TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS -4 steps to effectively plan your time
Time management skills
Every great achiever knows the value of time. In a fast-changing world where every second count, it has proven counter-productive to spend your day in a frenzy of activities as these leads to achieving way less than possible. Dividing your attention between so many tasks at the same time can be compared to
Think about this, if we all get the same 24 hours in a day, then why is that some people achieve much more in the same time than others. Well, the infamous secret is actually good time management.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning the allocation of time between specific activities. Good time management helps to get more done in less time even when running a tight schedule and under pressure. Failing to manage your time damages your effectiveness and causes stress.
As the popular saying goes “being busy isn’t the same as being effective”, high achievers are those who understand how to manage their time exceptionally well, by shifting the focus from the activities to the results.
Applying good time management skills helps you work smarter not harder, so you get more work done in less time. By using the time management skills listed below, you can improve your capacity to function more effectively, even when time is short and pressure is high.
Though it may seem unreasonable to give precious time to learning about time management skills instead of using it to get on with your activities, the advantages are limitless….
Now before you begin to think that you’re about to learn time management skills in the blink of an eye, you must understand time management is not just a skill for that would be akin to treating a basketball team as a single player. For a team to achieve success, all members must properly do their jobs and work well together.
Time management is like a basketball team, every player on the team is a different time management skill which when all combined sum up to time management. The tasks you can complete at a time with the ability to block everything else out while you focus on that task.
1. Goal setting;
As was stated by positive performance coach Bo Jackson, one must set high goals and not stop until you achieve them.
Don’t think you can manage time, no! You can only manage how you spend your time and it should be driven by effectively set goals. When making decisions on how to focus your time, you should always consider the manner in which it would serve your goals best.
Most people struggle with prioritization because we start too late in the process and still try to prioritize all the items on our task list. Prioritizing should not begin with a focus on getting more work done but with avoiding the tasks which you should not be performing.
We all have good ideas but they are useless unless they are implemented. So unless you can prioritize effectively, you’d end up jumping from one idea to another especially when you have very good ideas.
Paraphrasing Ryan Deiss, ‘bad ideas don’t kill businesses, but too many ideas do’. We see that prioritization is one of the key time management skills when you have too many good ideas.
We all have those days where we feel bored, tired, like not wanting to do anything or simply lacking motivation, on days like that, there’s little anyone can do to get us going right! So you need to be able to motivate yourself to action even though you will rather not by improving your self-awareness by gathering a great deal of information about yourself and your goals to motivate yourself.
It usually doesn’t matter what you are trying to do, they will always be something else contending for your attention. Shutting out everything else to focus solely on the tasks at hand has never been an easy fit. Single-tasking is the best way to achieve focus and complete a task in a shorter time span, despite what you have been told about multi-tasking.
In order to focus, you must combine the ability to quickly identify the most important task you can complete at the time and the ability to block everything else out while you focus on that task.
4. Decision making;
As Jose’ N. Harris puts it, “wanting hurts, forgetting hurts too. But not knowing which decision to take can be most painful…”. Decision making compels you to consider the consequences, negative impacts and benefits of completing a project or moving in a particular direction.
Like all other time management skills, decision making is greatly improved if you prepare beforehand by gathering clear cut criteria for the decision like;
*How much time do I have available? And,
*What resources do I have available to me?
Understanding the resources and time each task will require aids better decision making in any given moment as your options become limited by the available time and resources.
trying to complete a task without first making a plan is like trying to chop down a tree with a blunt axe, a waste of time and effort right.
Planning is the systematical breakdown of a project or task to realize which part leads to which in order to save time and energy, allow you to foresee all the processes which will be required to complete a task and how best to fit them together. When we plan the ride way, handling tasks becomes quite easy and quick.
You can’t do everything by yourself. One of the greatest time management skills is knowing when you are not the right person to perform a task and being able to identify somebody else with the right skill set and delegate the task to them.
Delegation/outsourcing is not just a matter of getting work off your hands and into someone else’s, it involves being able to provide all the necessary information the task requires, regularly checking in with the person doing the work to see the progress their making and provide whatever assistance you can.
Time management skills are necessary for anyone who intends to get the best results from their lives. Improving these skills will help you get more valuable work completed in less time, thus achieving your goals quicker and with less stress.
The list of time management skills is inexhaustible, but taking one skill at a time and working to improve it, you’d find that it has a hugely positive effect on your entire performance.