Outstanding time management begins with the appropriate set of effective time management skills. No special technique, time management app cannot help you to manage your time in a better way if you do not build some main time management skills.
In this article, you will come across the set of skills that are the cornerstones of the most productive personalities throughout the globe, and how you can build them.
At this moment, you may be asking yourself, why are time management skills so essential? Well before that, we should understand that skill is the ability to perform something competently. Without having appropriate Effective time management skills, you cannot simply systematize your time even less as a manager too, yourself generally or others consistently and smartly.
Even if you find Effective time management skills, techniques or tools, you do not need the internal resources important for preserving things practically to enhance the productivity of the company.
Without the appropriate Effective time management skills, you do not have what is requires following through with the selected time management tips or techniques.
Effective Time Management Skills And How To Build Them
Now, we understand the significance of effective time management to increase productivity. Let’s analyze the main time management skills and how to get them. The five most vital time management skills are:
- Decision making and prioritization
- Setting boundaries and saying no
- Delegating and outsourcing tasks
The process of Effective time management skills initiates with good planning skills, it’s very difficult to handle your day or week if you do not possess a good plan of which activities should get completed. Building appropriate planning skills is the first step toward efficient time management. Of course, practically, a day never passes fully according to plan but a good plan is the main tool to help you calibrate the activities of the day and not stray off course.
“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower
Planning skills are essential in various elements of time management. Making task lists, establishing sequences of work, creating meeting agendas, calendar management even working on project plans, are all included in the right planning skills.
With having proper planning skills, you need to be able to assume the heat requires to be done and prioritize the most vital tasks. Then you also have to implement the plan with proper self-monitoring to investigate how good the plan you have made is.
If you are wondering how to develop planning skills then here is the answer. A great way to establish planning skills is to continuously use calendar tools like Google calendar. In simple terms, do the planning of the week ahead, directly in the calendar: when to get up in the morning. Which takes should be performed at the start of the day. When to go for meetings, your leisure time, your family time and so on.
Take notes of everything directly into the calendar, it will provide you with a good overview of how to spare time in the following week. Indeed, it is the simplest kind of plan you can create. When you export your calendar, you can begin using more advanced plans. Studying best practices in project planning is a very good next step.
2. Decision Making And Prioritization
The moment of the plan is not only to assume how things should go but also to make decisions regarding the priorities. The concept is to make hard decisions regarding how you should spend your important time.
We all have 24 hours in a day, how we utilize these hours is what makes the real difference in effective time management. The conclusion is that effective time management skills are associated with making good decisions regarding your time.
There are several decisions to make when it comes to time management. It includes how long you will sleep, where you will work, what activities you will start at the beginning, how long you will work and so on.
Well, most people do not like decision making, they normally just go with the flow and let their leaders, life partners and others find how they will spend time. But that typically leads to worst time management so do not be one of those people.
If you want to be an expert at time management, you require being in control of your time and if you want to be in control, you have to get the strings wherever you can be.
The other important thing you do is to prioritize, you have to tell which tasks you should get first, and which activities you will say no to (to the amount probable in your existing position).
How can you build good decision making and prioritization expertise? The Eisenhower matrix is possibly the best initial for learning prioritization. The matrix suggests the arrangement of tasks in one of the four quadrants:
- Urgent + Important (Do)
- Urgent + Not Important (Delegate)
- Not Urgent + Important (Put it in your calendar)
- Not Important + Not Urgent (Delete)
Make a list of the entire tasks you have performed weekly. Make arrangements in the four quadrants. In each quadrant, sort them from the most significant one to the least significant one. Being with the most vital and urgent tasks. That’s how you will go through making decisions regarding your time.
3. Setting Boundaries And Saying No
If you want to be good at effective time management, you have to consider time as the most precious resource you have. That means setting very transparent boundaries to people who want to delegate activities to you or to get you into activities and projects that are not your priority. In this sense, saying no is one of the most significant skills in effective time management.
In the same way, you must learn to say no to other people, you also have to know how to set boundaries for yourself. If you do not know how to do that, you can take too much work on your to-do list and not deliver. Or you can do numerous things at one time. Restricting work in progress, limiting the number of active projects and avoiding multitasking are all significant tips in time management.
How to learn to say no? If you lack assertiveness and boldness, you may have a difficult time saying no to people.
The great way to establish good boundary-setting skills is to begin saying no in little non-essential circumstances, and then gradually scale up to the huge things where you are emotionally involved. You may have heard that practice makes perfect. Practice helps you to get out of your comfort zone.
It also enables you to ask yourself what you are afraid of while rejecting others, normally it is because you think that people will have a bad point of view regarding you after rejecting something or that they will reject you next time when you try to engage them. When you have the causes, discover if they are really important.
Or you can also assist yourself with many templates for emails with respectful diminishes of collaboration if you can prepare some good rejections or excuses in advance.
But the amazing advice is to just be honest. Like you can say that I would love to do this, but to be honest, I do not have time so I will pass this opportunity to someone else. Thank you, I appreciate it.
4. Delegating And Outsourcing Tasks
Saying “no” is the way to protect your time. Delegating activities is regarding leveraging other people’s time. To know how to delegate is the very significant next step in being an expert in time management.
The core point of task delegation is that you can concentrate on the greatest value activities and get all the rest of your back. It’s a type of specialization.
With appropriate delegation, you can also get engaged with people who are experts at some things which means that they can perform some tasks faster and better.
Handing over tasks may sound simple but it’s not in reality. Initially, you have to determine the appropriate people whom you can trust and you believe that they will deliver. Then you have to establish a relationship with them and appropriately communicate the definition of work done and acceptance criteria at the time of delegation.
People do not often deliver according to expectations at first. That means you are supposed to learn to give constructive feedback.
You need to know exactly when and how to use the stick and carrot for their work to enhance. The good news is that knowing how to outsource and delegate tasks is the best way to contribute to your leadership skills and personal development.
How can you get aware of delegation? If you are the first time in a leadership position or never really delegated, make a list of all the activities you could delegate.
These activities can be business such as legal, administration, social media management and so on, or personal immature things like washing, cleaning, grocery etc.
Analyze all the tasks according to the complexity of the tasks to delegate them. Follow the appropriate criteria like potential executants, task easiness and hardship, time sensitivity and price etc. then go with the simplest task to delegate.
Do invest some energy and find the best person for the job. Expect there will probably be some problems with performance, relationships or communication at the beginning. But that’s the only way to really learn to delegate and really influence other people’s time of people.