Time Management Skills

Many of us feel that time is slipping from our fingers. We take pains to map out the things we should be doing during the day and find ourselves falling behind. Time can’t actually be managed. The only control we have over time is the way we make use of it and how well we manage it.

At the heart of every time management technique is this: concentrate on the results not on being busy. Half the time those running around like rats in a maze are actually doing very little. In order to cut back on this inefficient use of personal time there are a few things that we need to do.

Avoid procrastination. We’ve all been bitten by the procrastination bug at one point or another. Why do something as boring as say work when you could be kicking off your heels in a beach somewhere or daydreaming about it? The reasons people procrastinate are various ranging from waiting for the right mood to simple laziness. Whatever the reason given the key to beating procrastination is proper organizational skills. Another rule of thumb is that any time you aren’t using to finish your daily work is yet another form of procrastination. With some self- discipline this problem can be easily solved.

Set your goals. Without any set goals you are like a ship without a rudder drifting aimlessly from sea to sea. Metaphor aside writing down your goals is an important tool for time management. Personal goals will motivate you to avoid distractions that are detrimental to these goals. If you want to rule the world by age thirty making effective use of your time everyday will help you achieve this long term goal.

Activity logs. It can be quite disconcerting to discover the amount of time one spends in just getting out of bed or taking a daily coffee break. Knowing where most of your time went during the day will help you cut back on the wasted hours. Activity logs will also help you identify your body’s peak hours. People feel sleeps after lunch, others would be more energetic in the morning. Chart these hours when you are most effective and do most of your work then.

To do List. Short and sweet or long and meandering. The To do list can vary from day to day. List your tasks for the day and then prioritize them from the most important to the least important. If you feel like drowning in the sheer amount of things you absolutely have to do then writing a list will keep you from going insane with stress. Try it.

Juggle your Time. While your to do list gives you the tasks you have to accomplish in a day, scheduling fixes the amount of time you can spend on any given task. There are many good scheduling tools available and if you’re not blessed with a personal assistant to remind you of where you have to be then you should avail of the numerous PDA’s or even a simple notebook to keep track of your schedule. Start by delegating the amount of time you want to spend on each task. Identify the time you have available in doing these tasks. Then schedule the time for your high priority tasks. Next add in some contingency time for any problems that may arise. Any remaining time will be reserved for your personal goals.

Clean your desk. Not only will this create an atmosphere of cleanliness and serenity it gives you a tangible example of how well you clear your tasks for the day. If your desk is cluttered with papers that still need to be read or discs that have yet to be filed then you haven’t been managing your time very well.

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