Time Management 101: Elevate Productivity and Yourself
Time is valuable. Think about it.
How much of your typical work week do you spend stressed about not having enough time? Completing a task or reaching a goal can often feel impossible without adding extra hours to the day.
Unfortunately, we can’t control how the Earth moves around the sun or the rate at which it spins on its axis. But, we can take steps to be more productive with the time we have.
Time management skills can take time to develop. There are lots of different ways to tackle the issue — you can download apps, adjust your bedtime, create lists, etc. But you’re unlikely to be truly successful until you understand your quality of life is dependent on having a schedule that works for you.
First, you have to get an idea of the big picture. Step back from your life and determine your priorities. Setting goals, even small goals, can help. Maybe you think, “I want to have dinner with my family at the table three nights a week.” or “I want to secure a promotion within the next calendar year,” or “I want time to take a two-week vacation.”
Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to build a schedule that gets you there. To get a handle on why managing your time effectively is important, and what you stand to gain from it check out these…
8 reasons time management is so crucial:
1. Time is limited.
No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Since we can’t magically stretch time, we can only try to fit more into each day or use clever scheduling techniques to play a better game of Tetris with our blocks of time.
2. You actually can accomplish more with less.
When you learn to take control of your time, you improve your ability to focus. And with increased focus comes enhanced efficiency because you won’t lose momentum. You’ll start breezing through tasks more quickly as your more organized routine becomes habitual.
3. Improved decision-making ability.
No matter what time management technique works best for you, simply having a system in place will boost your ability to forecast your availability and time commitments far in advance. That way you’ll never say yes only to find yourself overcommitted and pass up on something amazing only to regret it later. This will also save you money. No more emergency takeout because of poor grocery planning or all-nighters to avoid missed deadlines. Through effective time management, you can eliminate the pressure that comes from feeling like you don’t have enough time.
4. Become more successful.
Time management is definitely one of the keys to success. It allows you to accomplish more each day, make sound decisions, and be more in control. This translates into becoming more successful across the board. People notice and recognition follows. Leadership will come to you to get things done. And that increased exposure will help get you ahead.
5. Learning opportunities are everywhere.
Obviously, the more you learn, the more the opportunities you have to use and share that knowledge. Fortunately, great learning opportunities are around you! With a tamed schedule, you’ll be able to take advantage of the professional and cultural enrichment opportunities around you. You can help out with that new product launch your development team’s been working on or volunteer for a charity in your area.
6. Reduce stress.
When you don’t have control of your time, it’s easy to end up feeling rushed and overwhelmed. And when that happens, it can be hard to figure out how long it’s going to take to complete a task. Once you learn how to manage your time, you’ll no longer be subjected to that level of stress. Besides it being better for your health, you’ll have a clearer picture of the demands on your time. You’ll be better able to estimate how long a given task will take you to complete, and you know you can meet that deadline.
7. Free time is necessary.
Everyone needs time to relax and unwind. Unfortunately, though, many of us don’t get enough of it. Between jobs, personal responsibilities, errands, and other obligations, most of us are hard-pressed to find time to relax. Having good time management skills helps you find that time. When you’re managing your time instead of being managed by your tasks, you can create much needed space to relax and unwind without guilt or worry that you’re missing something.
8. Self-discipline is invaluable.
When you practice good time management, you automatically get better at self-discipline. Time management is just self-discipline viewed through a different lens. And because self-discipline is such an important life skill, you’ll see its impact in other areas of your life helping you reach other goals you’ve yet to dream up.
The positive cycle of good time management
Looking back through everything we’ve covered, it’s easy to see effect of time management. Good time management allows you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time, which leads to more free time, which lets you take advantage of learning opportunities, lowers your stress, and helps you focus, which leads to more successes in your personal and professional life. Time management improves of your life. All you have to do is get the cycle started.
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