Time management doesn’t come easily, but it is a behaviour around which skills can be learnt. By improving your time management skills, you will feel less overwhelmed, more productive and better able to control the deluge of e-mails, ringing phones and constant interruptions that are part of everyday life.
One of the best ways for you to improve your time management skills is to improve your mindset. Time management is a fundamental skill that isn’t discussed as much as it should be. In this day and age it appears that everyone is pressed for time these days. It seems as though we all have more to do and even less time to do it in than ever before. By shifting your mindset and hence your behavior you can easily improve your time management skills and become super productive.
Use the following information to become better at time management and increase your productivity tenfold.
Stop Saying Yes without Thinking
How many times have you found yourself saying “yes” to something you know you don’t have time for? Probably way too many times. Have you ever wondered why this is? Are you worried about disappointing family and friends? Or are you trying to move up the ladder at work and don’t want to turn anything down? You really want to get that promotion and higher salary.
While saying yes might get you those things eventually, it is not doing anything to improve your time management skills or stress levels. Instead you are just pressuring yourself with yet more work that needs to be done in the same amount of time.
Rule number one is never accept a task without agreeing a deadline for completion, and ASAP is not a deadline. If you really want to get a handle on time management then it is important to shift your mindset and stop saying yes without thinking it through. If it is impossible to get a deadline set one yourself that fits in with your other tasks and let the individual know when the task will be completed, they will soon shout and discuss things with you if your deadline is not suitable to them. Never agree to a deadline you know you can’t meet, and expect to be late with, change this. Be assertive and agree a later deadline that you know you can achieve and if possible strive to deliver things earlier.
Many people fall in to the trap of over promising and under delivering; it is far better to under promise and over deliver.
By shifting your focus, just slightly, you can easily change your mindset. You don’t have to become accustomed to delivering things late all the time. Extend the deadline and finish early. Finishing important tasks early will not only keep you in good graces with your company and family, but will also make you stand out amongst others as well.
Set Personal Deadlines and Time Yourself
Try placing a clock visibly in front of you. Virtually every computer has one, but we seldom take notice of it or purposely choose to ignore it while we are busy completing our work. Having a large clock in front of us, can often spur us to stay on schedule with all our tasks.
In addition, if you are using a digital calendar, use the “reminder” function and set it to go off fifteen minutes before your task’s deadline. This will really help you to focus your energies and attention during crunch time so that you can stay on time with all of your important tasks.
Why bother improving Time Management skills?
Improving your time management skills is vital to staying on schedule in a world where we seemingly have more tasks to complete, both for work and family. Not only will improving your time management skills make you more productive, but it will make you stand out positively amongst your peers and loved ones. In return this gives you the opportunity to advance in your career and help bring tranquility to your family life at a time when chaos seems to reign supreme.
By utilizing the information above, you can improve both your mindset and your time management skills and be more productive and on-time than you ever have before.
Till next time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor