindset.
Why is it important to learn Time Management strategies?
Mastering the key time management skills lets you control time instead of having it the other way around. There are many advantages of time management. You get to choose what you want to do when and how you want to balance your work and leisure time.
In the long run, it helps battle issues like anxiety and depression, keeps you from burning out and makes your relationships healthier. Anyone who’s successful and has achieved their goals has learned how to manage their time.
So, how do you manage your time?
Tips to improve Time Management skills
- Prioritise Your Tasks
When you write down your to-do list for the day, be sure to list tasks in the order of importance. Very often, we spend too much time on unimportant tasks and find ourselves scrambling for time and energy at the end of the day to get the important things done. Prioritizing tasks is one of the key time management skills in the workplace. It will help you construct an efficient schedule for your day and help you achieve more.
- Learn To Delegate
When you prioritize your tasks, you will find that you don’t need to work on everything by yourself. Learn how to delegate these tasks to your colleagues. Delegation doesn’t mean that you’re avoiding work – it simply means that you’re streamlining your responsibilities to focus on what’s really important.
- Identify Your Productivity Pattern
Some people find themselves most productive in the early mornings while others find that they do their best work in the second half of the day. Identify what time of the day, you are most productive. Now match this to your to-do list and schedule unimportant tasks during your low-productivity periods and the important tasks in the brackets you feel you’ll be most productive in. This helps ensure that your peak productivity time zone is dedicated to high-priority tasks.
- Learn How To Say ‘No’
Mastering time management skills in the workplace isn’t just about managing the tasks you’re responsible for; it’s also about knowing your limitations. Taking on too many responsibilities can result in a very tight schedule which leaves no time for your mental and physical wellbeing. Worse, when you do more than you can handle, you may not be able to put forward your best work.
Set a limit for how many tasks you can take on in a day and learn how to say no whenever required. Your superiors will appreciate it as long as you do handle your existing responsibilities well.
- Set Deadlines
Learning how to give yourself realistic deadlines for everything is one of the best time management skills you should master. Maintaining a calendar is very useful. To keep track of deadlines for a day’s work, you can use post-its. This gives you visual cues to stay motivated. Challenge yourself but don’t give yourself unrealistic deadlines. When you do meet a deadline, reward yourself. It could be as simple as taking a break for 5 minutes and getting a cup of coffee.
- Stay Focused On One Task At A Time
The best time management skills are not synonymous with multi-tasking. When multitasking, you may feel that you’re getting more done but in reality, at most times, it hampers your productivity. So, it’s better to focus on one task at a time. Ensure you finish a task before starting another. You’ll soon find that you not only get more done in the day with fewer distractions.
- Use Technology Smartly
There are many time-tracking software available. If you’re the type of person who needs to be answerable to someone else, this is ideal for you. It lets you understand how much time each task takes and helps you reach your deadlines. These tools can be integrated into your scheduler to create a more realistic schedule for the day.
- Deal With Stresses
Stress is inevitable. Ignoring it will only magnify your stress and hamper your productivity. Instead, find ways to address your stress and deal with it. When you create your schedule for the day, include breaks to go outside, talk to people or do anything else that relaxes you. There are some breathing techniques you could try that take just a few minutes. Starting the day by meditating helps many people lower their stress levels.
Our Two Cents
Time management is important, not just for your work hours but for every aspect of your life. When you learn how to prioritise tasks and schedule your day, you’ll find yourself with time to do all the other things you’ve complained about being unable to do before. So, take up the challenge and get set to experience all the advantages of time management.
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