Time management is not a stand-alone skill but it incorporates a set of minor skills that if perceived as an attitude, can change the way things are done.
Are you working smart or working hard? We all have 24 hours per day, yet, some claim that they do not have the time to get their work done or tackle every task they have planned out for the day. Being busy does not necessarily mean being effective. Managing your time means consciously knowing exactly how much time one has on their hands and all the tasks that have to be fulfilled during that time. Time management is not a stand-alone skill but it incorporates a set of minor skills that if perceived as an attitude, can change the way things are done. Missing deadlines, inefficient workflow, poor results and high-stress levels can all be results of futile time management.
1. Prioritise your tasks
Prioritising your tasks helps you give value to the most important tasks and accordingly differentiate between what is urgent and what is less important. Understanding your time constraints will help you manage your time better and decrease your stress levels. It is also quite important to consider if the completion of your task will affect the workflow of your colleagues or peers. Managing your time will not only help you work better but will also be of great help to your colleagues. It is very important to make sure that the pace at which you are doing your work does not affect the accomplishment of others in case the schedule of a certain colleague of yours depends mainly on your deliverables.
2. Create a schedule
Utilising your time effectively requires breaking it down. After you prioritise your tasks and understand what should be done first, creating a schedule is a must. Scheduling your tasks is practically like making a promise to yourself that you have to fulfil. Your calendar should be used to remind you of your pending tasks and as a filter against distractions.
3. Delegate tasks
It is quite common for human beings to overestimate their potential and believe that they can handle many tasks at the same time. One of the greatest mistakes one can do is multi-task or be unrealistic about how much they can get things done. In order to be able to give every task a 100 percent, always make sure you are focused on the tasks you have at hand and delegate tasks to your peers whenever possible.
3. Stay focused
Interruptions and distractions can hinder your overall performance throughout the day and can result in a lot of wasted time. Make sure that you incorporate a “distraction time” in your schedule knowing that you will not be able to work continuously for hours on end. A good way to stay focused is to make sure you take enough breaks. According to a study by The Draugiem Group has shown that the most productive people are those who work for 52 minutes at a time then take a break for 17 minutes before getting back to it.
4. Stay motivated
Motivation is something that many people struggle with on daily basis. To be able to work effectively and increase your productivity, you need to stay motivated. Small tasks can be accomplished in a certain time frame, however, larger tasks might require getting broken down into smaller tasks in order to make yourself stay motivated and feel like you have accomplished something. Striking off something off your to-do list is a great way to stay motivated and help you move on to the next task. Also, make sure that you reward yourself when you accomplish your tasks. Using this approach will help you stay motivated and work more effectively.
Time is the most valuable resource and understanding how to handle your time will allow you to feel less stressed throughout your day and will increase the level of your concentration. Accomplishing more with less effort will improve your decision-making abilities and will drive you to more success.
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