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Effective Time Management Skills

Do you ever notice that people around you always seem to get their tasks done and out of the way, while yours seem to pile up, and once you finish one thing, another or more come your way? Let me reassure you you’re not alone in this. Chances are those people are using time management skills to prioritize what needs to get done first, and set aside other projects and tasks to work on little-by-little. So, how can I change my ways to be more productive like those around me, you may be asking? You should practice time management, but this is easier said than done, as you need to put in a little time at the start in order to organize and plan. You will see results, though. That’s a guarantee. Let’s take a look at some time management tips and skills to get you started:

  • The difference between urgent and important – One of the most fundamental aspects of time management is recognizing the difference between tasks which are urgent and those which are important. Urgent means you should immediately address the task, but ignoring it may not have consequences. Important, on the other hand, means that the task requires your attention, and not doing it or ignoring it will usually have severe consequences. Look at the Priority Matrix created by the website Skills You Need. It lets you organize tasks by importance and urgency.
  • Clear the clutter – Another important, yet easily overlooked aspect of time management is keeping your spaces clean, neat, and tidy. When your room is messy, do you ever seem to lose motivation or the drive to get things done? I know I do. Research shows that cleaning up can improve self esteem and productivity. Clutter, when left ignored, can cause mild depression, so you lose the motivation to get things done. So clean up, tidy up, and feel the productivity levels come back into play.
  • Everyone has a certain time during the day when they’re most productive, usually in the morning within the first few hours of waking up. Once you’ve identified which tasks are urgent and which are important, choose the most difficult one(s) to do when productivity levels are high.

Time management may be the key to success. It allows you to break up your day, week, and even month, and tackle everything you need to do while still maintaining your sanity. It’s actually a more organized, planned, and methodical approach to reaching goals, both personal and professional, you set for yourself.

Time Management Tips

Tick, Tick, Tick. . . 

Does your work day slip between your fingers and make you wonder where the time went by the time you reach closing time? If so, you may need to re-think your time management skills. Learning how to manage your time can be difficult and take some time to learn but here are some expert tips that can get you started.

  • Maintain a Calendar – Carry your schedule with you at all times. This may mean using an online scheduler and project management tool. Be sure to refer to the calendar regularly throughout the day and keep track of how long regular activities take. This may seem tedious but will give you a better idea of how long certain activities will regularly take. You will then be able to plan your time better in the future.
  • Plan Every Morning – Many business leaders emphasize that what keeps them on track all day is a 30 minute review every morning of what the goals are for the day and week, maybe even the month. Having those goals in mind before you start meetings or rushing from activities to activity can keep you focused.
  • Know How to Delegate – Having a trusted employee who can handle some of your daily duties can mean you can attend to more important duties. Someone who can field your email and phone calls as well as prioritizing them can help you stay on task all day long.
  • Eliminate Distractions – Start paying attention to the number of times someone interrupts you when you’re in the midst of an important task. Eliminate those distractions by closing your door or doing work in a separate area. Or set aside a certain time of day when you are free.
  • Start Early – While it might be nice to sleep in or have a lazy coffee, getting an early start is the hallmark of leaders who have time management mastered.