Your Guide to Time Management Skills: Everything You Need to Know To Start Your Successful Pivot

Written by Domantas Vanagas

January 2, 2022

Did you know that time management skills may help you find a better job? It’s true, especially if you can highlight them properly on your resume. Unfortunately, many people struggle to understand the different professional time management methods available on the market or simply don’t have excellent time management skills. Thankfully, these skills aren’t necessarily innate and are things that you can not only learn but boost through careful practice and execution.

The best time management skills can help improve your overall operation by allowing you to schedule your work in ways that maximize your production capability. In this article, we’ll take a look at the types of skills you can integrate to improve your time management, why these skills are so beneficial, and give 10 examples of ways you can improve your time management skills with relative ease.

What are Time Management Skills?

Time management skills are unique abilities like organization, prioritization, and communication. They help provide a broad range of benefits that make your life easier and improve your work and personal life.

close up shot of a desk with clock and papers around

A few of the most crucial time management skills include the following ideas listed below. We give each section the time necessary to explore its many benefits and effects of good time management.

Organization

Excellent time management typically starts with organization. By understanding the layout of your day and the unique organization required to schedule your day, it should be easier to plan all of your day’s events. Learning to be organized requires examining your current skillset, seeing how well you schedule your day and making adjustments to ensure that your day is more streamlined.

Prioritization

You can’t be organized if you don’t understand prioritizing your day’s duties. Why is prioritization so important? If you don’t understand the priority of your work, you’re likely to tackle more manageable tasks first and end up with nothing but hard things to do that may challenge and fatigue you. Prioritization includes listing jobs as urgent and important, based on how soon they need to be done and their vitality to your success.

Communication

Time management centers heavily around properly communicating your schedule with others and ensuring your plans meet the needs of your co-workers and managers. If you don’t take the time to balance these facets properly, there’s a good chance that you might end up creating scheduling conflicts that throw your best-laid plans at severe risk of failure.

Setting Goals

Do you know how to set goals for your daily work? If not, you’re going to struggle to handle any time management plan. However, knowing your time management goals for the day should help give you a better understanding of what you need to do every day, avoid feeling overburdened, and ensure that you meet your more extensive work needs. Thankfully, it should be reasonably simple to set your goals without running into problems.

Delegation

Too many people try to tackle all of their company’s tasks or duties and find themselves swamped with work. However, you don’t have to have your hands on everything for your business to succeed. Delegation can help you out by not only taking many duties off your plate and improving your time management but can also bring in outside ideas that make your work even more successful than anticipated.

Stress Management

If you’re feeling a high level of stress, excellent time management skills may help. They should make it easier for you to handle your daily duties without getting overwhelmed and minimize your stress. Typically, a good schedule includes breaks and even meetings that may help to reduce your stress by keeping you on task, minimizing your distractions, and refreshing your mental health at the same time.

Why are Time Management Skills Important?

Time management skills are more than serving as buzzwords for your self-improvement. They can also provide you with many real and tangible improvements in your life and work.

man is speaking on a phone while drinking coffee

Just a few benefits that you might experience when utilizing excellent time management skills include how it:

  • Streamlines Your Work: Did you know that many people waste hours of their work schedule every day on social media or poorly plan their day? Better time management will help you avoid these wastes of your time and keep you focused on your job without working too hard

  • Improves Your Self-Discipline: You strengthen your self-discipline by learning better time management skills. For example, you can learn how to plan your day better, when to avoid social media, and improve your overall work experience and minimize unnecessary extra work

  • Enhances Your Performance: People who feel behind and work to catch up likely do a rushed job on their tasks and execute them poorly. Better time management helps by giving each of your vital tasks the focus and attention they need and deserve to finish correctly

  • Minimizes Personal Stress: Are you struggling with stress at work because you can’t handle your daily tasks? Better skills with time management may help by providing you with the hands-on ability you need to tackle your job better and avoid feeling unnecessarily stressed out.

As you can see, better time management skills can provide you with the work improvement you need to get ahead. However, suppose you feel uncomfortable with your time management capabilities and don’t understand how to improve them. In that case, it is a good idea to follow the tips below to get the best experience for your needs.

When Tom Peters said:

“The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity”

He was highlighting how positive reinforcement helps improve productivity by making planning more accessible and inspiring others to work harder at all their tasks.

10 Tips to Improve Time Management Skills

We’ve reached multiple papers and carefully examined multiple studies before we brainstormed this handful of valuable tips that will make boost your time management skills. In between every third tip, we’ll include detailed examples that explain different ways you can use these tips. In this way, you should find it simple to understand this process and will learn more about yourself and your planning without having to spend a lot of excessive time.

Tip 1: Plan Ahead

You don’t want to leave your tasks or your planning to change by starting later than necessary. So always plan on starting before you’re initially scheduled to work on it. Scheduling in this extra work time also helps to provide you with the chance to potentially finish early and gives you wiggle room if you run behind on anything. As a result, your day shouldn’t feel hectic or demanding. Understanding the importance of proper scheduling can elevate all of your skills by a mile!

