To learn time management skills, you should think about it like taking a long trip. Just as you’ll enjoy some lovely views, experience some setbacks and risks, even encounter an adventure or two along the way, you’ll find it a rough, uneven path to learn time management.
No matter what you learn, or who teaches you, it eventually boils down to whether or not you are serious about managing your time, and how much effort you will put into practice. Once you are aware of how you use your time, and know about setting priorities, focusing on important work, and getting things done, you will be on the fast track to time management success.
Strategies to Help Learn Time Management
Many students, managers and employees learn time management to grow in their career, develop good habits, and enjoy financial rewards from better managing their time. They have found a strategy helpful in internalizing whatever they learned.
First, study new time management concepts.
Second, practice it in day to day life.
Third, repeat the process for a new skill or technique.
Here are some time management ideas you can start to work with.
1. Block off time for work and breaks
Planning your day by assigning blocks of time for specific activities can be very helpful. For instance, you might set aside an hour every evening after you return from school, college or work, during which you will carry out one of the important tasks on your list.
That time should not be wasted on anything else. It is a sacred promise you make to yourself. And keeping that promise takes highest priority in your life. You will soon make it a helpful habit, and by setting yourself blocks during which to tackle specific activities, you’ll grow in efficiency.
2. Dedicate a place to work
Distractions and interruptions can derail your best laid plans. It is important to have a place that is free from distraction, where people know not to disturb you. It may be at home, in the office, or even somewhere else. Just make sure not to allow anyone to interrupt you while you work on your tasks.
3. Review progress
A weekly audit of your activities will quickly reveal whether or not you are staying on track. As you learn time management and master new tricks and tweaks, you might get off target trying to implement everything, and fall behind on reaching your goals. A review of progress every week or so can show you where you need to focus and can get you back on track quickly.
4. Prioritize assignments
Starting with the biggest, hardest or most time consuming task is a way to ensure that you’ll deal with it when you’re fresh. But make sure that what you address is really important to your overall goals. You’ll have to stay flexible enough to allow for unexpected events in your day, but by setting priorities correctly, you’ll ensure that the most important tasks get done anyway.
5. Postpone unnecessary activities
It can be frustrating to learn time management, especially when you find it takes away from some entertainment and relaxation. When friends and family go off to have fun, it can be hard to turn down their invitation to concentrate on important work. But only if you postpone unnecessary activities will you ever be able to get what matters done.
These are simple principles that you’ll hear about when you learn time management. But practicing them, and then incorporating them into your lifestyle can be challenging and difficult, in the beginning. Persevere and stick with it, and soon you’ll be living the 3 tenets of Time Management Tao, which are:
- Find your center – know WHAT to do
- Understand your order – know HOW to do it
- Pick your timing – know WHO to use & WHEN