What is time management skills ?
Time management skills are the ability to plan, manage, and regulate the amount of time that one spends in a day and the tasks that one completes in a day. The skills include the ability to prioritize tasks to provide an accurate timeline for completion, as well as the ability to be efficient and effective in the completion of tasks.
10 Time Management Skills for Making Your Day More Productive
What are the main time management skills?
Time management is beneficial to every aspect of your daily life as it helps you prioritize and manage your productivity better. Good management skills also help you invest your time better and achieve desired results. Time management skills can help you decide on which tasks you need to give more time to and how you can complete a given task in the most efficient way. Here are the basic time management skills that can help you plan your workday and tasks efficiently-
Organization- Preparing a list of tasks can help you create daily map of your activities and manage your time effectively. The list can act as a guide to manage the daily tasks and the priority to be allotted to each task. Organizing a list can also help break down important tasks into manageable components.
Set goals- When you set goals, you are able to define your aims and objectives and then focus on planning the way to complete the goals in the required time period. Goals can be short and long term and can lead to success in your career.
Communicate- Being able to effectively communicate helps you build trust and clearly state your plans. Communication is crucial in preventing and resolving any conflicts. Communication can help you focus on important tasks for effective time management.
Flexibility- A schedule should be kept flexible to accommodate any last minute changes. You may get an urgent task which has to be completed before your daily work. The daily schedule should be prepared in such a way that you have space for any last minute emergencies.
What is the importance of time management skills?
It is important to have proper Time Management skills as an employer or an employee as it enables you to work smarter, not harder which leads to better results in the least amount of time with less effort. We will now discuss the importance of effective time allocation during your workday.
Performance improvement- During the daily goal planning, you get a better idea of what you need to accomplish a task, how long it will take and how important the task is. This can help you focus on the task ahead without procrastination, which in turn, improves your performance.
Better opportunities- If you can implement effective time management techniques you can complete your daily tasks efficiently which makes you a valuable employee and gives you better opportunities for career growth.
Building confidence- With proper time management skills you can complete your daily tasks in a time bound manner which will boost your sense of accomplishment and confidence. Being able to finish your daily tasks efficiently is a motivator to better management skills for better prospects.
Be efficient- If you are able to manage your time in an efficient manner, you are more focused on work. This allows you to plan your day and tasks better and not waste time.
Time management techniques:
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Ways to improve time management skills?
As we have already discussed, bettering your time management skills can help you be more efficient and achieve more in less time. Let us now look at time management tips which can help you improve your time management skills-
Reinforce good habits- Once you implement time management techniques in your daily schedule, you will realize that you have a certain schedule and work mode that helps you complete your daily tasks in a time bound manner. Look for a reward that will motivate you to stick to your schedule.
Have time for interruptions- It is impossible not to be distracted or interrupted while working. Sometimes you may end up discussing an important project longer than expected and this can cut into time for other tasks. Leave some time open in your schedule where you can deal with any unplanned interruptions.
Say no- The time you have should be your most precious resource. Hence you need to set very clear boundaries and learn to say no to tasks which are not related to your daily work to ensure effective time allocation for the tasks you need to complete.
Use technology- Now, more than ever, is a good time to invest in a software which can help you manage your time efficiently. Investing in a Time Tracking app or using a software like ZipSchedules by Hubworks can help you track how much time you spend on a task and figure out the best way to manage your daily schedule better.
Till now we have discussed time management skills that can be used for self. But as a business owner also you need to be able to manage your Employee Time schedules. We will now discussmanagement tips that can also help you run your daily business effectively.
As a business owner or a manager, you should be able delegate tasks to your employees to ensure that all tasks are completed in good time. Delegation is use of management skills to assign tasks to those who are best suited. As an owner or manager, you can assess every task based on complexity, who can do the task, how quickly the task needs to be done and then start with the easiest task. This will help manage your time and daily task flow efficiently.
Find the employee best fit for a particular task, there will be some problems with performance or communication in the beginning but soon there will be balance between the employee and the task to be performed. Also keep backups, don't assign just one person for one type of task. If the person is absent or quits, there should be another person who can take over to make sure that task is completed on time.
