Want to learn new time management skills?
Time is your most valuable resource. However, millions of people struggle not to waste it. That’s why we put together a list of 15 time management skills that you can start building today!
But, why should you worry about time management?
Why Are Time Management Skills So Crucial These Days?
So why is it so important to learn how to manage your time? Here are three reasons:
Time is your most valuable resource
There are only 24 hours in your day. During that time you’ll have to eat, sleep, work, commute and countless other things. And once your day is gone, there’s no getting it back.
Learning how to manage your time will help you accomplish more during your day. You can increase your productivity and spend time on the things that really matter.
Organizing your time helps you think
When you don’t manage your time properly, you get stressed. When you get stressed, you can’t think clearly. And if you can’t think clearly, you may take longer to do your tasks, which only makes you more stressed.
Organizing your time helps you focus on one thing at a time, knowing you already have time for everything!
Time management lets you do more
When you organize your time, you can do more things throughout your day.
You can organize your week to make sure you’ll have enough time to be productive and set apart a few hours for you. That way, you can learn that new skill you’ve been meaning to learn, fix something in your house, or just to have fun!
15 Most Important Time Management Skills (and How to Build Them)
Here are the 15 most important time management skills you can start applying today.
1. Minimizing Distractions
We live in a loud world. From email and Slack alerts to your buzzing phone, it’s very easy to get distracted and lose our train of thought. Muting alerts is very easy, but what if you just can’t find a quiet place to have a phone call? Having a loud environment can diminish your ability to concentrate, cause misunderstandings and completely ruin communication.
That’s where Krisp comes in.
Krisp is the world’s best AI-powered noise cancelling technology that adapts to your needs. Krisp lets you reduce distractions in any phone call or video call by eliminating the background noise from a call. That way you can focus on your call without getting distracted by your barking dog or someone’s loud partner.
2. Setting SMART Goals
The SMART frame is very useful to set up goals that you can actually reach. SMART goals are:
Specific – What exactly do you want to accomplish?
Measurable – How will you know how well you accomplished your goal?
Achievable – Is your goal attainable?
Realistic – Can you realistically achieve your goal?
anchored within a Time Frame – When do you want to reach your goal?
SMART helps you develop a goal to completion and gives you the tools to do it.
3. Delegating Tasks
Sometimes you realize you just can’t manage everything. Delegating is a vital part of team work and proper delegation is very important to keep and maintain productivity, especially when dealing with large teams.
Delegate isn’t just dumping tasks.To properly delegate first create a list of tasks other people can do. Define who those people are and how you’ll measure their success. Give them tasks with clear deadlines and rewards. That way, you’ll have accountable people fulfilling the tasks you can’t do.
4. The 20 Minute Rule
You know that feeling when you’re concentrated and feel like you’re performing better than ever? We usually call it “getting in the zone”. People find it hard to achieve, but, when they “get in the zone”, their productivity is immediately increased.
But, what if you could “get in the zone” anytime you wanted?
That’s what the 20 minute rule is about. You start by preparing yourself mentally. You set an alarm for 20 minutes and, as soon as the timer starts, you give a task your full and undivided attention. When the alarm goes off, you take a break. You then repeat this cycle until your job is completed.
Prioritizing is one of the most important skills you need to master to properly manage your time. To help you prioritize tasks, list your activities and ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I doing this?
- How will this task help me achieve my goals?
- How important are these tasks for my goals?
Answering these questions will help your process of managing tasks, since you’ll know what you need to do first, and why.
6. Auditing your time
Every now and then, step back and reassess how you spend your time. How long do you spend on different tasks? Which tasks are you relegating? Which tasks could you relegate?
Auditing your time can give you a very realistic look of how you manage it and can give you the insights you need to improve. Create a timeline of your week and check how you actually spend your time. You can then choose which productivity tools you need and find better ways to do your schedule.
7. Saying no
Managing your time can sometimes mean learning when to say no. Your time is only your own and wasting it will only affect you.
Be mentally prepared to know which tasks you will not be able to do and decline them.
8. Doing your MITs in the morning
Most people have a lot of energy during the morning. In the morning, it’s less likely that you’ll be overwhelmed with work and tired from all the work you’ve been doing.
Spend that time doing your most important tasks (MIT). That way you’ll free up the rest of the day!
9. Tracking your time
Do you know how long you spend on each task? If you don’t know, how can you plan your time?
Tracking your time can help you figure out how long you spend on each task and can give you valuable insights. You may find out you’re from the 9% of people that check their email five times a day or find that you’re spending way too little in your most important tasks.
To start tracking your time you can use a simple spreadsheet or a time tracker. That way you can find bottlenecks and possible ways to improve your daily routine.
10. Organizing your day the night before
Do you have trouble sleeping because of all the tasks you need to do the next day? Do you feel overwhelmed every morning, not knowing where to start?
Organizing your day the night before can help you set your goals, and even sleep better! By listing down what you want to accomplish the next day on a to-do list app or a notebook, you go to bed knowing how you’ll tackle your tasks. When you wake up, you’ll know exactly where to start.
11. Eating healthy and exercising
Doing some exercise and eating your fruits and veggies isn’t great just for staying in shape. According to a 2013 paper by Harvard University, proper diet and exercise can help you to eliminate that brain fog and even to prevent mental decline!
A clear mind is a productive mind, so start your morning with some crunches!
12. Grouping together similar tasks
You need to be on a different mindset to complete different tasks. That’s why sometimes you may feel like doing some work but not other. If you force yourself to do different tasks one after the other, your concentration can suffer.
Instead, start by grouping together similar tasks. If you have to edit a few videos, write some papers and try some new products, group the tasks that are more like each other to do them sequentially. That way you don’t have to keep switching your approach!
13. Avoiding perfection
Aiming for perfection can help your work excel. However, keeping that mentality can keep you over-analyzing and drag out the time you spend on a task.
Instead, try to do your best with everything, but keep in mind the importance of what you’re doing. You can do this by completing your work, take a break and then do a quick review, by keeping in mind the most important areas of the tasks or simply by trusting your instincts.
14. Avoiding multitasking
Multitasking can be tempting. After all, if you have multiple tasks, why not try and do them together?
However multiple studies show time and time again that multitasking simply doesn’t work. At best you’ll spend just as much time. At worst? You’ll end up spending way more time doing your job worse.
Instead, focus on one task at a time and give it your undivided attention, and avoid getting distracted.
15. Taking regular breaks
Just like with multitasking, working without stopping may seem like the best way to do the most amount of work in the least amount of time. However, the truth is that no one can maintain proper energy and concentration for hours at a time.
Taking breaks is not the same as wasting time.
Instead, see breaks as putting gas in your car: you need to stop and refill in order for your car to go further. Set alarms to remind yourself to take breaks and accompany them with something to keep your spirit high, like inspiring quotes. If you want to take your breaks to the next level, use them to do activities like mindfulness and meditation.
Once your tank is full, you can start racing to your goal!
Ready to manage your time effectively?
You’ll never get back the time you lost. That’s why developing these skills can have an immediate positive impact on your productivity.
Learn to manage your time and enjoy the rewards!