People with strong time management skills make more money and get more done than people who don’t have them. Good time managers prioritize their time in order to get their most important tasks done on or before the deadline.
As a bonus, people with good time management skills also tend to have more free time in the long run. They do the 20% of the tasks that get them 80% of the results. This leaves time for other matters. If you’d like to manage your time better, here’s what you need to know.
What Are Time Management Skills?
Time management is a skill that allows you to prioritize your time in such a way that your most important tasks get done. Any time you have left over after all of your must-dos are completed can be then used to finish up projects of lesser importance.
Further, good time management skills allow you to finish up projects. This happens in such a way that by doing them, many of your other tasks will also get done. Consequently, you will have eliminated the need for doing those tasks altogether.
Who Can Benefit from Managing Their Time?
Most people can benefit from having effective time management skills. However, businessmen who face a great number of deadlines and who have a lot of responsibilities will benefit most from learning how to manage their time. These people include college students, company managers, and self-employed professionals.
Each person of the above list faces a challenge when it comes to getting things done. This stems primarily from the fact that they have a number of unrelated tasks to finish. For example, the self-employed writer might have five writing assignments he/she’s working on. One is due by the end of the day. The other four are due at various times later in the week. The writer with the strong time management skills will prioritize the assignment due by the end of the day over the other ones. However, he/she may work a bit on all the assignments to a varying degree.
The trick for this type of person is to look at each task and estimate how much time it will require. She/he will do this for all projects. Each project will be put on a calendar so that it is obvious at a glance which is due first. The most efficient self-employed professionals (as well as college students and managers) are able to put each task in context in such a way that they all of them done on time.
How Much Time is Spent on Planning?
Entrepreneur suggests that the average person should spent at least 30 minutes a day on planning the day. Additionally, the plan should include prioritizing work that produces the most results for that person. The article also suggests that the savvy time manager actually builds in time for interruptions.
That said, this same person knows what boundaries to put into place in order to get the most done. That could mean a sign posted on the door that says, Do not disturb to not answering the phone when it rings. In the latter case, the good time manager calls back after completing other tasks.
Finally, the tasks that give you the most benefit should get time every day. In other words, if you have a big project that’s going to make you a great deal of money plus a lot of smaller ones that won’t net you as much, always work some on the big project. This holds true even if the deadline for the smaller projects is sooner than the big project. This doesn’t mean that you’ll avoid doing the smaller projects. But it shows that you don’t put off working on the big project because of the size and scope of it. Proper time management will help you allot time for this.
5 Ways to Define and Use Strong Time Management Skills
Good time management skills require practice. Here are some tips that will help you block out your time better.
1. Decide Your Most Important Priorities
The book The One Thing even suggests that you prioritize your tasks until you find the most important one. You know it’s the right task if doing it reduces the need to do other tasks or eliminates them altogether.
2. Spend Most of Your Time on Activities That Produce Results
Spend on these at least 50% of it. You should do these tasks when you have the most energy during the day.
3. Select Some Time Management Methods
The Chron website chronicles a couple of well-known ones like using the Franklin Covey method or making separate binders or containers for each project. You can also use tools like Google Calendar and of course, time management apps.
4. Block Out Distractions
They can be email, Facebook, personal calls, and even interruptions. Use digital tools like auto-responding programs for email, letting people know when you’ll get back to them. Turn off notifications for social media. Also, make it your policy to check it only twice a day (or whatever your plan calls for). Be brave enough to ask people to give you some space as you work.
5. Choose the Organization Skills and Tools That Work Best for You
Some people are better at keeping track of things on Google Calendar. Others need a reminder alarm on their phone. Still others work best with an old-fashioned planner. It may take time to discover the method that’s right for you. However, once you do and are able to implement it, your time management skills should become more streamlined.
Setting the Clock
Learning solid time management skills takes time and persistence. However, developing these skills can bring many benefits, including better grades and financial rewards. That said, despite the benefits of being a good time manager, not everyone knows how to best manage their time. Choosing the right method or time management tool helps. It’s also important to take time out of each day at the outset of the day to plan. The most important tasks on your daily plan should take up at least half of your time. Also, you should complete them when you’re feeling the most energetic and alert.
What time management skills have helped you the most? How did you implement them?
The images are from depositphotos.com.