11 Effective Ways to Improve Time-Management Skills

11 Effective Ways to Improve Time-Management Skills
Vlad Kovalskiy
September 28, 2021
Last updated: October 8, 2021

Time is a resource, and we all have an equal amount of it. However, some of us succeed in accomplishing more within these 24 hours than the rest of us dare to dream of. It might seem like some kind of forbidden magic, but it's actually a result of hard work on developing their abilities to prioritize, focus, and organize. 


5 Things You Can Achieve With Excellent Time-management Skills

Effective time management means completing more tasks within a certain period through smarter planning, scheduling, and prioritizing. As a result, when you train to improve your time-management skills, you also contribute to upgrading your life in many ways. You learn to separate important things from distractions, get rid of everything that is unnecessary, and distribute your resources better. In other words, you achieve a proper work-life balance. Here are some of the benefits of polishing your time-management skills to perfection.


Getting Your Priorities Straight

When you plan your day, you need to make an assessment of what is urgent and important, and what can be delayed or even removed from your schedule. Without this crucial expertise, you won't be able to manage your time effectively. Thus, distributing tasks throughout the day in accordance with their priority should become your specialty. This means, you won't be working late again because you were busy checking social media and playing video games all day, and this is something worth spending your time and efforts on.


Organizing Your Life Properly

A smart approach to planning is essential when it comes to time management. As soon as you become competent in comprising your schedule, you'll notice many positive changes in your life. For instance, you'll always be on time, you'll never forget about an important meeting or your mom's birthday, and you'll always know what to do next.


Gaining a Clear Vision of Your Goals

To a great extent, deciding on what to spend your time on involves answering the questions like "What do I want to accomplish? How can I do it? Can I do it this day, week, or month?". If your responses are vague and full of doubts, it will be impossible to distribute your time properly. So, understanding your intentions should become one of your main priorities. As soon as you gain clarity about what goals you want to reach within a certain period of time, it will be easier to come up with ways to achieve them.


Defeating Procrastination

Procrastination is the art of doing something that requires 30 minutes of work in 8 hours, and completing a job that needs 8 hours of work in 30 minutes. When you practice this approach to managing your time, not only do you worsen your performance, but you also cause damage to your health due to stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. However, if you come to an understanding that time is an asset you have to spend wisely because it cannot be regained, you might finally stop postponing everything till the last moment.


Dealing with Stress Better

As you keep getting more experienced in time management, prioritizing, and planning, your life will also become more manageable and organized. This, in turn, will lead to a significant decrease in stress level because you won't have to worry about forgetting anything or matching your deadlines.


11 Tips on How to Cultivate Your Time-Management Skills

Of course, there is no universal approach that is be suitable for everyone. Still, you can go on and try these efficient time-management techniques and develop a method that meets your specific requirements. So, let's study how to improve time-management skills.


1. Be an Early Bird

The early bird gets the worm, right? There are plenty of reasons why starting your day early can help you manage your time better. For instance, you can use the extra hours to:

  • plan your day with no rush

  • start working while your body is full of energy, and your brain reaches the peak of its ability to concentrate

  • do morning exercises to help your body and mind wake up

  • have a tasty and filling breakfast to provide your body with the energy to work longer hours.


2. Keep Your Workplace Clean and Organized

Organized desks lead to organized minds, which is essential if you want to manage your time effectively. As soon as you turn the chaos on your desk into order, you'll notice that not stressing about where you put a pencil, note with important contacts, or a document you need to sign right now. It will also save you a lot of time and energy.


3. Plan Your Day

Having a planner to visualize your tasks in the form of "To Do" list for today is a great helper in distributing your time efficiently. Marking them as "Done" throughout the day can boost your confidence and reduce your stress levels. Plus, as you continue to improve your time-management skills, you'll become better at adjusting your strategy during the day to ensure that you complete everything on that list.


