How to Improve Your Time Management Skills

By Victoria Robertson on February 14, 2018

Managing your time effectively is no easy feat. In fact, it’s one of the more difficult areas of business to excel in. While many seek to improve their time management skills, not everyone understands the process that must be undergone to get there.

With that in mind, there are plenty of ways in which you can improve your time management skills. Whether you’re looking to organize your personal time, manage your coursework or become more productive during the workday, these six steps will help you to improve your time management skills.

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1. Get Organized

First and foremost, when dealing with time management, you need to get organized. This means your workspace (or living space in general) need to be clear of clutter. Cluttered spaces lead to cluttered minds, and it’s easy to lose track of items in a mess.

The more organized you are, both at work and at home, the more likely you are to remember your tasks and to stick to them. Feeling organized goes a long way when it comes to time management, so this is the first step in managing your time effectively.

2. Schedule

It’s important to stick to a schedule when beginning to manage your time. If you have deadlines coming up, schedule them out so you can stay on top of them. If you find that you’re working through lunch too often, schedule some downtime to grab a quick bite to eat.

By creating and adhering to a schedule, you’re training yourself to stick to a routine that’s going to work for you and will help you to understand how long it takes you to accomplish tasks so you can properly plan for future deadlines.

3. Prioritize

This brings me to my next point: prioritize. When you’re dealing with time management, you need to consider which tasks are the most time-sensitive and begin with those. Running out of time is something that many dread, but when you prioritize, the chances of this happening decrease significantly.

Take your tasks for the day, week, month and year and prioritize them based on due dates and length of time necessary to complete them. This way, you will have your deadlines scheduled far enough in advance so that there isn’t a chance of missing one.

4. Trial and Error

When you’re trying to improve your time management skills, it’s essential that you remember not everything is going to work for you the first time around. In fact, there is a huge learning curve here. Time management is a process of trial and error in which you schedule your day one way to maybe find out later that it doesn’t work for you.

You have to be flexible with your day-to-day and try new ways of organizing your day or of prioritizing your deadlines. There is no shame in failing, as you learn enough from those failures to implement new practices to help you succeed in the future.

5. Develop a Routine

Over time, you’re going to develop a routine to help manage your time effectively. You might check your email first thing every morning, grab a quick breakfast and hit the ground running. Others might take a little “me” time in the morning before starting their day.

Again, you’re going to come up with a daily routine that works for you. While you don’t want to deviate too much from this routine, you have to keep in mind that there are variables at play as well, so be strict, but also be fluid.

6. Allow for Change

As mentioned above, there is always the potential for things to change. For example, you may have a last minute assignment come your way on a day that you have three other papers to write. These are going to be difficult days, that’s for sure. However, this is much more manageable when you’ve learned how to effectively manage your time.

Give yourself an extra window of time every day for these circumstances. Shift things around in your day, reprioritize and reevaluate on an ongoing basis, because things change. So, you’re going to need to change with them if you want to improve your time management skills.

Improving time management skills is difficult and takes quite a bit of effort, but it’s well worth it. Employers all over are placing more value on organizational skills, so enhancing your abilities to this end is going to benefit you in the long run.

These six steps are a great beginning point when looking to improve your time management skills, but there is always room to go above and beyond and really focus on these skills in your day-to-day life. Before long, you’ll be effectively managing your time, leaving you much more time to do the things you love.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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