In our modern technological world, Time Management Skills are vital. We all have to manage a never-ending list of things to do, both in our personal and professional lives. Sometimes we can feel that it is all too much, and we could find ourselves becoming close to breaking point. If this is you, do not worry. Take some of your precious time right now, set it aside and read this article for some immediate help.
Here are 7 skills that you can use in your life…from today. Let them help you on your journey to becoming more productive and living a stress-free life!
7 Time Management Skills That Everybody Can Learn
1) Setting Boundaries For Yourself
It is all very well saying you are only going to do this and only going to do that. But how many times do you find that you have bitten off more than you can chew? If this is happening, you need to reassess your boundaries. Set yourself limits for everything and stick to them. How many hours you will work each day. If there are overtime opportunities and you need the money still be open to it, but decide beforehand the extra hours you can do.
Do you find that some family members can suck your time from you in an unproductive way? If so, make sure that you limit your time with these people. You are still enjoying precious family time, but you are also still in control of your own life.
If you do not want to do some things in your life, it is fine to say No. If you are one of those people that is always helping everybody else, it is very easy to over commit. Take control. Your body and mind will be grateful for it. Listen to your body…you will know when you have reached your limit.
Download and fill in the free Time Management excel spreadsheet, and this will put things in perspective for you!
2) Master the Art of Meetings
We all have to attend meetings, both in our personal and professional lives. In work situations, meetings can sometimes feel more a hindrance than something productive. Nobody is going to do your work for you while you are in the meeting. It is all going to be there waiting for you 🙂
But the trick is to start viewing meetings in a different way. Be focused. Put some new Time Management Skills into action. Make sure that you always make some notes, before any meeting. Do not be reliant on the Agenda. It will help you in the meeting to mention the most important things related to your work. Your colleagues will see you as an organised, team-player.
If you want to go a step further, check out this article by Brian Scudamore on Forbes. To learn more about productive meetings.
Additionally, there is an article from Amanda Athuraliya at Creately, that goes in-depth on how to conduct a meeting effectively, and how to use visual meeting tools to help you!
3) Just Stop
It might seem obvious, but how many of us decide to stop and reassess when time is running away with us. Next time you feel overwhelmed and under pressure, stop what you are doing and go and sit somewhere quiet. Take a few moments to reflect on how you feel. Relax. Breathe in and out and listen to your breathing.
Moments like this can save not only you but also your colleagues, family, friends. We all want to give our best in all situations. But if you are feeling “under the cosh” how can you expect to give it 100%. We perform better and are more productive when we are not stressed and over-worked.
Make a conscious effort to keep an eye on yourself and stop when you have to. Collecting your thoughts can also make you sharper. You will find that new ideas will jump at you. Here are some other ideas for taking a Time Out.
4) Email City
This is one of the best Time Management Skills that you can learn. Managing emails can be a job in itself! I know some people who have over 3,000 emails sitting in their Inbox for their personal email accounts. I always wonder how they ever manage to find anything. But I am sure that they use the search function on a regular basis 🙂
I organise both my personal and work email accounts by using folders. It is a simple tool and very effective.
Create folders for each of your subjects. Once you have dealt with an email, you then need to move it to the respective folder. You will then know that everything left in your Inbox, still needs to be dealt with. If you currently have over 3,000 emails in your Inbox, grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea and get to work!
Once you have the system set up, it will save you so much time. Enjoy!
5) Life versus Work – There is only one winner
Wake up and smell the roses! I have been a victim of this, and if we are honest with ourselves, we all have been at some point in our lives. It is very common to hear about the work-life balance. The art of being able to have a happy, successful life and also have a career at the same time.
If you work and have children, you will have moments in your life when you missed something that your children did. At the end of the day, if you can pay your bills, have a comfortable life enjoying your family and friends and are happy, this is a great feeling. If you happen to be career-driven and love working, it is also awesome to go for this as well.
But remember…at the end of the day…work can change in the blink of an eye. Family and friends are with you for life. Make sure you do not forget about them. Look after them and they, in turn, will look after you.
6) Plan the night before
It might be the clothes you are going to wear the next day. It could be making a list of everything you want to do tomorrow. There are many things that you can plan the night before.
This will give you a head start for the next day. Prior planning can take the headache out of waking up in the morning and having a jumble of ideas and thoughts running around in your brain. Remove any potential stress by nipping it in the bud. Start using your Time Management Skills. Set aside 30 minutes of your time every night, to prepare for the next day.
It even sounds like a bad word when you say it out loud. If you can stop procrastinating you will save time. It does not achieve anything…literally 🙂
I know a few Master Procrastinators. They love putting things off. At the last minute, they completely stress themselves out. Trying to complete something in a short space of time.
I am no angel. I have my moments. But generally, I am quite disciplined. This is the key.
The next time you notice that you are stalling on something, stop and think about it. How long will it take you to do it? If your answer is less than 15 minutes and you have time right now, do it immediately. If it is going to take you 30 minutes or more, schedule it for later that day and do it. No ifs or buts.
Here are some more tips on how to stop Procrastination.
Start using these Time Management Skills in your life. They are completely free. You can use them for just about anything that involves Time. Sometimes just a little change can make a huge difference in your life.