Great time management skills are not an inherent quality that you are just born with. This is a competency that takes research, time, and practice to develop and hone.
Mastering Time Management
Just like any habit, you must choose to optimize this skill because you find the benefits alluring and realize how it will help you in your life.
There are some people who seem to have their lives all together and may appear to be more successful or happier than you. But they have not decoded a secret to success or sold their soul for happiness.
They have learned that optimizing time management skills can help you achieve results quicker and with less expended energy. Fortunately, you are also capable of strengthening this skill and streamlining your day.
Why is it important to master time management?
Time management plays an important role in our lives, both physically and mentally. First, when your time is used efficiently, you can accomplish more throughout your day and have time left over for activities that make you feel happy and whole.
Also, you will increase your productivity, which allows for more control of your energy and time. Your motivation will also be increased, as will your clarity about what to be doing and when you should be doing it. Time management also is beneficial because it decreases negative feelings such as stress, overwhelm, anxiety, and frustration.
Learning to be productive on a proper timeline is much more effective than procrastinating and then rushing to finish things at the last minute. This will also prove to foster a better quality of work and greater results. Knowing how to properly manage your time will allow you to achieve success easier and quicker.
How can I master time management?
Now that you know why time management is essential and beneficial, you may be wondering how to boost your time management skills. As with any habit, the more you focus, take intentional action, and practice the skill, the better you will become and the more you will expand and enhance this skill.
Here are 10 ways to master time management.
- Evaluate how long tasks actually take. The first step is to analyze your day. Observe and record every single task. Keep a journal or notebook where you record how long each task takes. How much time do you spend checking emails? How long was your shower? Add up how much time is devoted to breaks or goofing off. Account for every minute of your day. Repeat this for a few days or more, and then analyze. Use this data to identify how much time to allot for all aspects of your day.
- Identify goals. When your destination or result is crystal clear, it is easier to recognize which activities will bring you closer to success and which ones are unnecessary fluff or filler. Be very clear with yourself about what your goals are. Maybe even consider making a vision board or journal entry where you outline what success on this goal looks like and means for you.
- Break those goals into smaller milestones. When your focus is on one large end result, it may be too easy to feel overwhelmed or out of control. Our thoughts are cyclical – once doubt or stress flickers, it sparks more negativity.
If you create smaller, more achievable steps to get to your destination, the tasks are less daunting and seem more achievable. Additionally, each time you achieve a milestone, you will feel encouraged and have greater motivation because you can visualize your progress. This will inspire you to go after your next step with greater momentum.
- Prioritize your task list. Take time to place value upon each part of your task. Identify the most valuable tasks that will give you the most bang for your buck. Order your tasks from most important to least, and then start chipping away. You will get further if you knock out your most rewarding and meaningful tasks first.
- Identify helpful resources. This can be in many forms. There is a multitude of apps that will help establish and strengthen time management skills. Apps like Todoist and Clockify help you make lists, goals, and set priorities. You can listen to motivating podcasts that resonate with you. Read a book dedicated to time management. Or listen to music formulated to help you focus.
- Eliminate distractions. Removing all distractions allows you to focus on what is important. Close your phone, ignore your notifications, and turn off the television. Avoid others who are not collaborating on your project.
- Just start. If you are waiting for the perfect time and the perfect conditions, you will never begin in the first place. Often, starting is the hardest part of all.
- Create accountability. Tell someone you admire or trust about your goals and ask them to check in on you. Or start a blog that chronicles your progress. Either way, there is an external motivation that will help keep you motivated and focused.
- Evaluate and adjust. Take the time to reflect on what you have done so far. Identify what methods are working well for you and things that are not. Highlight the successful methods. Elaborate upon them. And then trim the extra that isn’t adding value or success.
- Reward yourself. Take time to acknowledge any progress or achievements. Celebrate any and all successes or achievements. This will encourage further work and motivate you to continue towards your goals.