Learning Time Management Skills
Learning time management skills are important for coping with stress at work and at home. Time management skills focus your time on what is important to you and your family.
Do you often feel overwhelmed and pulled in many directions?
Do you feel pressured by a lack of time?
If so, then you are not alone!
Blurred boundaries between work and home life, pressing deadlines, and the pressure to get more done in less time, is a major cause of stress.
Learning time management skills help you to cope with stress and get things done.
There are a number of options to learn time management skills. Time management books, seminars, websites, and courses, all offer the chance to develop time management skills.
But in essence how good your time management is depends on how much quality time you spend on your high value activities.
Your high impact activities are those that move you towards your goals. By setting-goals you give yourself direction.
Goal setting allows you to make decisions and prioritize your time. Clear goals create a bridge between today's vision and tomorrow's reality.
These goals tell you what is important and what is unimportant.
But how can you improve your time management?
One important way is to plan your work and then work your plan. You can do this with:
To do list
By setting goals you have a clear idea of what is important.
But the problem is that you are probably doing the work of two people and you are feeling pressured by a lack of time.
This means that you need to prioritize!
The first thing to do is to download a to-do list or grab a piece of paper.
Now write down all the tasks that are in your head. By getting them out of your head and onto paper reduces the mental clutter and is a potential stress reducer.
If you find that you are writing projects that have several tasks in them, see if you can break the project into the tasks on your to-do list.
Once you have all the tasks that you can think see if you can identify the most important tasks.
Put an "A" next to these.
Put a "B" next to those that are less important and a "C" next to tasks that are relatively unimportant.
Now choose your most important task and see if you can do it. Once you have finished this task move onto the second most important task in your "A" list.
You may find that you never get through your to-do list but at least you are getting the most important tasks done.
If you are not getting through your list then look to see if there are ways that you can pare down your to do list.
One good way is to become more assertive in your communication style!
Rather than say "Yes" to everything, which can breed passive-aggressive behavior, learn to say "No" and focus on your priorities with assertiveness training.
Learning time management skills with a good time management schedule
One good way for dealing with stress is to focus on your most important tasks. But if you are not scheduling this time into your planner then you can find yourself jumping from crises to crises.
You need a plan!
Having a plan of how you are spending your day can be a good way for dealing with stress when you have too much to do.
With your new to do list see if you can estimate how long each task will take. For tasks that are less than 5 minutes see if you can do them now. For tasks that take longer than 10 minutes see if you can put them into your schedule.
Ensure that you schedule your time with sufficient breathing space between your time-blocks. One of the common problems with schedules is that people try to cram too much into them, with no space.
We have worked with executives who have back-to-back meetings as the norm, which gives them little time to re-gather their thoughts, compile their notes, or deal with upcoming emergencies.
We talk more about effective time management and developing good time management schedules to get things done.
Search here for more learning time management skills
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