It may be difficult to believe, but the key to getting a handle on your days and hours is to hone your skills when it comes to best practices for time management.
You don’t have to work all hours of the day, micromanage your calendar, or always rush about in anticipation of your next appointment. That’s certainly a relief, now isn’t it?
It’s all about slowing down, taking your time, and thoughtfully viewing time management for what it is: a series of skills that need to be consistently honed.
In this post, I offer several ways for you to practice your time management skills. Come back to these tips whenever you need a time management tune-up.
You’ll definitely view your relationship to time management in a completely different way!
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Stop viewing time as an e
Do you view time as an emergency?
Even worse, do you view time management as an emergency that needs to be dealt with and quickly extinguished?
There’s absolutely no need to get stressed out over your calendar.
The truth of the matter is that time will pass whether or not you pay attention to it. Yes, that may seem painful, but it is what it is.
The next time you find yourself feeling rushed, anxious, or nervous about time, or your schedule in general, just stop.
What if you approached your schedule calmly and gently? What would happen if you took a deep breath, focused your intent, and planned out your time with clarity?
Once you stop viewing time as an emergency, you’ll learn how to actually live with it.
There is an ebb and flow to time, you just need to make sure you’re paying close attention to it!
Know your weak spots.
A lot of useful information can be gleaned from taking a close look at your time management weaknesses.
Yes, time management may not be your strength at the moment, but there’s probably at least one aspect of time management that’s causing you undue trouble and headache.
The only problem? You’ve got to do some careful thinking and reflecting to uncover it.
Do you get distracted easily at your desk or at the office? Maybe you flat-out ignore calendar entries scheduled into your planner?
It’s important to not discount any regular actions or reactions you take on a daily basis. These could be treasure troves of information for you.
Think about it for a moment: how do you spend your time during the day?
Make the most out of breaks in your schedule.
Time management isn’t just about being busy, it’s also about taking much-needed rest and breaks.
Remember, you don’t have to fill up every moment of your day with a scheduled activity.
Your calendar is important simply because it is your calendar! That being said, are you making the most out of breaks in your schedule?
Are you taking your full coffee and work breaks? Do you take your full lunch hour? Have you maxed out your vacation and personal time this year at work?
If you’re severely lacking in the break department, you may want to make some changes…and fast.
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Identify your favorite techniques.
You have favorite ways of spending your time…so why not determine your favorite ways of managing your time?
After all, you’re more likely to stick with your favorite time management techniques and tools than those you find less than desirable.
Take a moment to compile a short list of your favorite tools and techniques. Which ones do you enjoy using? Which ones do you absolutely love to use?
Here’s some time management techniques to get you started: time-boxing, the Pomodoro technique, the Pareto principle, and the Eisenhower Box.
You’ll not only work efficiently, but you’ll actually look forward to using your preferred technique or time management tool.
Try out a new technique every month.
Get in the habit of experimenting with a new time management technique every couple of weeks.
This will really get you thinking about how you’re currently managing your time.
You’ll start to experience time from a different angle, plus, this new technique might even help you get things done more efficiently!
When trying out a new time management technique, stick with managing a non-urgent task or project.
This will give you enough time to work at your own pace while working out the kinks.
Once you’re comfortable with your new technique, you can apply it to other tasks and projects.
Work on improving a single issue.
Trying to solve all of your time management issues at the same time?
If you can improve on just a single issue, you’ll have the momentum and skills you’ll need to address other areas of your schedule.
So, how about resolving to leave the house on time in the morning? What about ending all of your office meetings on time? o
When you’ve mastered your time management skill of choice, you can of course move on to another.
Never stop learning.
It’s a good idea to keep your time management skills sharp. You can expand your skillset by listening to a variety time management podcasts, reading blogs, books, magazines, attending lectures, or taking courses.
Another great way to learn about time management is to simply learn from your mistakes.
Try review your schedule at the end of each week and ask yourself such questions as, “Could I have prevented this time management issue from happening?” or, “How might I solve a similar issue in future?”