We all have challenges with managing time now and again.
Some more than others.
But there are things you can do, some simple steps you can take, to get better at managing your time.
In fact, here are ten steps to help get you on track with better managing your time.
1. Acknowledge The Problem
The first step for solving any problem starts with actually realising and acknowledging the problem.
If you don’t, then how on earth are you going to fix it?
The signs should be easy to recognise – it’s normal to be late to something now and then. But if it is a regular thing, if being late is something that you do daily/regularly, then you have something that needs looking into. Time for you to realise that you have a problem.
2. Decide To Do Things Differently
You know the famous saying about how the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly while expecting different results?
That applies to time management too. In fact, it applies to every area of your life.
If you want to improve your time management, you cannot continue to do the same things you have always done.
Realising that you have a problem with time management is important, but unless you want to make a change, really really want it, it won’t really matter.
So you need to decide to do things differently.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
3. Set Goals
Once you have acknowledged your challenge and determined that things need to change, you can really start working on improving your time management.
So your third step should be to set yourself goals.
Having goals for yourself can help you stay on track. For example, if you want to be more punctual to work, maybe you can set yourself a goal to get to work 5-10 minutes early for the next month.
You can do the same for any other area of life where you want to better manage your time.
You need to set goals for yourself, as these goals can help to provide you with a source of motivation. Sample goals include showing up to work on time for a whole month, being on time for all dinner dates, and so forth.
4. Follow Through With Your Goals
Now that you have created goals to help you improve your time management, the next step is to follow through on those goals.
Here’s something you really need to understand – there will be setbacks and challenges and stumbling blocks along the way. There will be days when following through with your goals will be difficult, and uncomfortable.
But you need to stick with them.
Having goals is not enough, you have to follow through.
Having goals is not enough, you have to follow through
5. Create Daily Task Lists
Having a daily list of things you need to do can massively help you with your time management.
The list will help limit your distractions, priotise the important stuff, and get things done.
6. Take Advantage of Tools
Here is a way to make it easy for you to improve your time management – take advantage of tools.
Tools include things like alarms, calendar appointments, scheduled alarms on your phone, etc.
Smartphones have some really useful tools, including apps, that can really help you to stay on track and better manage your time.
Take advantage of them.
7. Understand The Importance Of Saying No
Having many different commitments and focuses is one of the best ways to get off track.
If you want to get good with managing your time, you need to learn when to say no.
You need to prioritise.
Overloading yourself, i.e. taking on more than you can or should, does not help anyone. You will only cause yourself extra stress, you will wear yourself out, and it is very very likely that your time management will totally go out the window.
It’s ok to say no when you need to.
Say no when you need to
8. Ask for Help
Asking for help can really help you improve your ability to manage your time.
If you are stuck or stretched too thin, for instance, you should ask for help.
It can be as simple as asking for help from your boss or colleagues or hiring professional help at home.
Whatever it is, if you need help – ask for it. Don’t let pride get in the way.
9. Get Organised
If everything around you is a mess, guess how good you will be with managing time.
Mess and clutter are possibly the greatest contributors for delays.
This is why being organised is important. It cuts down delays and confusion, reduces stress, and limits time wastage.
Applies to both work and home. In the same way, being organised at work can help you save time looking for the important file, being organised at home can help save countless hours searching for your keys etc.
Being organised helps. Period.
Mess and clutter are enemies of productivity
10. Consider Getting Professional Help
We stressed how important it is to ask for help when you need it.
This point is an extension to that.
It is important to realize that you cannot do everything on your own. It is also important to realize that others are better than you at many of the things you are doing or trying to do.
So you can spend half a day or more trying to fix that dishwasher, for example, or you can hire a pro.
The same principle applies to every area of life.
Hiring a professional can really skyrocket your time management. So it is something worth considering, especially if the trade-off is doing things that you really need to do (eg. spend half a day tinkering with the dishwasher, or hire a pro and spend that time on writing, or whatever it is that you do).
Just to recap, here are the ten steps you can take to improve your time management.
- Acknowledge The Problem
- Decide To Do Things Differently
- Set Goals
- Follow Through With Your Goals
- Create Daily Task Lists
- Take Advantage of Tools
- Understand The Importance Of Saying No
- Ask for Help
- Get Organised
- Consider Getting Professional Help
We all need all from time to time.
And proper time management is an essential part of getting things done.
If you feel like managing your time is a bit of a struggle, these steps should help you get back on track.
Hope you find this information useful.
Which of these steps for improving your time management have you tried so far? Which one’s your favorite?
Do you have any suggestions or tips to share?
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