Effective Time Management Skills
Why is it that some people continuously succeed at managing their time in an efficient and streamlined fashion while others barely prod by and struggle frantically to stay on top of projects and deadlines?
“Time is the scarcest resource of the manager, if it’s not managed, nothing else can be managed”, says Management Guru and author Peter Drucker.
Time management is thus defined as the process of making every second of the day count by truly being focused and positively boosting one’s personal daily output and productivity. It is an essential trigger to advance career success.
Professionals with effective time management skills tend to have better access to career opportunities, more accomplishments and a more balanced, stress-free lifestyle. Their skills enable them to prioritize tasks and get more things done efficiently on a daily basis. On the other hand, people with poor time management skills find themselves, more often than not, dragging their tasks longer than is advisable, efficient or permissible, thereby stressing themselves out and in the process sabotaging their chances of personal and professional advancement.
What exactly are the principal barriers to successful time management?
Two hurdles generally block the way of people in pursuit of better time management practices: procrastination and resistance to change
- Procrastination: This can often be the end result of overstretching oneself or clinging too tightly to perfectionist habits. When you are inundated with projects, due dates and to-do lists, things can become overwhelming and hard to handle. Bayt’s tip to rise above this stumbling block: Keep realistic to-do lists and reschedule tasks where needed. In the case of excessive and compulsive perfectionism, productivity can be directly and negatively affected as persistently paying exaggerated attention to minute details can be incredibly inefficient and time consuming. Bayt.com's tip to rise above this stumbling block: At the end of the time period reasonably allotted to a certain task/project, remind yourself that you have done the best you can and dedicated a sufficient and optimal amount of time to the project. At the end of the day, whether we like it or not, perfection can be very subjective and may or may not be attainable.
- Resisting Change: Learning the techniques of time management can be a futile endeavor if not accompanied with flexibility and a strong will and desire to change. Successful time management entails wanting to let go of inefficient, time wasting habits and committing to substitute them with more effective, flexible practices. Bayt.com’s tip to rise above this stumbling block: Remind yourself that you can become much more proficient and regain absolute control of your time and your life, once you embrace the critical practices of time management.
What are the benefits of time management?
Naturally, the benefits of successful time management are manifold. The following are just a few of the positive end-results that can directly stem from improved time management practices:
- Reduced Stress and Work Pressure: Effective organizational techniques and efficient forecasting can drastically reduce one’s levels of frustration, both at work and at home, thereby liberating ample reserves of productivity and creativity.
- Sense of Accomplishment: When one firmly commits to better manage their time and starts to break down large goals into smaller, attainable and measurable ones, it becomes much easier to identify and assess exactly where one stands, where one is going, and to set smart and achievable milestones to actually get there.
- Elevated Energy Levels: Defeating procrastination, prioritizing tasks, eschewing inefficient habits and being aware that one’s efforts are being invested in the optimal manner every day is a definite formula for increased self-confidence and motivation.
- More Individual/Family/Friends Quality Time: An efficient “time manager” can actually achieve that most precious of all commodities, the much touted “Work- Life Balance”. Spending more relaxed, satisfying and meaningful ‘quality’ time with oneself, one’s family and/or friends becomes an absolute possibility with the mastering of successful time management skills.
What are Bayt.com’s tips to embrace time management at work?
Below are a few tips from the Middle East’s #1 jobsite Bayt.com to help you along the way to mastering time management.
- Don’t overlook e-mails in your inbox: Designate a certain time to check your e-mails daily. Make sure to respond to your messages in an appropriate and timely fashion.
- Organize your outlook in e-mail folders: It will make your life much easier and grant you faster access to your files on a crazy working day.
- Create a to-do list every night before you leave the office: “Everything becomes urgent if you wait long enough”, states professional keynote speaker and author in leadership and motivation, Danny Cox. You can never manage your time if you don’t know what you should be doing the next morning. Stick to your daily lists!
- Prioritize your tasks: Creating a “to-do” list is one thing but managing it effectively is another. Arrange your tasks in order of importance and urgency.
- Know when you work best: Monitor your productivity levels over a certain period of time and then work your schedule so that you allocate the most productive part of the day to your most important task of the day.
- Limit multitasking when possible: Try to focus on finishing your tasks one after the other within a reasonable time frame, following your daily to-do lists and bearing in mind your key priorities.
- Learn to delegate tasks where possible: Make sure however that you are delegating the right tasks to the right people.
- Avoid inefficient meetings and work on improving your communication skills instead: Relating clear information through an efficient and accessible communication channel saves you and others both precious time and effort. ”An organization in which everybody meets all the time is an organization in which no one gets anything done”, assures Peter Drucker.
- Commit to making change permanent: Your new habits of prioritizing, planning, organizing and staying focused should become part of your daily routine
- Last but not least, do NOT forget the real essence of time management: Aim to use your time effectively and efficiently rather than carelessly cutting corners in order to free up time at any price.
In conclusion, it might be useful to state that Bayt.com’s recently released research report about “Employee Satisfaction in the Middle East” shows that out of 9,760 respondents, only 54% believe they are maintaining a healthy work life balance. Effective time management habits are key to increase these percentages. Once you have determined your goals and priorities and committed to embracing effective time management techniques on a daily basis, achieving a healthy work life balance becomes a feasible goal.
“We are far more productive than perhaps any other generation in history. We now have the tools, technological, strategic and personal, to help us in our efforts to manage our time, enhance our efficiency, and better manage our lives”- renowned author of Time Management- Mark Mancini.
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