Improve Your Time Management Skills With These 8 Tips

Time is the only resource that is allocated to us on equal measures. However, the difference between a successful individual and a failure is how they manage their time. Proper management of this vital resource guarantees you immense success. However, this does not mean that successful people spend all their days and nights pursuing their goals. They simply utilize the few hours that they have.

Probably you have been trying to manage your time properly, but things have not been going the way you want. Don’t worry; here are the eight killer time management tips that can make you achieve more in whichever field that you are pursuing.

1. Know Your Priorities

Everything may be good, but only a few of them are essential. This includes the tasks that you are supposed to do in a day. Although all of them are significant to your life, they differ in their levels of importance. Some are essential while others don’t require immediate attention. The simplest way of distinguishing between these two groups is by preparing a list of priorities. Some tasks should be at the top of the list while others can be tossed back or even delegated. By establishing your priorities, you will be able to do away with the pressure that comes with having uncompleted jobs. You will also pay special attention to important tasks and at the end get high-quality results.

2. Avoid Multitasking

Even though you may have several tasks staring at you, do not be attempted to multitask. Many people assume that multitasking helps them complete many tasks within a short time. In reality, you will be doing less. The quality of work done through multitasking is usually low. Our brains perform at their peak when we focus on one subject at a time. While multitasking, you will be subjecting your brain to some torture. You will also not give the tasks special attention that they deserve. At the end of it, you will spend more hours and even deliver poor quality results.

3. Consolidate Routine Tasks and Allocate Time to them

No matter what time of day it is, there are those tasks that you cannot avoid doing. For instance, you cannot avoid making phone calls, replying text messages or submitting those daily reports. Regardless of their importance, they can affect the quality of your job if you keep doing them when working. So, what should you do? Just consolidate all these routine tasks and allocate them their special time. Do not mix with important tasks at hand.

Set a special time during the day such that you will dedicate it to all the routine tasks. Reply to all the emails that were sent, make phone calls and draft the reports. This will help you to save many working hours.

4. Set up Deadlines

Working without deadlines sounds cool but only to those that are lazy and not time conscious. Deadlines keep you on your toes. You won’t lazy around since you will be aware that there are some tasks that you need to complete within a specific time. The most important question that your deadline should answer is, when should the task be finished? Setting your deadlines will be of no importance if you don’t stick to them. No matter how much freedom you have, be disciplined and try to work within them. Once you achieve them, don’t shy away from celebrating. Doing this will motivate you stick to other deadlines in the future.

5. Avoid stress

High levels of stress will definitely affect your levels of productivity. In addition to that, it will make you spend more time in executing a task. When stressed, we spend more hours trying to think about our problems and how we can get their ideal solutions. Even when the task at hand is of high priority, your mind will not be there. You will only focus on it for some few minutes then revert to the issue that is disturbing your mind. When dealing with any task, try to avoid thinking about stressful issues that will disorient you.

6. Scheduling

Scheduling is all about creating plans. Do you ever design a plan for your day or everything happens randomly? Scheduling will protect you from all types of distractions. Instead, you will be able to stick to all the tasks without being affected by any external factors.

Scheduling your day is not a difficult task. All you need is a paper and a pen. Once you are done with drafting, stick it somewhere that you will be able to see with ease. At the end of the day, try to crosscheck what you had planned to do and what you have managed to achieve. Schedule your tasks at night before going to bed or early in the morning. Nowadays we even have computer applications and mobile apps that can help you to organize your day properly.

7. Get Rid of Distractions

Studies show that a normal worker is likely to be distracted by technology after every ten minutes. Some of the most common distracters include emails, social media, and even video gaming. Some of the distracters are addictive and once you take a break to do them, you may never get back to continue with the job. The most effective way of dealing with them is to turn off all notifications on your browser.

When it comes to mobile phone, just turn it off when working. You can also download some computer software that will block those websites that tend to waste your time.

