One of the most effective skills you can have in life is powerful and effective time management. To get ahead in your career, deliver your projects successfully and to get a promotion or a pay rise, you must learn to consistently focus on the activities that add the most benefit to your projects. Not only do effective time management skills allow you to get better results at work, but it also helps you withstand stress and live a more fulfilling life outside of work. To get you started, here are ways to improve your time management skills and increase productivity.
Align your focus
Where focus goes, energy flows. The first step is getting clear on what it is you really want, and then aligning your ultimate goals with the actions you need to take today. If the tasks that you need to complete aren’t aligned with what truly matters to you – your core values – then you’ll never find the time to do them. By focusing on an outcome, you develop the motivation and organization needed to meet your goals. Ask yourself: What actions produce the most value? What outcomes address your true wants in life? Once you have a direction to move in, you’ll get a better sense of what actions deserve your attention and which ones don’t.
Make a schedule and stick to it
Start improving your time management skills by organising your days and weeks in advance. There will always be surprises, but it’s likely that you have an idea about the kinds of tasks and responsibilities you have to deal with every day. If you’re feeling a little lost, spend a week or two tracking every single thing you do each day. This will help you identify patterns and recurring tasks, which you can then incorporate into your schedule.
Finish on time
Stick to your deadlines and never make excuses – remember that if you keep avoiding work, it will eventually pile up. Tackling work as and when it comes in will help you be more efficient – but do remember to leave the office at a reasonable time. Tiring yourself out is never a good idea and being kind to yourself is part of the entire philosophy of good time management.
Review your day
Spend 5-10 minutes reviewing your task list every day before you leave the office. Give yourself a pat on the back if you achieved what you wanted. If you think your day’s effort fell short, decide what you’ll do differently tomorrow in order to accomplish what you need to. Leave the office in high spirits determined to pick up the thread the next day.
Effective time management skills are at the heart of a happier, more fulfilled life because you’ll be able to focus and achieve the outcomes that drive your passion. Give these tips a try and see what works for you. Your team, your partners, your clients, and even your family and friends will be much happier to be around you when you’re relaxed and on top of things.
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