4. Establish Priorities

Distributing your time among your daily tasks according to their value is the foundation of efficient time management. If you spend hours on doing things that can easily be postponed or even deleted from your list without any major consequences, you risk ending up having no time to deal with matters of real significance. Thus, learning to distinguish important things from distractions is a crucial part of working on your time-management skills. You can use the Eisenhower Matrix as a practical solution when you experience difficulties setting up your priorities:

  • Important and urgent? Do it right now.

  • Important, but not urgent? Reschedule it.

  • Unimportant, but urgent? Delegate it.

  • Unimportant and not urgent? Remove it from your task list.


5. Don't Take More Than You Can Handle

If you want to distribute your work evenly throughout the day, you need to master the art of politely rejecting additional responsibilities. You might like to be this knight in shining armor who is always there to save the day in both personal and business matters, but it isn't a wise strategy. Remember, if you agree to do extra work, you'll have the same 24 hours, yet now you need to accomplish more than you initially planned. Spending time and energy on something new on your list means dedicating less focus and attention to other important things, such as urgent tasks or even sleep. These sacrifices might seem small, but they can lead to dangerous consequences, including reduced productivity, failure to perform, and emotional exhaustion. So, when someone approaches you with a new task, but you feel that you already have enough on your plate, the best policy is to politely refuse and proceed with executing your initial plan.


6. Set up Realistic Time Limits

When you make your schedule, you'll have to indicate when each of your tasks should be completed. It might be challenging to calculate how much time you will need and set up realistic deadlines, but in this case, practice actually means perfect. As you get more experiences, you'll know what you work pace is, so you can predict the ideal timeline for your schedule. But you need to be careful and add some time to take care of unexpected complications, if they appear. This is one of the biggest steps in improving your time-management skills.


7. Schedule Time to Recharge

Working without breaks is exhausting, and it does no good to both your mind and body. Unfortunately, modern culture is obsessed with working long hours and being constantly efficient, but this approach causes damage to your health and productivity that is hard to repair. So, if your body starts sending you the signals that it's tired, take a break for 10-15 minutes. Moreover, you can add time slots for them while composing your schedule. They will help you recharge and regain your ability to concentrate.


8. Quit Multitasking

It's time for many employees, employers, and even recruitment specialists to realize that multitasking is not an indicator of efficiency. Between two stools, one falls to the ground. In other words, if you attempt to work on several tasks simultaneously, you are most likely to make mistakes or fail them all. The ability to prioritize and remain focused is one of the key time-management skills. Therefore, you need to learn how to patiently follow your "To Do" list without trying to manage everything at once.


9. Stop Procrastinating

The desire to postpone all your tasks until it's too late is a dangerous trap we all fall into. It might be caused by many factors, including psychological ones. However, there are some tips you can use to avoid being a victim of procrastination:

  • treat your time like something valuable and remember that you cannot regain it after it's wasted

  • break large complicated tasks into smaller ones

  • try to add an element of game playing or fun to activities that seem boring

  • trick yourself into working on a task for just five minutes, it will motivate you to start acting.


10. Don't Let Stress Be in Command

When you're under the pressure of doing something urgent and important, it might be a challenge to handle your stress properly. But you cannot let this condition control your actions because it will lead you to being unable to focus, reducing productivity and making mistakes. Here are some of the techniques you can use to cope with stress:

  • Meditate or just breathe for a couple of minutes

  • Go outside

  • Do some physical exercise

  • Listen to soothing music or a podcast.


11. Take Advantage of Modern Technology

Of course, you can plan and organize plenty of things manually, but if there is a software specifically designed to provide you with all the necessary tools to automate and perform these operations on any of your electronic devices, wouldn't it be a smart move to use it? Even if your time-management skills aren't perfect right now, applications like Bitrix24 can help you assign and delegate tasks, schedule and organize meetings, plan your day, share and synchronize calendars, set up notifications, or track the time spent on completing your tasks. If you're looking for a digital helper, this is your perfect solution.

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