Have you had a really long day at the office but ended up feeling like you’ve achieved absolutely nothing? Don’t worry, we all have! We often confuse ‘being busy’ with ‘being productive’. But why does it feel like we’ve done so much, yet achieved so little?
One of the primary reasons for lacking productivity is poor time management. It may seem like you’re having one of the busiest days of the week but you’re probably letting procrastination and distractions become a part of your schedule. As a result, you lose focus and your motivation takes a hit.
Different time management skills will teach you how to manage time and reduce distractions. Your busiest days will become productive days. Let’s see how effective time management strategies can help you stay focused and driven.
What Is Time Management?
Time management is the ability to use your time productively and efficiently. It’s the method of planning and balancing time by controlling how much time you spend on specific activities. With good time management, you’re better equipped to meet your objectives despite any challenges that crop up. Effective skills and strategies for time management lead to increased efficiency, reduced stress and improved productivity.
Let’s look at these real-life examples of time management to understand the concept in detail:
Benjamin Franklin, the founding father of the United States of America has often been referred to as the ‘father of productivity’. He was a man of routine—woke up at the same time every day, worked a fixed number of hours during the day and went to bed at the same time every day
Richard Branson, entrepreneur and founder of the Virgin Group, follows a strict timetable every day. He wakes up early and starts each day with exercise. He sets aside some time to check and respond to his emails to minimize distractions
What Are Time Management Skills?
Time management skills are foundational skills that help you plan your activities by leveraging and distributing the time available to you. Additionally, good time management skills are necessary for business success. When you manage your time properly, you’re better prepared to take on new opportunities and support an organization’s growth. Employees are instrumental to driving business goals and effective time management helps them control their workdays without compromising on work-life balance.
Let’s look at some examples of time management skills by analyzing every skill in detail:
Effective time management comes from a carefully thought-through plan. It helps you stay on track as you break down large goals into smaller achievable targets and fulfill those targets on time. For example, you create a to-do list to keep track of your roles and responsibilities.
When you prioritize your tasks, you address important tasks first. You rank your tasks on the basis of urgency and complete them in order of priority. You can break your tasks down into three types:
Things that’ll have major consequences if not completed immediately
Activities that’ll have a negative impact if not completed immediately
Activities that’ll have little to no consequence if not completed immediately
Goal-setting is one of the most crucial strategies for time management. You can clearly define your aims and objectives when you’ve got a plan. Without goals, it’s difficult to be organized with your work. For example, starting your own business is a long-term goal that’ll push you to utilize your time towards achieving it.
One of the most beneficial time management skills, delegation, helps meet multiple deadlines and manage multiple tasks at the same time. For instance, managers often delegate their responsibilities to their employees because it reduces their workload and they can focus on more important tasks.
You can’t beat yourself up every time you miss a deadline. It’s important to allow some room for flexibility in your schedule. There’ll be times when you take longer than expected to finish a task. Give yourself some buffer time between two activities.
How To Develop Time Management Skills
Effective time management skills will help you advance in your career. Here are a few ways to improve your time management skills and focus on professional growth.
Prepare a personal schedule and follow it
Set up boundaries to avoid distractions and procrastination
Set realistic and achievable deadlines that help you evenly distribute your time
Have a calendar to map out your daily schedule and prioritize your activities accordingly
Set time-bound goals and give yourself some direction
Time management skills can help reduce stress levels. When you know what you need to do and how much time you have, you’re well-prepared. Finishing your to-dos is a great motivator and will make you more confident about your abilities.
Harappa Education’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you how to skillfully master time management. The Eisenhower Matrix will show you prioritize tasks depending on their urgency and importance. The Pomodoro Technique will teach you how to avoid procrastination and focus on what you’re currently doing. There’s no time like now to learn how to be punctual and deliver beyond everyone’s expectations!
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