Time management is the practice of allocating your time to tasks productively and efficiently. Often, time management involves planning out your daily activities and exercising conscious control of your time as you complete those activities. Some common themes for effective time management include clear goals, priorities, and expectations. Having poor t skills in this area can result in late assignments, poor work quality, and higher stress. You may feel less balanced in your work and experience burnout as a result. Burnout can stifle your creativity and leave you frustrated and angry with your assignments or employer.
So practising time management is an important task so that we can allocate time properly as we are having only 24 hrs a day and allocating proper time will only increase our time management. Now, practicing time management in the workplace is important because it can help you meet deadlines and be productive at work. Time management can also improve your mental health. You’ll feel less stressed, knowing how to allocate your time for each task. Experiencing less stress at work can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
11 important steps to gain the skill of time management.
1. Create a daily task list
All goals and projects are made up of smaller parts that need to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal, or complete the project. Create to-do lists for each goal and project, listing all the measurable steps that need to be accomplished Aside from keeping you focused, this also motivates you as you are able to see what you have already achieved, and what remains. Start every day with a list of the tasks you hope to accomplish. Once you get into work, write down your to-do list and prioritize those tasks appropriately. As you finish those tasks, check them off the list. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment you get with each check, and keep the momentum going!
2. Prioritize your work.
Writing out a list of tasks is one thing. But you also have to know how to prioritize those tasks. Prioritize the most immediate tasks first. These tasks might be those that are due sooner or take more time to complete. If a task feels too big, break it into smaller tasks to make it feel more realistic. After that, you can organize your tasks based on importance, due date, or requester.
There are a few different methods of prioritizing that you can apply to your to-do list. The Pareto Principle also known as the 80-20 rule suggests that 80% of results come from 20% of the effort put in. This is commonly used in sales as 80% of sales typically come from 20% of the customers. When it comes to how you should manage your time this principle can also be applied. 80% of your results comes from 20% of your actions.
It is suggested that while working you should look at your schedule or to-do-list every day. For the sake of simplicity try to get down five tasks you need to accomplish. Using the principle you can probably eliminate the majority of the items on your list. It may feel unnatural at first but overtime this will condition you to scale up effort on the most important tasks.
3. Learn to delegate/outsource.
Delegation and outsourcing can get a bit tricky. For some it’s hard to let someone else do work that they used to do. For others, they don’t have the time to train someone else to complete certain tasks.
The thing is, delegating or outsourcing are real time-savers since it lessens your workload – which means you have more time to spend on more important tasks or doing less work. Either hand over responsibilities to team members who are qualified or hire an experienced freelancer. And, if you do decide to do in-house training, the initial investment will be worth-it in the end.
4. Do the most critical tasks in the morning.
Once you’ve created your list, dive into your most important task. The sooner you can start working on it, the faster you can check it off. If you have a big task that might take all day, break it down into smaller tasks. Completing those smaller tasks can help you feel more accomplished as the day goes on.
Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” Sure. The point, that Twain was making that you should take care your biggest and most-challenging tasks in the morning, your most important tasks of the day. There are a couple reasons why this such an effective time management trick. For starters, you usually have the most amount of energy in the AM. So it’s better to tackle these tasks when you’re not drained. Also, you can use that feeling of accomplishment to get through the rest of the day.
5. Don’t waste Time.
You must be surprised to note that one of the worst parameters in these criteria that adversely affects the time management is the wastage of time. To be honest, I feel it very hard to stand waiting. It’s not that I’m impatient. It’s just that I know that this is time that could be better spent elsewhere. However, instead of wasting this time, I’ve found ways to make the best of it. For example, while sitting in a waiting room I’ll read an inspirational book, listen to a podcast, or blueprint an upcoming blog post.
6. Stop procrastination.
Don’t wait and take time to start your work and neither do half the work. Eliminate half work from your life and don’t keep your work pending. This will pile up your to-do list and will ultimately harm you more than doing good to you. Stop Proscrastination.
7. Say No.
I know that you don’t want to upset anyone. But you can only handle so much. If you already have a full plate then decline that dinner invitation or helping your colleagues on a project until you have the spare time. Learning to say no can help you avoid an overwhelming workload or last-minute requests. It can put you in charge of your workload and help you set boundaries with others. It can give you a sense of empowerment. Without these boundaries, you may be more prone to burnout and poor time management. Remember saying no is not bad.
8. Remove bad habit.
Getting rid of bad habit is the toughest job. Unlearning habits can take just as long. Bad habits can include checking social media or responding to social texts or calls at work. These can get in the way of trying to improve your time management skills. Try to identify your bad habits and work to avoid or unlearn them. Create a strict schedule and stick to it, and those habits may disappear before you know it. Learn how to get rid of bad habits.
9. Create a time audit.
When it comes to time management, the first step you need to take is finding out where your time actually goes. You may believe that you only send 30 minutes on emails, but in reality that task is eating-up an hour of your day.
The easiest way to keep track of your time is to download some proper app to track everything you do for a week. You can then access a report to find out what’s stealing your time. With this information, you can then make the appropriate adjustments.
10. Stop being perfect.
When you’re a perfectionist, nothing will ever be good enough. That means you’ll keep going back to same task over and over again. How productive do you think your day will be as a result?
So, stop being perfect. It doesn’t exist. Do the best you can and move on.
11. Finally, plan out the next day before closing the current day.
One of the worst things that you can do is wake-up without a plan for the day. Instead of focusing on what needs to be done, you wander aimlessly and take care of more trivial matters. That’s why you should always plan ahead using one of these options;
The night before.
Before you leave work for the day, spend the last 15-minutes organizing your office and composing a list of your most important items for tomorrow.
First thing in the morning.
During your morning routine write down the 3 or 4 most urgent and important matters that need to be addressed today and work on those when you’re most productive.