Time is gold, as the age-old saying goes. In today’s fast-paced, technologically driven world, the skill of managing one’s time is as precious as ever. Learn how to improve your time management skills with these techniques.
Time management is the ability to plan and control how someone spends the hours in a day to effectively accomplish their goals. This involves juggling time between the domains of life—work, home, social life, hobbies, as defined by Psychology Today.
Urgency vs. Importance
Got too many things to do all at the same time? People with good time management skills know how to plan ahead according to urgency and importance.
Take a look at the image below that depicts how to prioritize according to urgency and importance. Prioritize tasks that have high importance and high urgency such as a meeting where you will have to present the sales report.
Then move on to tasks that have high importance but low urgency such as completing a weekly report that is due tomorrow. Tasks with low importance but high urgency such as responding to emails can come next. Lastly, don’t focus your attention on those tasks that have low importance and low urgency such as office gossip.
Procrastination never helps
Do you ever get the feeling of suddenly wanting to do something else when faced with a deadline? Some call it positive procrastination. You can call whatever you want, it’s still procrastination, and it still distracts you from completing your tasks. Whenever you get that feeling, take a step back and remind yourself of the ‘why’ of the task you are doing. Motivation is best when it comes from within. So, motivate yourself to trudge through and complete your tasks.
Schedule email response time
The tendency for people who check their emails all the time is for them to get easily distracted and off-track from what they are currently doing and have planned to do. Make it a habit to schedule your email reading and response time to about twice a day so you don’t get derailed by seemingly urgent emails. If the request is urgent anyway, they will most likely call you or talk to you personally. Do the same scheduling for social media activities that eat up a lot of your productivity.
Use a daily planner or create a to-do list at the start of each day or at the end of each day for the next day. This will allow you to plan your day ahead and the list will give you a visual reminder of what needs to be done versus what has already been accomplished.
Delegate whenever possible
Don’t try to be a hero and try to do everything yourself. When possible, delegate to other team members according to their abilities and willingness. This will help you manage your tasks, meet your deadlines and give your team a chance to work together on something!