Learning time management easily ranks as among the most important things you can do in your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re in school or college, at work or managing a household, a retiree, trainer or anything else. Learning how to manage time efficiently is a skill that can transform your life in many ways.
Unless you can organize information and put it to good use, there is no point at all in learning time management. And all the learning in the world will do you no good unless you can follow through and put it into action, instead of procrastinating and wasting time.
Younger people understand this concept of managing time at an earlier age these days. That’s because you’re aware of how it’s possible to differentiate oneself from the stiff competition out there simply by handing information better and managing your time more effectively. Careers are made or broken depending upon your time management skills.
How to go about learning time management?
Theory is of little value without active and intentional practice. Here are some things to put to use in your day to day life which will help you manage time better and enhance productivity.
1. Deal with email effectively.
Emptying your inbox by tackling incoming email is a rare talent and requisite skill. Organize your mail into folders. Deal with messages promptly. Don’t keep hesitating over what to do – either act, or file it away for later. Save important messages, print out essential ones, and delete junk. Taking action on email as soon as you read it will set you apart from the crowd and boost your productivity.
2. Stop doing too many things at once.
Multitasking is silly, unless you’re just wasting time anyway. Watching TV while texting a friend and nodding your head to music from your iPod may not be entirely detrimental to productivity. But when you’re at work, concentrate on the project or task you are involved in – to the exclusion of everything else.
3. Tackle what matters most.
On your ‘to do’ list, you must set priorities. The tasks that are most important to your long term goals must be the ones you deal with first. Get the most crucial work done, and it won’t matter if you do little else over the course of your work day. That’s why planning your day ahead of time is such a good idea.
4. Organize your work.
Do you waste a lot of time hunting for information, resources, reminders or stuff? You can cut down on waste and improve your efficiency when you stay organized. Use bookmarking services to store online data. Have an effective filing system for paper and other offline items.
5. Match your work to your rhythm.
Everybody has preferred working patterns. I’m more efficient later at night than most of my friends, who do their best work in the mornings. Your unique pattern will be different. Identifying your biorhythm and scheduling your important tasks to coincide with your periods of highest energy and productivity can help enhance your effectiveness.
6. Get started – and keep going.
Make things easy to begin work. Learning time management means understanding the core sense of inertia that holds many people back. Once you get started, it’s often easy to continue until work gets done. So by making things easy to begin, you’ll improve your chances of getting things done.
7. Be slow but steady.
Rushing around like a headless chicken is no way to be more efficient. In fact, you may tire yourself out achieving little. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of frustration after you get started.
Learning time management is all about mastering these nuances. You don’t simply read a book about becoming more efficient and magically transform your life overnight. It takes a deeper understanding of the principles 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