Learning time management skills is extremely important for anyone whom wants to maximize their leadership potential and establishing a prosperous career. Often, we feel so overwhelmed with our day to day tasks that focusing on learning time management skills isn't a pro-active measure, but one that becomes an alternative to a burn out!
I often come across people that are plagued with an arsenal of bad habits! Even before they get out of bed they're already behind schedule! They wake up late and spend the rest of the day in catch up mode. Eventually, they cut an appointment short to make up the lost time. But the reasons that lead them to being late for their first meeting will be the same for their next meeting.
Are you living an unproductive and disorganized life? If you are, just remember that it's never too late to change and start learning time management skills. In fact, holding the belief that you will change by focusing on learning time management skills is the first and most important step for you to take. An easy way to motivate yourself is to really understand why time management is important as well as seeing the value that it will bring into your life.
Don't under estimate the power of procrastination. Procrastinating is by far the biggest time waster because you don't accomplish anything other than wasting your valuable time and squashing your motivation.
There are many reasons why we procrastinate. Usually it is because we don't know how to do the task or because it's something that we don't like to do. Whatever the reason is, you should get the task completed and move on to the next one. At first it might not be a considerable amount of wasted time, but as time goes on these task will add up and eventually you will be spending your precious energy re-organizing or explaining to someone why the task isn't completed. Many even go to the point where they spend more time avoiding the task then what it would take to actually get the work completed.
Procrastination also negatively impacts your motivation as it creates a stressful environment, one where you don't have any sense of accomplishment! On the flip side, when you do these task you feel relieved and motivated! Use that feeling as your stimulus to get over the procrastinated task. Doing so will not only get the task done, but will ensure that you are effective in your leadership role.
We all know the value of a To Do list, but few actually use them! Some think that they are smart enough to keep a mental log of every task. Well, we all are!! But the question is why we would? Keeping a mental log robs away some valuable brain power as we have a tendency to unconsciously ensure that we aren't forgetting a task, thus keeping our brain's CPU busy. Writing them down frees you from that, and allows you to fully utilize your mental capacity for the task at hand.
You're To Do list should contain enough details so that anyone somewhat familiar with your workload would comprehend what are the objective of the given task. For each, you should also indicate its duration. This will provide you with an understanding of task completion and more importantly the impact that one task falling behind schedule would have on the completion dates of the others. Knowing this information will give you some control and will allow you to properly develop an effective alternative plan.
Down time is defined as the brief period of time when you haven't set any productive objectives. Down time can be something as simple as waiting for everyone to join the meeting. In general, we waste those small windows of time by not thinking about anything important. However, those small nuggets of time can be utilized to complete small tasks. For example, bring some articles with you where ever you go. Then read them during down times.
Contrary to popular belief, I think that in the world of business, multitasking is impossible! So, don't waste your time trying to be efficient at multitasking. However, learning time management skills does include being able to switch tasks quickly and effectively. A good practice is to dedicate yourself to a given task until you reach its completion. If the task is substantial break it down into manageable work packages. These packages should have a duration for which you are capable being focused, for most these should be between 60 and 90 minutes. Then take a small break between tasks.
These transition phases provide you with a great opportunity for getting your coffee refilled or even simply enjoy the nice window view. When you're ready, you may be interested in finding new ways to apply time management in your workplace.
Sharing your thoughts on management will benefit every leader that are constantly seeking to improve their management skills. Every leader need to manage constantly, thus increasing our management skills will consequently increase our leadership skills.
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