8. Learn to Say No

Most people fear to say no to any temptation that comes on their way. They do this, yet they are fully aware of how a “yes” will affect their level of productivity. Learn to turn down many requests that are brought to you and instead put that energy in dealing with the tasks at hand. You should also say no to lucrative but short-term offers from your colleagues.

Conclusion

Whether you are trying to fulfill your personal goals or working as a team, how you manage your time will determine where you will reach. The tips in the article will improve your time management skills and make you a better person.

Compassion Is Power: It Opens You Up to Your Possibilities

Compassion and power might seem like an odd pairing of words but read on. It’ll make sense, I promise.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about what gets me stuck and what gets me unstuck, when facing a time challenge. And a quality that keeps coming to the fore, when it comes to loosening logjams, is compassion.

What is powerful about compassion?
We could spend days exploring and defining what we mean by the power of compassion. But for the purpose of our discussion, try thinking of it as softening into a deep and authentic connection.

Compassion connects you with your heart. That, in turn, is what gives you realistic and reliable traction within yourself.

And that’s what gives you power.

How compassion helps…
When I’m not connected to my compassion, I just skim the surface.

So, I may buzz along quite happily as long as the terrain is flat and the weather is good. But as anyone who’s driven in snow well knows, as soon as you come to a hill or a curve everything changes.

When you can’t get good traction you are likely to get yourself stuck.

Here’s how it works.
So, how is it that compassion gives you the traction you need to free yourself from that rut and get moving again?

Well, when I feel myself spinning my wheels, one of the first things I do is ask myself a question.

“What am I trying to tell myself here?”

It’s an open-ended, interested, non-judgmental query. It’s the sort of question you’d ask a friend. The simple act of asking in this way – gently and with genuine interest – opens the heart. This, in turn, opens your mind and gives you access to ALL of your possibilities!

This kind of interaction with yourself builds your fund of genuine self-knowledge and is a cornerstone of your authentic relationship with yourself. That solid relationship with yourself is the most powerful base that you can possibly have for ANYTHING that you want to accomplish.

For now, I encourage you to think about a time that your compassion helped you soften to yourself and regain your footing.

Let’s explore time together…

Metaphors Gone Wild: Dogs and Time

Continuing our consideration of everyday concepts in metaphoric terms, time can be viewed as a familiar animal in the domestic scene–the beloved and sometimes feared dog. We cannot prevent dogs from barking; similarly, we cannot prevent time from passing, no matter what we are doing or not doing. But, we can domesticate that dog and make it our best friend. Or, we can allow it to become hungrier and hungrier, fiercer and fiercer until it transforms into a formidable enemy.

As the ancient Greeks assured us, we need “moderation in all things.” Yes, time places considerable pressure upon us to get things done, especially in a busy workplace and/or a child-filled home. The challenges-from everyday demands, from employees or family members, from technological developments, from social obligations, from the competition-driven global environment-are enormous. The past no longer offers the comfort of precedent-not in today’s rapidly changing climate.

Just as companies have come to regard themselves as integrated, highly responsive, and evolving systems, so are individuals expected to integrate diverse elements; to respond easily, clearly, quickly; to evolve continuously as learners and leaders and responsible adults. If we are unable to adapt when the time calls for a switch in direction, time will be wasted and projects may be doomed. The wise and properly-timed use of agility and resilience bespeak survival tools for the climate in which most of us are living.

Agility is one way to save time. Choosing to be agile is just one of the choices we can before us, regarding how we spend the time of our life. Quite simply, if you choose to continue doing things that waste time, you are willingly relegating to the trash bin of life moments that you will never recapture–unproductive moments, idle moments, moments that add little or nothing to the quality of your life and your work.

Be inspired by the words of management guru Peter Drucker: “Everything requires time. It is the only truly universal condition. All work takes place in time and uses up time. Yet most people take for granted this unique, irreplaceable, and necessary resource. Nothing else, perhaps, distinguishes effective executives as much as their tender loving care of time.” Vow to care for time the way effective executives do. Identify your time-wasters and commit to finding cures for these causes of lost minutes, hours, years, lives.

