The definition of Time management is the process of organizing and planning how much time is needed between specific tasks and other priorities. It sounds easy enough when defined, but the truth is that millions of us try to crack the code of the time.
We all have the same time in the day, but how does one succeed more than the other? The answer is time management. It’s probably the most tried technique at work. But watching the clock sometimes doesn’t cut it.
I’ve learned that you cannot get any more time in a day. You just have to know how to manage it. After reading this article, you will learn how the importance of time management will improve your productivity!
So Why is Time Management Important?
Time management has been proven to enhance habits and produces higher productivity. Managing time ensures job security, balance in work and personal life, and happiness at work. Talk about most of life’s wishes, lol.
Good time management also reduces stress and helps you achieve goals easier and faster. Planning is essential to time management skills. Improve your time management by following my simple tips to get a better day plan and weekly time.
In this article, I will go over the basics, give you tips and explain the advantages. Soon you will try the best method for developing time management skills.
Let’s start from the beginning…
What Is Time Management?
Time Management is basically how you plan, prioritize and organize the time spent on specific tasks or activities. The very definition is a method and mainly involves all three. For myself, I needed more information on how to do each part.
After that, I longed to be more productive, only to increase my free time. Therefore, managing your time more effectively by allocating all your activities is the action of time management.
I don’t know what your goals might be to start time management but use that to motivate you to be consistent. As I spend my time working on many methods, it only helps me pursue my actual goal—more time for me.
Examples of Time Management
Time management is a skill, and it feels great to put it on any resume. Many examples of time management are prioritizing, Organization, Delegation, Strategic Planning, and Problem Solving. Each of these can initially waste anyone’s time, but you can succeed with practice and focus.
It establishes what is urgent, not urgent, and allocates the rest based on time and due date. It’s kind of like lining up all your blocks in a row based on importance. So starting with this first step can save you from wasting time on something that is a waste of your current time. And it will allow you to cross stuff off the list that’s time-sensitive.
After you prioritize, it’s time to organize. Some things like many are better grouped by task, action, or time frame. You can even manage your task based on your location: at home, work, or running an errand. Grouping and organizing your tasks is the best way to maximize your productivity.
Delegating was probably one of the most challenging tasks for me. If you like to do everything yourself, you can probably relate. The downfall is that you will eventually overwork yourself or, at worst, be stuck doing it all longer than you expect.
There is a fact that sharing the work doesn’t cut your time almost in half. And that freedom time we discussed? Oh yeah, more of that. Delegation is vital in time management; you have to maximize your time. If that means sharing the workload, then do it.
Think of strategic planning as building a battle plan. All your pieces are prioritized, everything is organized in place, and every man delegated. Now the plan all comes together from start to finish. A person that fails to plan plans to fail – This is so also in time management. You can see the end without knowing the steps to get there.
Problem Solving might not be something you would think would be included. It is so because after doing most of what we discussed above, opportunities will still arrive. Those opportunities are what I call an interruption.
Learning how to problem solve is a complex skill but something you will learn as you manage your time. It’s a number one skill for anyone in a leadership position. You need to be able to do this as issues arrive, delegate them, or plan them into action. Doing this will save you a lot of time.
How to start Managing your time today!
So you are sitting in your living room, office, or wherever you tend to ponder about the ever-long To-Do list. And after reading this article so far, you are like, “Ok, so I have this many hours to get this much done!” The next question: “Where do I start?”
You can use these time management skills to make the impossible list shrink to possible. It’s overwhelming to think that you can do it all! For me, I even believe it’s a symptom of being a parent.
One that many doctors still need to uncover. Or it could be the race in our generation to succeed in the extreme. Whatever it is, still this To-Do list has been a master that needs to be tamed. So let’s have at it.
My Time Management Steps
Grab a piece of paper, yes, a new one! A cup of coffee and your favorite pen with the clicker on end.
Step #1: Planning
We are planning by jotting down all the activities that need to be done. Someone would say list 5 or 10. Adequate planning would be listing everything, anything that comes to mind. Write it all down.
This will eliminate the thought of constantly worrying about other things that would cause a distraction. It’s certainly ok if you have two pages of stuff, don’t feel overwhelmed. We are going to break it down.
Step #2: Organize
Next, on another sheet of paper on the top of each paper write two headings, flip each side for the next two, and so on. You can also divide your paper into four squares if you have too much from your previous list.
Ultimately you need the space to organize your to-do list. These headings will not be “To Do”; instead they will be locations or action words. Anything to trigger you to get the task done.