Tip 2: Limit Your Tasks and Duties

While it’s sometimes good to have a busy day, you should try to avoid adding too much work to your day. The key to a healthy life is a strong balance between work and life duties or tasks. If you’re overloading yourself with too many tasks and not tackling them properly, there’s a good chance that your time management will suffer. Know what you can do in a day and focus only on those tasks to finish them easier and have more free time with friends and family.

Tip 3: Practice What You Preach

Don’t just say that you’re going to change your time management and then fail to do so. Instead, take the time to carefully understand the skills mentioned above and gauge your abilities in each. For instance, if you find that you lack patience or proper scheduling skills, identify why you struggle with this task and take the time to understand how you can improve yourself in this unique arena.

person is holding a clock

Example: You have a big production deadline looming ahead that you need to plan for a few months in advance to meet adequately. You set up your days and weeks by tackling each of these tasks one at a time, focusing on limiting your tasks and duties to what you can handle every day. For instance, you may find yourself focusing on improving production techniques one day and then on streamlining design another.

Just as importantly, you can continually set good examples for your workplace by highlighting your skills in action. Discuss your successful planning technique with co-workers and give them a better understanding of how to execute each to ensure that they stay focused and happy. Then, consider integrating these concepts into future production methods or using ideas like SCRUM to focus your time management.

Tip 4: Always Include Daily Breaks

Breaks aren’t just a way to refresh your mind but a helpful way of scheduling your day. For example, you can use the Pomodoro Technique to schedule work periods and use your short break at the end of each Pomodoro to plan your work tasks. You also give yourself time to example problems from new angles and tackle complex processes without overwhelming yourself at the same time.

Tip 5: Master Your Prioritization

Just about every time management method uses a prioritization system to keep tasks flowing. Focus on urgency and importance and break down each of your duties under these headings. Mastering this step helps to improve your time management skills by ensuring that you understand which tasks need the most focus and how to provide the proper attention required for each of these tasks and duties.

Example: When working on meeting your manufacturing deadline, you may prioritize things like product design and manufacturing processes. Tackle these steps early on and make sure you set up regular reviews of these crucial steps. In this way, you should spot potential complications early and avoid having to make significant adjustments to your overall process later in execution.

You can then plan your day around these priorities and take breaks regularly to refresh your brain. Utilize your breaks when tackling smaller tasks in your day, including doing what Benjamin Franklin may have called minor work. This minor work may include approving various design plans or calling people to let them know that you’ve reached a milestone in your production or manufacturing.

Tip 6: Organization is Key

Do you have an unorganized mind or office and struggle to manage your time? Take the time to sort through your clutter and figure out ways of streamlining your office layout.

person is hiding in unorganized sheets

Clutter is a great time thief and can be improved by placing things in the proper storage area, taking the time to produce a meaningful filing system, and avoiding unnecessary clutter around your workplace.

Tip 7: Set Personal Deadlines

All of your work should have deadlines that help make it easier to plan your day-to-day tasks. However, you should also include personal deadlines for each of your day’s duties. For example, if you have a report due at the end of the week, you may want to set a deadline for halfway through the week. You can then use the extra time to tweak the report and ensure it is as high-quality as possible.

Example: Setting personal deadlines for your tasks may help improve your organization by focusing your day on the most critical and urgent tasks of the day. For instance, you may organize your day around tackling all of your personal deadlines and turning them in on time to your team leads. Then, you can manage the rest of your week to follow these simple guidelines.

Using our manufacturing example, you may find yourself organizing the manufacturing process to cut back on inefficiencies by minimizing unnecessary steps that just complicate things. You may also use your organization skills to create a simple filing system that takes your production paperwork and places it in filing cabinets that minimize clutter and keep your office free from clutter.

Tip 8: Know Your Work Cycle

Everybody works at different paces and with varying work cycles. Don’t be ashamed if your work cycle is slower than other people’s. Instead, just plan your time management around it. Trying to force yourself to work too fast is likely to result in sloppy and poor work. Improving your time management skills should help to give you a better understanding of this vital fact and keep your work clean.

Tip 9: Stop Multitasking

The myth of time management and multitasking is one of the most damaging in the business world. Simply put, science has shown that multitasking is not a great way to plan your day and can affect your productivity in brutal ways. As a result, it is essential to start focusing on single tasks in your day, working on a single goal until it is done. This method works so much better towards achieving outstanding results.

Tip 10: Know When to Adjust Your Schedule

Do you feel comfortable with your time management skills but still don’t seem to get what you want to be done? It might be time to carefully adjust your schedule to ensure that you get everything done on time. This problem often occurs when you take on too many tasks at once by refusing to say no to anything. Don’t overburden yourself! Know what you can handle and adjust your schedule as needed.

Bonus Quote on Time Management to Conclude

“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo

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