12 Tips to increase your Time Management skills
Whether you work for an employer, or yourself, Time Management is going to be something that is always in your mind. Are you getting the most out of your work time, or could you improve your Productivity if your day was better structured?
If you are stressed at work, because
- You often lose sight of your assigned tasks,
- You feel distressed because you couldn’t finish your scheduled tasks,
- You often get distracted or deviated from your tasks and fail to complete them in the desired timeframe,
You may possibly be a victim of poor time management.
So, what is the solution?
If you are good at time management, then you would be an asset to your workplace. With good Time Management skills, you will be able to manage all your tasks efficiently and effectively. Stress and time management have direct negative impacts. Therefore, if you improve your time management skills, you can lower your stress levels dramatically.
1/ Set daily goals.
Make them specific and relevant to your assigned tasks. These goals should be stretched but achievable. Break them into small chunks of manageable activities of say 30 minutes to an hour, as achieving small milestones will motivate you to keep achieving.
2/ Track your performance against your goals.
This will assist in keeping an eye on your progress towards improving your performance. Seeing improvement will boost your motivation.
3/ Take immediate actions while you notice you are off the target.
Monitoring your progress and being aware of where you are not achieving the best result will assist you to stay focused on the end goal.
4/ Don’t allow yourself to Procrastinate,
Procrastination decreases productivity and increases stress levels, especially when you are due to complete a task. Do your best to avoid it wherever you can.
5/ Prepare Must,
Do list, rather than To-Do List. There is often a misconception among managers that time management is to manage a variety of activities and multi-tasking. Effective time management has nothing to do with multi-tasking, it is more to do with finishing your scheduled tasks within a set time frame. Identify which activities are most urgent at that particular time and focus on those,
6/ Avoid Distractions,
Block distractions from your work while working. This will keep you focused on achieving your tasks. Turn your Mobile Devices and Social Media pages off, Do not look at emails and instant messaging unless expecting something important. Set a shorter timeframe out of your daily timeframe, at the start of the day, in the middle of the day, and at the end of the day, to check emails, message and Social Media. Then if replies are required, you can do these at the scheduled times.
7/ Prioritise your tasks.
Get into the habit of
8/ Delegate some tasks.
Don’t be a martyr. You are not Superman. Therefore, you cannot do everything. As a Manager, you have your own priorities, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything.
Delegation is the key word here. Pass some of these tasks to your colleagues. This will make them feel empowered and will also help you to achieve your workload efficiently. Some of these tasks may need special expertise. Don’t hesitate to engage the assistance of Subject Matter Experts (SME’s).
9/ Good Housekeeping.
Practicing good housekeeping methods will help to keep you
10/ Keep yourself stress-free.
Avoid taking on stress at your workplace. Stress eventually reduces your productivity and substantially impacts your health. It is always advisable to take 15-minute breaks when you are at a task for a longer duration.
11/ It’s okay to say No.
Most managers don’t have the courage to say no while they are assigned to work beyond their capacity or limit. Don’t take on tasks that are above your skill level, unless you are intending to outsource them. Saying no to further tasks when you are feeling overwhelmed is good practice. Do not make a promise you can’t keep.
12/ Time to Review.
Once you have a Time Management plan in place and been practicing it for a small time, take the time to review your progress. Being able to see how much more productive you have become is great motivation to keep going on this path. Leave the Procrastination behind and feel the results.
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