How Are Your Time Management Skills?
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
How do you rank your time management skills? Do you have this never-ending feeling that there are never enough hours in the day? Figure out how effectively manage your time. Evaluate what is working what is not working. Here are 15 ways to help you with your time management.
15 Strategies That Make You Good at Managing Your Time
1. You work on the tasks of the highest priority first.
2. You complete tasks in a timely manner and don’t need any extensions. In other words, you complete your work on time or before the deadline.
3. You have time set aside in your day for schedule planning.
4. You know how much time it takes you to complete various jobs that you have to do.
5. You are able to put off interruptions and deal with them after you have completed your project.
6. You set goals for yourself to help you prioritize the activities and tasks you should work on first.
7. You have time set aside in your schedule to deal with unexpected things which arise.
8. You have ranked each of your tasks which you are working on with a scale of high, medium, or low importance.
9. When you receive a new assignment you analyze it to start with to determine the level of importance and prioritize it accordingly.
10. You don’t find yourself stressing about deadlines and commitments you have to complete.
11. You aren’t affected by distractions that keep you from working on critical tasks.
12. You don’t need to take work home with you to get it done or save it to complete another day.
13. You have prioritized your to-do list or action plan to have you completing your tasks in a much timelier manner.
14. You go over your priorities with your boss or members of your household to make sure you’re on track and everyone is on the same page.
15. Before you begin a task you make sure that the results are going to be worth your time.
If you do all of these things all the time, then you are a rare diamond in the rough. Most people do have difficulty achieving everything on the above list. There’s also always something you can do better, so check out some where you may still need improvement.
Areas Where You Can Improve Your Time Management
* Goal setting. It is important to set goals for yourself and whatever projects you are working on. This will help you know the order of importance in which you need to do things in and also determine how long it will take you to complete each one.
* Prioritizing. Knowing what is of the utmost importance to complete any given task will help tremendously in time management. To-do lists are a great tool, but only if they are put together by order of importance. Make sure you spend time figuring out what you must complete first and then do it.
* Managing interruptions. You can’t get anything done if you’re constantly getting interrupted. That’s why it’s important that you have tools to manage interruptions. If that means shutting off the phone for an hour or so a day or only checking your emails at certain times during the day, then do it, but be sure to use that hour wisely.
* Procrastinating. Putting off work leads to far too many incomplete tasks and far too much stress. It’s important that if you’re a procrastinator, you work on improving that. Try adding a reward to your mini-goals. A gourmet cup of coffee for example or some type of inexpensive treat. Maybe you’ve been eyeing a journal, stationary or new golf balls. Give yourself mini-deadlines for these goals and when you meet them, treat yourself.
* Scheduling. This is what time management is all about. Create your schedule by anticipating interruptions. This way you hopefully won’t end up getting off schedule ever, therefore avoiding a whole lot of stress.
Working on these areas of time management will make you much more effective at work and home and you’ll feel much less stressed. Which strategies are you already doing well? What are some ideas that you will incorporate?