Your mastery of time management is a reflection on your overall professionalism and management expertise. Having a realistic sense of time as well as applying tools that will keep you on track with your schedule demonstrate your time-management skills. Effective time management can help you feel more fulfilled and can set a positive example for coworkers and employees to follow.
Be More Present
Focus fully on each task at hand. Being late to meetings, missing deadlines, forgetting appointments and having to race around a lot are indicators that your time is getting away from you. Practice slowing yourself down and just listening to your breathing periodically throughout each day in order to center yourself. Reducing multitasking can actually help you get more things done, says licensed mental health counselor, Donna M. White, in Psych Central. Focusing on one task at a time can improve concentration and reduce distraction, according to White.
Schedule What Really Matters
Allocate blocks of time for all of the important matters you need to focus on to have a balanced daily life. In addition to time for work, scheduling time for other priorities such as spouse, kids, friends, volunteering, exercise or hobbies is also important. Calculate the time you want or need to spend on your important priorities each day. Schedule those blocks of time throughout your week so that you are sure to get to them. Reassess your schedule each day to adjust the time spent on one area or another as necessary. For example, you might schedule one hour per day for a workout but move that one-hour block on your daily schedule to accommodate for an unexpected extra hour stuck in traffic after work.
Draw the Lines
Start saying no. Setting boundaries for yourself will put you in greater command of your time. Accept that you can’t do all things all of the time, and attempting that will make effective time management virtually impossible. Build a habit of recognizing and eliminating time-wasters each day. Saying no lets others know that you respect your goals and your time, according to Psychology Today. For example, start politely but assertively reducing the time you allow coworkers to chat with you about non-work matters at the office or begin declining invitations to meetings that you aren’t absolutely required to attend.
Delegate activities and tasks in order to get more done with less time. Make a routine or system to streamline certain duties in your day. Use technology to automate certain tasks and responsibilities as much as possible throughout each day. Be decisive in eliminating tasks and activities that take up more of your time than they’re worth or that distract you from your more important goals.