Are you the type of person who always feels stressed out because you have too many tasks to do and not enough time? Don’t worry if you feel like you’re not the master of your time right now, because you can be! Time management skills are something we can all learn. With a little practice, you’ll be able to develop time management skills, increase your productivity, and start to feel less stressed out.
10 Time Management Skills to Develop
1. Goal Setting
Goal setting is an important time management skill because it dictates what you focus your time on. In other words, how you use your time is defined by the goals you set. In order to effectively manage your time, it’s crucial to set goals, and then use your time in a way that helps you achieve them. Start being more clear about what your goals are and you will start to manage your time more efficiently on the path to achieving them.
Make a list of tasks for each day that you need to get done. Organize the list so that the urgent tasks, those that need to get done that day, are at the top to take care of first. Leave other, less urgent, tasks for the bottom of the list and do them at the end of the day. Any of the lower-priority tasks that you don’t have time to do can be carried over to the next day. This way, you will spend the most time on the most valuable and important work.
Many people feel that multitasking helps get more done. The truth is that you will be more productive and focus more when you concentrate on getting one thing done at a time. It’s easier to get distracted when you multitask and it will take you longer to complete tasks. Focus on one task at a time, which is called monotasking, in order to manage time better.
4. Avoiding Procrastination
Procrastination is an enemy of developing time management skills. When you procrastinate, you will end up wasting a lot of time and energy. Focus on the goals you set, your task lists, and getting one task done at a time to avoid procrastination.
Planning is a time management skill that goes hand-in-hand with almost all other time management skills. Planning skills allow you to look at the bigger picture and break up a project into smaller, more manageable pieces in order to make a plan. It helps you make connections between tasks in order to do them in an order that makes sense and more efficiently manage time.
It’s important to understand when and how to delegate tasks to others, especially in project management. You need to be able to recognize when there is a better person to complete a task to you and then be able to delegate the task to them to get it done more efficiently. Make sure to provide all of the relevant information and set clear expectations when delegating tasks.
Organization is another essential time management skill that anyone can develop. Staying organized will ensure that you always know where to find important information that you need to get projects done. If you’re a project manager, being more organized will help you greatly with essential duties like writing project management reports.
8. Stress Management
When you feel like you’re losing control of your time, then a natural consequence is increased stress. This leads to even less efficient time management skills and more stress, it’s a vicious cycle. Some ways to avoid stress in the first place are by making sure you take on an amount of work you can actually handle and knowing when and how to delegate tasks to others.
It’s natural that there are some days you just don’t feel motivated to do things. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean you can just not do them. You have to be able to motivate yourself to get your tasks done. This is especially relevant in today’s world where we are increasingly self-employed or are more independent workers who don’t necessarily have defined job hours and tasks each day.
10. Saying No
This time management strategy is often overlooked. You need to balance being productive and taking on new tasks by knowing when to say no. If you’re already overloaded with work, then politely turn down new tasks or say no to unnecessary meetings in order to ensure that you have time to complete the tasks you already have.
How to Learn Time Management Skills
Now that you’ve read about some time management skills that anyone can develop, think about which ones you need to focus on developing. All of the time management skills we just listed are intertwined, so focus on one at a time, and you will notice that it helps you improve in all other areas. Start with setting a new goal of improving your essential time management skills. Soon enough, you’ll be more in control of your time, more productive, and less stressed out!