Mar 182013
 

improving your time management skills

Strengthening your time management skills is a good idea no matter what your current skill level is. Life is always moving and changing, and refining your time management practices helps you keep up and accomplish what you want.

Evaluate your current skills

A good place to start is by identifying your current time management effectiveness. When you struggle to get things done, what do you think the cause is? When you successfully manage your time, what do you do differently? Knowing what you need to work on is half the battle.

For instance, you might practice good time management in your home life, but lack the ability to get all your tasks done at work. Therefore, you can focus on figuring out the reasons you don’t complete your work projects as quickly as planned.

Is it because other people get in the way of your completing your work? If so, you can strengthen your communication skills too, so everyone works together more effectively. Maybe you’re just bored with your job. If that’s the case, you’ll want to find ways to fight the boredom and motivate yourself.

Techniques to improve your time management skills

  1. Avoid procrastination.

    If you make a habit of procrastinating, you’re just wasting precious time. Ask yourself why you’re putting off tasks and try to tackle the root problem. When you do, you’ll get back on track in no time.

    You’re possibly expecting too much out of yourself, which makes you feel overwhelmed. It’s okay, and actually more productive, to take breaks and make time to relax. Then, when it’s time to work, you’ll feel refreshed and motivated to get the job done.

  2. Get organized.

    It’s easy to waste time when you can’t find things and you aren’t sure what task you’re supposed to be working on at the time. Organize your workspace and eliminate clutter. Then move on to keeping your calendar and to-do list up-to-date, enabling you to use your time more effectively.

  3. Set deadlines.

    Start your projects with a time goal in mind. Without a clear goal, you might give yourself a week to complete a task that would take only a day. Set attainable deadlines and then stick to them.

    Schedule your time to maximize your productivity while still remaining relaxed and happy. Avoid stressing yourself out with unattainable deadlines, or you’ll run the risk of burnout.

  4. Learn to delegate.

    When it’s appropriate, delegate certain tasks to save yourself time for things you must complete on your own. At work, this might mean passing out jobs to your employees or colleagues. At home, this may mean sharing tasks with your spouse or assign-ing chores to your children.

  5. Create a daily to-do list.

    At the beginning of each day, make a to-do list and plan the top three tasks you wish to accomplish. Keep flexibility in mind, because plans might change.

    Cross off the items as you complete them. Doing so will motivate you to finish the rest of the tasks.

    Choose a simple ranking system to prioritize which items on the list you should complete first. You might want to start your day with the most important ones, or establish momen-tum with some quick, easy tasks. Find something that fits your personal style.

If you have the will to change, you’ll be able to improve your time management skills. Practice these strategies each day and soon you’ll become a master at managing your time.

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