While the top five time-wasters below relate to the workplace, they extend to our personal, as well as our professional lives. Implement the cures and then, with the time you’ve saved, spend it in beneficial ways with those you love, including yourself.

Time-Wasting: Causes & Cures

1. Fire-Fighting

Think about the work required of you on both short-term and long-term bases. Then, plan a schedule for your next day of work.

2. Interruptions

Although you may choose not to be as assertive as Napoleon, who promised, “You can ask me for anything you like… except time,” you will have to find the words that allow you to continue working when others try to interrupt. Your first assignment in this category is to create (and promise to use) five phrases to subvert interruptions. Your second task is to read the following list aloud to yourself at the beginning of each workday.

1. I’m disciplined enough to simply list all the people and things that may demand my time instead of stopping my work to attend to those people and those things.

2. I’m interested enough to examine the list at the end of each day (for at least a week) to learn what kinds of interruptions are hindering my accomplishments.

3. I’m tactful enough to advise co-workers of the times when I can’t be interrupted.

4. I’m realistic enough to know I’m capable of eliminating some of the distractions that currently plague me.

5. I’m professional enough to follow through on all the distractions I temporarily put aside in order to make a serious dent in a complicated project.

3. Poor Planning

Are your strategic plans worthless? They are, according to futurist John Naisbitt, if they’ve been written without a strategic vision in mind. While your plans may not be strategic in terms of the organization’s vision, they should nonetheless reflect your personal improvement-goals. These are but a few of the questions to keep in mind as you make plans to improve your use of time and to enhance your contribution to the organization.

√ What am I doing and doing well?

√ What am I doing and not doing well?

√ What measurements will gauge my success?

√ What evidence do I have that I am thinking globally (organizationally) and acting

locally (applying broad issues to my own spheres of operation and influence).

√ What am I not doing that I should be doing?

√ Which of my outputs will have the greatest impact on the departmental or organizational mission?

√ What do our customers want/need/deserve/expect?

√ What mistakes have been made recently by those in comparable positions?

√ How would I define the realities that face us?

√ What combinations/alliances could optimize the time spent on planning and the

effort expended on ultimately implementing the plans made?

Incorporate answers to any three of the above questions into a plan for improved productivity or better use of organizational time.

4. Perfectionism

It’s as true on the macrocosmic level (Franklin Delano Roosevelt noting that perfectionism may obstruct the paths to international peace) as it is on the microcosmic level (an obsessive need to have everything exactly right): the need to be perfect can make you a poor time-manager.

Ideally, you’ll refer to the answers to the following questions whenever you’re tempted to exert all your time and energies on a project:

1. Which of your assignments require absolute perfection?

2. For which of your assignments could excellence replace perfectionism?

3. For which assignments is good enough good enough?

4. What are the negatives associated with perfectionism?

5. Inability To Say “No”

Good communications involve both the content and the context of a message. It’s possible, for example, to profess your ignorance and simultaneously sound intelligent. It’s also possible to fire someone and have him or her thank you, rather than react in a violent fashion. And, it’s entirely possible to say “no” to a request and sound gracious as you do so.

Dr. Marlene Caroselli is an author, keynoter, and corporate trainer whose clients include Lockheed Martin, Allied Signal, Department of the Interior, and Navy SEALS. She writes extensively about education, business, self-improvement, and careers and has adjuncted at UCLA and National University. Her first book, “The Language of Leadership,” was named a main selection by the Executive Book Club. “Principled Persuasion,” a more recent title, was designated a Director’s Choice by the Doubleday Book Club. “Driving Mr. Albert: 365+ Einstein-Inspired Brain Boosts,” her 62nd book, will be released by HRD Press in Winter, 2018.