Time management skills are more important than ever. Whether you are a high level leader or an everyday worker, you have constant demands on your time. Everyone wants to get the most out of the least so there is a tight squeeze on your time. Get more out of less!
5 Keys to Effective Time Management Skills
With this tight squeeze, time management skills are under a high demand. So what are five keys to time management? Here are the five keys!
1. Block Out the Resistance
The resistance always tries to get the best of you and your time. The resistance can take on many disguises to keep you from doing what’s most important. So what does the resistance look like? The resistance can be disguised as:
- Interruptions from others (coworkers, bosses, children/family, etc.)
- Pop-up meetings
- So called emergencies (emergencies to others but not really emergencies)
- Push notifications
- Phone calls
- Text messages and other instant message platforms
- Social Media/Internet
- Good things that take you away from the most important
That is just a small sample of the hundreds of ways the resistance tries to kill our productivity and ruin our time management plans.
Plan and prepare for the resistance by identifying how you will do to block out the resistance. You can do that by finding a quiet place away from others, closing your office door, turning off your phone or computer, putting on headphones, etc. The key is to know the resistance will come and then devise a time management strategy that will work best for you based on your situation.
2. Remember the Big Picture
Sometimes a goal, project, so-called emergency, or other thing will come up that will immediately push everything else to the side. When that happens it is easy to lose sight of the big picture. That sometimes means you focus so intently on that one thing that you begin to lose perspective and the big picture becomes foggy.
Place reminders of the big picture in prominent places to help you remember the big picture. You can also schedule personal time regularly to focus on the big picture and what matters most to you.
3. Use the Appropriate Time Management Tools
There are many time management tools available. There are computer and cell phone applications, calendars, notepads, to-do lists, etc. Each tool has its place and specific application.
Not every time management tool works for everyone. Find the time management tools that work best for you. If you are struggling to find one you like, find out what others in your industry or phase in life are using and try using those tools. Don’t be afraid to change time management tools as needed until you find the best tool for you.
4. Leave Yourself An Out
Often people chase opportunity so much that they say yes to every opportunity that comes their way. As a result, they overcommit themselves to the extent that they can’t put forth their best effort towards anything. When you leave yourself an out, you identify your top goals and have the mindset that you can always say no to an opportunity if it doesn’t align with your goals or priorities.
It is very important to be a person of your word. With that in mind, leaving yourself an out does not mean that you make and break commitments. Rather, you don’t have to be a yes-man by saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way.
When you leave yourself an out, you take full responsibility for your own time management. You do everything you can to take advantage of every moment to get the most out life.
5. Keep Others Informed
Often people can get in the way of your time management efforts because they don’t know what you have going on. The solution? Let people know what you have going on, and your priorities, goals and objectives. When you have pressing deadlines, let others know and ask that they don’t interrupt your efforts. When you do that beforehand, you won’t have to cut people off, ignore them or take other steps to keep them from interrupting you that appear to be rude.
People rarely do what they can to intentionally ruin your time management plans. They usually have the best intentions of helping you, but get in the way because they are not fully informed.
Taking each of these steps will improve your time management skills and help you to get the most out of your time. What time management skills do you use to make the best use of your time? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!
An Additional Bonus
I received the infographic below that has some additional time management strategies that you may find useful.