5 STEPS IN IMPROVING YOUR TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS
- August 18, 2020
- Posted by: mealone
- Category: Business
This article examines ways to effectively manage your skills in other to improve productivity, this article therefore does a 5 step analysis on how to improve your time management skills.
Step 1: Make a Plan for your Time
One of the most important ways to waste time is to have no plan or no priorities for what you need to accomplish in a particular day, week, or month. Also I have personally found that when I start working without a specific list of things that I need to get done, I am far less productive and I wind up working on things that aren’t very urgent or I waste the time entirely.
Also having a plan for your time is really not that difficult. And if you haven’t done this in the past I recommend that you give it a try and see how it impacts your productivity. Also at the end of each week take a look at your progress on the projects that you have going at the moment and make a list of things that you’ll need to accomplish during the next week. Furthermore take that list and break it down into a day-by-day list so it can be more easily managed. And after each day you can work off of your list and you’ll find that you stay on task, waste very little time, and have more accomplished at the end of the day.
Step 2: Identify your Weak Moments
However we all at certain times of the day are unable to concentrate and get more accomplished, and other times of the day when we struggle to stay focused. Therefore plan your days to allow my best hours to be used for the tasks that will require the most focus, concentration, and/or creativity. And During the weakest hours, you can work on cleaning out my inbox, dealing with routine tasks, or simply take the time off. And this way I can get the most out of my time, keep the most important items in focus, and still get something productive done even when not at best.
Also, you are probably already aware of the times of day when you are at your best and worst. Therefore take that into consideration when you are planning your time to be sure that you are maximizing what you have.
Step 3: Identify Your Distractions and Plan to Minimize Them
We have a lot of things that can be distracting to everyone. Most often the distractions are actually necessary parts of the business, but they can just be an inconvenience. For instance, most freelancers communicate with clients and potential clients primarily through email, so this is, of course, a part of your daily life. Mostly emails can often be a distraction because it can break up your time and get you off track.
However email is just one example out of many. There are a lot of other potential distractions, like Twitter, obsessively watching stats, noise in or around your office, phone calls, etc. so therefore in order to get the most out of your working time, you will need to recognize the things that are most distracting to you, and you must work to minimize their impact on the productivity of your time.
And if your distraction is something that is a necessary part of your business that is a little bit out of control, like email or Twitter, you can help the situation by keeping those tasks contained to certain time periods within your day. Therefore instead of having your email open all day and seeing each message the moment it arrives, you could set up a time each morning and each afternoon to deal with email, and then close it for the rest of the day while you are working.
And if your distraction is the phone you could do something similar by letting calls go to your voicemail (unless it is an emergency) and have a designated time to check the messages and return calls. Also if your distraction is a noisy house, surrounding your home office you could plan your time so that your most important working hours are when your kids are sleeping, at school, or doing something else that is not overly distracting to you.
Irrespective of what tends to be a distraction to you, finding a way to minimize or work around those distractions is key to getting the most out of your time.
Step 4: Minimize your Work Hours
Most times individuals work long hours, especially when deadlines are looming. Eventhough it is tempting to simply work more hours in order to get everything done, this can often be detrimental to your productivity and efficiency. Sometimes we all need some time away from work, so working more hours isn’t usually the best answer.
Minimizing on your working hours will force you to prioritize and to manage your time more effectively, or you won’t be able to accomplish everything that needs to be done. And if working longer hours is generally your answer when you have too many things on your to-do list, try going the other way and reducing your hours.
Therefore reducing your hours will also help to keep you fresh and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand, allowing you to get more out of your working hours. And of course, you’ll want to consider your weakest and strong hours to make sure that you are not eliminating your best hours when you are reducing the amount that you are working. And this is probably the most difficult of these 5 steps for most of us; however it is important if you are going to focus on the long-term and to avoid burnout.
Step 5: Evaluation
Finally evaluating your use of time is also a critical aspect of time management. And after every now and then it is good to step back and look at your typical process for going about your work and try to identify some things that can be changed to improve efficiency. It’s therefore easy to develop habits and without even realizing it you can get stuck in the rut of doing things in a less than optimal way.