For example, I have: “Trash it,” “When I’m at work,” “Deep Clean it,” “Wash it,” “While I’m doing the Laundry,” “Before I go to the gym,” “When I’m outside” and so on. These are all trigger activities that will push you.
Step #3: Prioritize
Prioritizing means putting things in order of what is urgent versus not urgent. For example, what would need to be done first, than last?
Most time management techniques prioritize in this order:
- Important and urgent: Get done right away
- Important but not urgent: Plan when to do these tasks next.
- Urgent but not important: See if you can delegate these tasks to another.
- Not urgent and not important: Set aside, Do these later.
You can sort all of these tasks with those as a way to prioritize. I have made it easy on myself with a different approach to ordering. First, you’re going to need four different highlighter colors, color pencils, and or markers.
Look for any tasks with a due date first and put those on your calendar, planner, or google calendar. I always put a reminder on the calendar a week before, just in case. You can write “remember to” or “coming up” if you are prone to forget like me.
The first highlighter color would be anything that is ASAP. This could also include anything with a due date that is very soon. In the example above, this would be considered Important and Urgent.
Go through your list and color those. Next will be “As soon as I have the chance” or “When I have time.” You can make up your category as anything that is not due now but can when you have the time.
Highlight, circle, or asterisk those in another color to separate from the first category. Use two colors if you decide to go with the important but not urgent and urgent but not critical.
Last would be “Someday.” Eventually, those when you have time and someday will change until your top list, but for now, they are a distraction to getting stuff done.
Now that you have prioritized them put them in the correct categories for their importance. For example, in my “Deep Clean,” I have the “Microwave,” which is asap, and the stove for “when I get the chance.”
Step # 4 Delegation
Delegating is how you are going to shrink that list to almost nothing. Don’t hold on to everything that needs to be done as your responsibility. Let me make it clear: “You don’t have to do it all.” Even if you live alone, you still don’t have to do it all. There are many services online that will do errands, cleaning, organizing, and miscellaneous things.
The hard part is letting it go, but the reward of having a completed list is amazing. Now initial along or use the next color to list who can do the task or outsource it to a service. After this is complete, please make a separate list for those who need to accomplish it.
If you are outsourcing, note the task and the company on your calendar. Then, schedule the pick-up or delivery in your reminders on your calendar.
Step # 5: Don’t Multitask
Finally, the crucial tip, don’t start another task until you finish the first one. Multi-tasking will only make it take longer to complete your to-do list if you are worried about the timing. You can take it a step further, add the time it will take to do each thing, and set a timer when you start.
When I’m done with them asap, I can move on to the next. Whenever or Wherever you are, you can revisit your list and check stuff off as you go. If you have a category like “when I wake up,” grab your list and get things done.
Time Management is not only good for the To-do list. It’s all best used for Goal setting. When we first start setting our goals, getting excited and feeling motivated is easy.
After trying so many times, we don’t see how to make it work. Action is always a good start but knowing what to do following step after that, we lose focus.
A very actioned Time Management method that is one of my favorites is the SMART Method. It breaks down your goals in order of SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT, and TIME.
When allocation the duration of each breakdown in a goal, it starts becoming more real. There is less procrastination when using the SMART Method because you have planned to eliminate doubt.
What are the benefits of managing time?
- Reduces Stress: The act of crossing stuff off your To-List by efficiently managing your time helps ease anxiety.
- Helps produce better decision making: After you started blocking out your time frames you can make better decisions when prioritizing tasks even if they are surprises that come along.
- Makes goals more achievable: Breaking down goals into tangible steps and time frames makes them more achievable.
- Build a better work-life balance: Managing your time helps you relieve more time to create a better work-life balance. Become more productive at work so you don’t take your work home with you.
- Increases your focus: Time management helps you set time to focus more on time-sensitive tasks.
- Accomplish Higher levels of Productivity: Your productivity will increase once you become more disciplined with your time. Get more done in less time by analyzing your time wasters.
- Experience less procrastination: Making it a habit of always practicing time management will help you experience less procrastination. Make the most of every minute then you won’t need to procrastinate.
I think we have gone over what is time management is and why it’s important. The main thing to take away from this article is that most goals or activities are best planned. Once you have an objective, you have to allocate the time to do each step.
I went over my time management steps with my strategies on getting rid of my To-Do list. I hope you will not feel so overwhelmed with your list and gain some better time management skills.
Remember to incorporate examples of time management. You can use this model below for many tasks and goals.
Examples of Time Management
- Strategic Planning
- Problem Solving
The benefits are way better than how much time it will take to learn this skill. With everything, it takes practice. You will soon have reduced your stress, increased productivity, and built a better work-life balance. All from practicing time management