Do you believe that the best way to learn time management skills is to read books or attend courses about it?
Most books on time management I’ve read place a high emphasis on being disciplined. Personally, however, I’ve found it hard to follow… and stifling too.
Most home-based business owners and entrepreneurs choose to follow that somewhat unconventional path to following their heart essentially because they don’t like the confining environment of a disciplined, organized workplace. To replicate what they hate in their own business is often hard to do.
But here’s the good news – I’ve personally found decisiveness and determination a lot more effective in helping learn time management skills and better manage time than a stringent adherence to a time-table or imposed limitations.
My own workspace is apparently chaotic – though I can find anything within seconds. My computer files are pretty unstructured – but have a rough system or organization. My notes are often jumbled up and mixed – yet I can often compile them for a project.
How does that work?
I’m decisive when it comes to selecting or making choices. When I read email, there are only 3 quick choices to make – delete, read and reply now, or leave for later. It takes me less than 3 seconds per email to decide.
I’m determined to get important things done. This pig-headed stubborness at getting stuff finished has helped me achieve a lot more than I could have managed – even if I were meticulously disciplined. And that’s why the best way to learn time management skills is to get your hands dirty, and try out whatever system or method you want to learn.
For instance, let’s take the important, every day time management secret of how to productively use travel time. All of us travel, often for a large part of our day. And during that transit period, we all have what we appreciate is “down time”. It may amount to a few hours every day.
So, how best to use it? You might imagine it takes an elaborate time management strategy to come up with an answer – but it actually is quite simple, if you take the hands on approach to learn time management skills.
Plan to be bored!
I always take along a book or other reading material with me, or have audio recordings that I can listen to while driving. Whenever a “dead” moment pops up, I have some productive way to use it. This may have been taught in one of the many time management courses I studied, but adapting it to my unique circumstances takes practical application.
Of course, sometimes it’s best to simply allow yourself to be bored and just rest if you’re really tired. But the best way to learn time management skills and understand how to optimize your utilization of that precious resource is to try out different things and find what works best for you.
You can also learn more about time management by signing up for our free email newsletter, the “Time Taozine” and exploring the rest of this site as well as the Ming Vase Time Management guides.