Easy Ways To Learn Time Management Skills That Skyrocket Your Career & Streamline Your Life
To learn time management skills, you should think about it like taking a long trip. Just as you’ll enjoy some lovely views, experience some setbacks and risks, even encounter an adventure or two along the way, you’ll find it a rough, uneven path to learn time management.
No matter what you learn, or who teaches you, it eventually boils down to whether or not you are serious about managing your time, and how much effort you will put into practice.
Once you are aware of how you use your time, and know about setting priorities, focusing on important work, and getting things done, you will be on the fast track to time management success.
Strategies to Help Learn Time Management
Many students, managers and employees learn time management to grow in their career, develop good habits, and enjoy financial rewards from better managing their time. They have found a strategy helpful in internalizing whatever they learned.
- First, study new time management concepts.
- Second, practice it in day to day life.
- Third, repeat the process for a new skill or technique.
Here are some time management ideas you can start to work with.
1. Block off time for work and breaks
Planning your day by assigning blocks of time for specific activities can be very helpful. For instance, you might set aside an hour every evening after you return from school, college or work, during which you will carry out one of the important tasks on your list.
You shouldn’t waste this time on anything else. It is a sacred promise you make to yourself.
And keeping that promise takes highest priority in your life. You will soon make it a helpful habit, and by setting yourself blocks during which to tackle specific activities, you’ll grow in efficiency.
2. Dedicate a place to work
Distractions and interruptions can derail your best laid plans. It is important to have a place that is free from distraction, where people know not to disturb you. It may be at home, in the office, or even somewhere else.
Just make sure not to allow anyone to interrupt you while you work on your tasks.
3. Review progress
A weekly audit of your activities will quickly reveal whether or not you are staying on track. As you learn time management and master new tricks and tweaks, you might get off target trying to implement everything, and fall behind on reaching your goals.
A review of progress every week or so can show you where you need to focus and can get you back on track quickly.
4. Prioritize assignments
Starting with the biggest, hardest or most time consuming task is a way to ensure that you’ll deal with it when you’re fresh. But make sure that what you address is really important to your overall goals.
You’ll have to stay flexible enough to allow for unexpected events in your day. By setting correct priorities, you’ll ensure that you’ll complete the most important tasks anyway.
5. Postpone unnecessary activities
It can be frustrating to learn time management, especially when you find it takes away from some entertainment and relaxation.
When friends and family go off to have fun, it can be hard to turn down their invitation to concentrate on important work. But only if you postpone unnecessary activities will you ever be able to get what matters done.
Learning Time Management – How Important Is it?
Learning time management easily ranks as among the most important things you can do in your life.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in school or college, at work or managing a household, a retiree, trainer or anything else. Learn time management and it will transform your life in many ways.
Unless you can organize information and put it to good use, there is no point at all in learning time management. And all the learning in the world will do you no good unless you can follow through and put it into action, instead of procrastinating and wasting time.
Younger people understand this concept of managing time at an earlier age these days.
That’s because you’re aware of how it’s possible to differentiate oneself from the stiff competition out there. Simply by handing information better and managing your time more effectively, you gain a competitive edge.
Careers are made or broken depending upon how well you learn time management skills.
How to learn time management?
Theory is of little value without active and intentional practice. Here are some things to put to use in your day to day life which will help you manage time better and enhance productivity.
1. Deal with email effectively
Emptying your inbox by tackling incoming email is a rare talent and requisite skill.
- Organize your mail into folders.
- Deal with messages promptly.
- Don’t hesitate over what to do – either act, or file it away for later.
- Save important messages.
- Print out essential ones, and delete junk.
Taking action on email as soon as you read it will set you apart from the crowd and boost your productivity.
2. Stop doing too many things at once
Multitasking is silly, unless you’re just wasting time anyway. Watching TV while texting a friend and nodding your head to music from your iPod may not be entirely detrimental to productivity.
But when you’re at work, concentrate on the project or task you are involved in – to the exclusion of everything else.
3. Tackle what matters most
On your ‘to do’ list, you must set priorities. The tasks that are most important to your long term goals must be the ones you deal with first.
Get the most crucial work done, and it won’t matter if you do little else over the course of your work day. That’s why planning your day ahead of time is such a good idea.
4. Organize your work
Do you waste a lot of time hunting for information, resources, reminders or stuff?
You can cut down on waste and improve your efficiency when you stay organized. Use bookmarking services to store online data. Have an effective filing system for paper and other offline items.
5. Match work to your rhythm
Everybody has preferred working patterns.
I’m more efficient later at night than most of my friends, who do their best work in the mornings. Your unique pattern will be different.
Identifying your biorhythm and scheduling your important tasks to coincide with your periods of highest energy and productivity can help enhance your effectiveness.
6. Get started – and keep going
Make things easy to begin work. Learning time management means understanding the core sense of inertia that holds many people back.
Once you start, it’s often easy to continue until work gets done. So by making things easy to begin, you’ll improve your chances of finishing them.
7. Be slow but steady
Rushing around like a headless chicken is no way to be more efficient. In fact, you may tire yourself out achieving little. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of frustration after you get started.
Learn time management because it’s all about mastering these nuances.
You don’t simply read a book about becoming more efficient and magically transform your life overnight. It takes a deeper understanding of the principles of Time Management Tao.
How To Learn Time Management Skills
Do you believe that the best way to learn time management skills is to read books or attend courses about it?
Most books about how to learn time management skills emphasize being disciplined. Personally, however, that’s hard to follow… and stifling too.
Most home-based business owners and entrepreneurs choose to follow that somewhat unconventional path to following their heart essentially because they don’t like the confining environment of a disciplined, organized workplace. To replicate what they hate in their own business is often hard to do.
But here’s the good news – I’ve personally found decisiveness and determination a lot more effective in helping learn time management skills and better manage time than a stringent adherence to a time-table or imposed limitations.
My own workspace is apparently chaotic – though I can find anything within seconds. My computer files are pretty unstructured – but have a rough system or organization. And my notes are often jumbled up and mixed – yet I can often compile them for a project.
How does that work?
I’m decisive when it comes to selecting or making choices. When I read email, there are only 3 quick choices to make – delete, read and reply now, or leave for later.
It takes me less than 3 seconds per email to decide.
I’m determined to finish things. This pig-headed stubbornness at completing tasks has helped me achieve a lot more than I could have managed – even if I were meticulously disciplined.
And that’s why the best way to learn time management skills is to get your hands dirty, and try out whatever system or method you want to learn.
For instance, let’s take the important, every day time management secret of how to productively use travel time.
All of us travel, often for a large part of our day. And during that transit period, we all have what we appreciate is “down time”. It may amount to a few hours every day.
So, how best to use it?
You might imagine it takes an elaborate time management strategy to come up with an answer – but it actually is quite simple, if you take the hands on approach to learn time management skills.
Plan to be bored!
I always take along a book or other reading material with me, or have audio recordings that I can listen to while driving.
Whenever a “dead” moment pops up, I have some productive way to use it.
This is what many time management courses teach. But adapting it to my unique circumstances takes some more practical application.
Of course, sometimes it’s best to simply feel bored and just rest if you’re really tired.
But the best way to learn time management skills and understand how to optimize your utilization of that precious resource is to try out different things and find what works best for you.
These are simple principles that you’ll hear about when you learn time management.
But practicing them, and then incorporating them into your lifestyle can be challenging and difficult, in the beginning. Persevere and stick with it, and soon you’ll be living the 3 tenets of Time Management Tao, which are:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN
You can also learn more about time management by signing up for our free email newsletter, the “Time Taozine” and exploring the rest of this site.