time management

3 Ways to Become Better at Time Management

 

Why do we have to work so hard to learn Time Management, to master it?
Shouldn’t we be born with the ability to work efficiently?

The problem is that we have the tendency to want to take the easy way, the short way, and as many have said before me, “A shortcut can often lead to long delays”.

Even though multitasking, relaxing and other shortcuts might feel as though they save time, working focused on one task at a time and obeying the rules of Time Management, is the real time saver.

How I learned this the hard way
I used to multitask all the time. I felt that if I could do 4 things at half speed I would get twice as much done. I planned my days, worked hard, but my results started getting worse and worse, I wasn’t working faster, it took about as long time as it used to, but the quality of my work suffered.

After about 3 months I realized the problem and started choosing one activity at a time to work on. I now focus 100% on the task I have chosen until it is finished. Quickly my results improved and the time it took to work through the day became less and less.

Improving your Time Management skills

To improve you need to be willing to learn and change your habits.

This requires a certain amount of humility, you aren’t perfect today, and you have room to improve.

3 techniques that will make you a better time manager

 

1. Batching Tasks

Each time you start a new task it takes time to “warm up”, you have to gather all the materials you need and it takes a while before you find a flow. Once you are done you need to put everything away, which wastes several minutes as well.

By spending longer time on each task you decrease the amount of time you spend “Warming up” and “Cooling down” every day.

2. Planning Your Weeks
By organizing your weeks to streamline processes and batch tasks you will save a lot of time.

It also grants you the calm to know that you will be doing all your tasks during the week. I have noticed in myself, and others, that it is easy to feel as though I should be doing more each day, but once I started using a weekly schedule I didn’t need to feel this way, since I knew the tasks would be handled at the right time.

3. Prioritizing you day

Most of us fail to start with the most important (and often most time consuming) task. Instead we hide and do simple tasks such as checking our email.

The problem with that approach is that it leaves the most difficult tasks to the end of the day. If you instead organize your day to have the most difficult tasks first and then have them getting easier and easier. It will motivate you to work faster since your day will be over once you have finished the final simple task.

It will take time to learn and require a lot of discipline, but if you put your mind to it you will quickly start saving 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there.

The information is out there
There are hundreds and hundreds of books on Time Management, thousands of blogs write about it, I write about it. If you want tips, you don’t have to look far.
What you need to do is make the decision, the decision to work on your Time Management skills.

Some of you might say that you don’t have the time, how are you going to spend time reading about Time Management when you already have so much on your plate.

But that is what is so great. You will save yourself hours, each day, by implementing the easy techniques I mentioned above. All of a sudden it will feel as though your days are almost empty.

If you feel like you have too much on your plate to read about Time Management, start reading only 5-15 minutes every day, I am sure you can fit that it, and you will notice how you will be able to fit more and more into your schedule.

Reward yourself

One last piece of advice I want to leave you with is; that you should reward yourself for your efforts.

If you successfully improve your time management skills and free up 1 hour per day, don’t fill it only with lots of new assignments, give yourself a little time off, and enjoy the benefits you have given yourself.

This was a guest post by Daniel M. Wood a well-known speaker and writer on Personal Development, Sales Technique and Motivation. Visit his blog Lookingtobusiness.com and download your copy of his free e-book, Double Your Income.

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  • http://livingthebalancedlife.com Living the Balanced Life

    Great post! I agree, multitasking in the way that most of us do it, is not productive! Focus is key!
    Bernice
    In pursuit of happiness, or joy?

  • http://www.transformationalmotivation.com/ M. A. Tohami

    “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” – Michael Altshuler

  • http://www.what-is-personal-growth.com Sean

    #1 and #3 are what I need to improve. I think about my days and I do waste a lot of time doing things which are really just distractions from real work. The brain loves to wander off sometimes! Thanks for this article. :)

  • http://rohitramann.com/ rohit

    Awesome idea to bring the best out in life.. thanks a lot

    Rohit

    http://rohitramann.com/you-will-be-happy-if-you-do-it-from-now.html

  • http://Mazzastick.com Justin

    You really do have to learn to pre-plan your time in order to be more productive. I make it a point to write everything down so I will have an outline for the day.

  • http://www.thoughtful-self-improvement.com/Time-Management-T2.html Natalie

    I agree these are the top three basics of time management.

    I find when I take the time to prioritize, I get the important stuff done. One of the questions I ask myself when prioritizing is ‘What will give me the greatest return for the time invested?’ A five minute phone call might be the best use of my time, or working 4 hours on a multiple day project. It depends on what is competing for my time and what my goals are.

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  • http://www.livingwords.net Doug Cartwright

    I actually tried this one thing at a time mlarky and it’s working. So obvious and yet I have multi-taking mania. I am also working standing up most of the time (see lifehacker.com for details of the standing workstation). I am more productive and focused. Thanks!

    Doug

  • http://www.asianefficiency.com/ AE Thanh

    Multitasking is a common “mistake” people make. Today we get so many things our way that it seems the right thing to do, but in fact you get less work done.

    When it comes to prioritizing, you want to make sure you do it based on your personal goals. What works brings you closer to achieving your big goals? Make sure you work on those every day and preferably first thing in the morning when you are the most focused and have the most energy.

    Prioritizing in an job or office environment is a little different. Then you have to align with the goals of the company and your boss wants to get the most revenue out of your time. So whatever you can do to maximize your input on the company’s revenues is probably your biggest opportunity. If you have no clue what these opportunities are, just ask your boss / manager and I’m sure you’ll find out :)

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      what!? This is such a good post and very helpful, why leave a stupid comment!?

  • Jessicabrickner

    Good read, thank you :)

  • Shenoi

    I am so glad right now I that I came upon your blog by chance, because this has given me some really helpful advice and helps to understand better of what I need to do to get myself in order.

    I manage time with the use of online time recording software which tracks my time accurately on different tasks. Using this ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ) tool, I can list my entire tasks on it and set an estimated time when working on each task. The key that I can follow tasks and finish it on time is discipline. It inspires me to manage my time efficiently and improve productivity as well.