We live in a world of limited resources, and the most limited of resources is time. Easily wasted and impossible to get back, time is the only resource required for every aspect of your life. February is Time Management Month, so we’re doing a lot of thinking about we manage our time!
Unfortunately time management isn’t just a nice sounding buzzword for your resume, it’s a very necessary skill for both work and personal life. Time management is the ability to plan and control how you spend the very limited hours in your day. Having excellent time management skills helps you prioritize your responsibilities to get everything done. Failing to possess these skills results in procrastination, problems with self-control, and interpersonal problems.
To help you manage your time in the inevitable busyness of life, we’ve compiled a list of 3 things you need to be thinking about when attempting to schedule and manage your time. You can also check out one of our online time management training courses available through OpenSesame.
This isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is too easy to start your day on social media and by checking your email and fail to save enough time for important tasks. This kind of priority problem sucks away all your free time and leaves you feeling busy and generally unfulfilled. It causes problems at work and in your social circle because you can never give the important people and tasks in your life the attention they deserve. Instead you need to focus on giving time to the important things in your life first. You will always have time to check emails and social media, but if you focus your time on those distractions, you don’t save time for the important things. For a visual example of how to prioritize watch this fantastic video: The Productivity System.
2. Learn to say “no”
If you say yes to every task asked of you chances are you will take on more responsibilities than you can handle. Being a great employee doesn’t necessarily mean doing as much work as possible, it means producing consistently high quality work. If taking on too many responsibilities gets in the way of your work quality you need to be able to say no. This article by Forbes gives a basic layout of how to say no at work.
3. Set goals
Make lists—lists of goals for the year, quarter, month, week, and day, recording what you want to do and what you’ve done. If you haven’t written down your goals you’re likely to forget them, put them off, or let the idea that “you didn’t really need to do that anyway” take over. Setting goals helps you keep track of where your time has gone and where you want it to go.
Time management is the key to personal organization. Start practicing your time management skills and you’ll see results quickly. The piles of work that keep you awake at night will shrink, your persistent headache will be a distant memory, and your relationships with friends and coworkers will be better than ever.
Prioritizing, saying no, and setting goals are only a few of the many strategies for managing your time. No one strategy works for everyone; check out OpenSesame’s full time management catalog to find the strategy that works for you. For more advice on time management strategies see what elearning guru Kevin Thorne has to say here.