Key Time Management Skills

How many times have you told yourself ‘I’ll do that today’ and then it turns into ‘I’ll do that later’ and then you don’t end up doing it at all with the excuse of ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ because that tomorrow never comes. Or that someone just seems to have their shit together all the time? Well, it’s time to get out of that habit and be that person that has their shit together. Put the following into action to kick your ill-managed life out and replace it with a more organized, stable one. Setting personal goals: Setting one big, overall goal, like getting a promotion is important so that you know that you have something to work towards in the long run, and all the hard slog now is going to
be well worth it in the end, but it is also important to set smaller, more personal goals. Things, like going for a walk every day, or finishing a certain part of a massive project,
are going to be more achievable in the short term. These can then be broken down into your ‘to-do’ list, which will be explored a little later on.

Write a To-Do List: Start your day at breakfast with a paper and pen. Write out everything that you have to do throughout the day just as they come to mind, whether the first be meeting your deadline by 5:00pm, the second giving the dog its breakfast and the third to send an email to a certain colleague. Once you’ve written these things down, what you’ve almost basically done is determine what’s urgent, what’s important and what’s both (urgent and important), or neither and is just something that you have to do.

Prioritise: Look at the list that you’ve just written and filter out the unimportant things that can be done while you’re sitting in front of the TV after dinner. From here, prioritize from most urgent to least important in a new list, so you’re not getting confused.
Scheduling: The best way to get everything on your list done in the day is to put the hardest tasks first. You work best in the morning, you’re more alert, creative and attentive. Always leave the more brain-numbing tasks like returning emails and phone calls to the end of the day. It’s important to give yourself a time frame to do each set task in. Do your best to stick to the plan, to increase your productivity. Remember that distractions like your phone, colleagues, TV, and the internet, in general, are absolute killers to your time management.

The hardest thing about managing your time wisely is staying focused and on track. It’s so easy to get distracted, whether it’s having a chat with your co-worker, playing with your dog, or by a tag on Facebook. You have to get into the habit of reducing all the distractions that cause you to dawdle through the day, this can be done by:
Making yourself comfortable – make sure your desk and chair are the right height if they’re not, and you’re uncomfortable, you’ll have more of an excuse to get up and walk away.

Decorate – put up pictures of animals or a pretty scenery. Listen to music – white noise like waves on a beach or rain falling can be great, I also use instrumental music because I find that words in songs distract me.

What not to do:
Procrastinate – nothing will get done if you’re not doing anything
Ill-management of distractions – if you’re distracted, the task won’t get done as fast, or at all. Taking on too much – Jobs will be rushed and not as high as quality or standard as they could be. Multitasking – No one is Superman, take it one step at a time and your work will get done faster. Forget to take a break – If you’re exhausted, you’re more likely to get distracted, start multitasking and begin to get distracted.

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