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What is time management and how do you improve yours? Boost your productivity and play time with these time management tips and strategies!
As an entrepreneur, eventually, the day will come when you’ll learn all about time management, whether it’s the easy way or the hard way. If you’d like to learn about it the former route, you’ve come to the right place.
Time management is a vital life skill regardless if you’re working on the clock or not.
Better managing our time allows us to be more productive and gives us more time to do what we love!
What is time management?
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to allocate your time for specific activities.
Effective time management helps you work smarter, not harder.
You might need to hone this skill if you find yourself feeling aimless during “work” hours, failing to meet deadlines, and struggling with procrastination.
Why is time management important?
The truth is, what sets most high achievers apart from the crowd is their exceptional time management skills.
We all get the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s all about how you use them.
Good time management can help you reduce your stress and work more effectively even under pressure. So what are you waiting for? Brush up on your time management skills today!
Remember, productivity isn’t an exceptional talent reserved for the cream of the crop, but it’s a learned skill that you can develop over time and with the help of time management.
How can I improve my time management skills?
If you struggle to manage your time, don’t worry because there is hope for you.
At the root of time management, there is an essential lesson on prioritizing.
Let’s use a concept from Stephen Covey’s bestselling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, to illustrate how prioritization comes into play in time management.
Covey’s 4 Quadrants in the ‘time management matrix’ are labeled as:
- urgent and important
- NOT urgent but important
- urgent but NOT important
- NOT urgent and NOT important.
Sorting your tasks into these four groups will help you manage your time according to your most important tasks.
Use Covey’s time management matrix to help assess and prioritize your to-do list.
If you don’t take a step back to take a hard look at how you manage your time, you might end up wasting time on activities that won’t help you reach your goals in the long run.
Use the 4 quadrants to take a good look at how you should be spending your time vs. how you actually spend your time.
Helpful tips and strategies to help you improve your time management
Now that you see how prioritization and time management work hand in hand, we can look to other strategies to help improve your productivity skills.
Here are a few helpful time management tips and techniques to try during your next workweek.
1. Take advantage of your prime hours.
We all have periods throughout the day when we’re more focused, energized, and willing to get to work.
Find out your prime time and try to schedule the work that takes the most concentration during this time slot.
2. Create a daily plan or to-do list.
Don’t go into each day blindly.
Instead, make a plan the night before or in the morning. Structure your day around your most productive hours, and delegate based on priority.
Here’s another trick, too: Write down your tasks in your planner as if they’ve already been completed for an extra kick of motivation.
For example, write “submit completed document to client” rather than “write document and then send to the client.”
Trust me. You’ll look forward to marking more items off your list this way!
3. Break down your projects into smaller tasks.
Sometimes known as the “Swiss cheese method,” breaking down your more extensive assignment into smaller tasks can alleviate stress and increase your focus and motivation.
However, seeing a large task on your list can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination.
Counteract this downfall by trying out the Swiss cheese method instead.
4. Put a time limit on tasks.
If you aren’t putting timestamps on your to-do lists, it’s time to level up!
Setting time constraints will help improve your focus and increase your motivation to get a task done in time.
If you go over your time limit, simply reassess the time it takes you to complete a job, a readjust for next time.
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We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it’s all about how we manage ourselves and our time that makes a difference.
Improve your time management skills to achieve more work-life balance, efficiency, and productivity!