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.
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.