At the start of the work period, make a list of tasks that to be done, then mark important tasks which have to be completed immediately. Then mark tasks which are time consuming but not high up the priority list. Once you have sorted the list, plan the time management accordingly. once you get a focus for your workflow, you will be able to complete your daily schedule in an efficient manner and complete important tasks for the day.
Here is how you can divide your tasks for effective time management do urgent and important tasks yourself, delegate not urgent but important tasks to employees who can complete them quickly, mark not urgent but important tasks to be done in future and delete non urgent and non important tasks.
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Organising a schedule for your and Employee Time well in advance is a must. List all the tasks that need to be performed and break down the tasks in manageable components. Check off completed tasks as this will keep you motivated. For better time management divide the tasks into categories work, home and personal and then allocate time of the day when you can complete your tasks.
To manage your employees' time, you first need to check staff availability by reviewing your time and attendance data and also check the employees' preference. Once you have the availability, you can schedule the employees as per the demand to ensure effective time management for daily work flow.
All necessary or important tasks need a deadline to ensure effective time management and ensure that it is completed efficiently. Set an achievable deadline keep in mind the nature of the task. When you set a deadline for a task, ensure that you have some time to review and implement any corrective actions if required to finish the task. Keep an eye on the work progress and provide feedback. Effective time management also means you don't try to finish more than you can handle.
Don't try to be perfect as it means you will spend more time trying to ensure that the task is done perfectly. In order to manage your time better, you need to strike a balance between perfection and task completion.
5. Eliminate Procrastination
When you don't have clear set goals, you tend to procrastinate. Poor time management skills will cause you to get distracted easily. Effective time management means to manage your time and workload efficiently. Identify the causes which make you procrastinate and then find an action plan which can eliminate each of the causes.
Divide each task into manageable component and then assign a deadline so that you can focus on better time management. Build an accountability structure to stop procrastinating.
6. Avoid Stress
We get stressed when we are not able to complete our work in time and this can also affect our productivity. It is better to step away for a bit if you feel stressed and try a breathing exercised to relax. Good time management helps you manage your list and prioritise important tasks and set deadlines which can help reduce your stress levels. You also need to develop coping skills to stay focused and not get distracted. Better management skills to prioritise work flow will also help deal with stress.
7. Reduce Multitasking
Many of us take on multiple tasks at one time but it is better to focus on one task at a time to manage your time and workflow efficiently. Multitasking is the enemy of good time management. To-do lists and deadlines can help you stay focused on one task before moving on.
Multitasking decreases your productivity as your focus is on too many tasks at one time. The best way to manage your time is to do one task in a set period of time to avoid mistakes.
8. Start Your Day Early
Getting an early start to the day gives you time to think and plan for the daily workflow. You are often calm and clear headed early in the day and the energy levels decrease as the day goes by.
Starting a task before you are scheduled to work on will help your time management as you can finish preparing for the task beforehand and you can develop your strategy for handling the task which also helps in avoiding procrastinations and distractions.
Starting earlier than required can help you manage your time better and also leave some room for any corrective action or crosschecking before you finish the task.
9. Schedule Your Breaks Times
Effective time management means giving break time to avoid being stressed and loss of productivity. Scheduling breaks helps you relax and get back to work with more energy. It also helps avoid boredom or lack of motivation. If you know you have a break scheduled then you are more focused on completing as much of the task as possible before your break.
Whenever you are feeling stressed, take a break for some time as too much stress affect your productivity and also take a toll on your body. Allowing rest time helps avoid being overwhelmed with work, decline in productivity and tired and unmotivated workers. Manage your time to find a balance between work and rest. Learning when to take breaks will also help you deal with stress better.
10. Stick To Your To-Do-List
Once you have set a schedule for the day, stick to it as it has been planned keeping in mind the effective time allocation for all important tasks and breaks. If there is any new task which is being added on, check if you have the time to be able to complete it effectively in the time you have set aside for emergencies. If not, delegate. Your to-do list is a map of your time management skills and you need to stay focused. Inform your superior or manager that you can only do so many tasks in the allotted time and communicate your inability to take on more. Communicate that you can't be disturbed and focus exclusively on the task at hand.