Time management skills are just like every other skill and they need development in order to become more effective for increasing productivity on a daily basis.
It’s first matter of practice to put priority tasks first and ensure what we focus are time on has purpose instead of being idle and allowing ourselves to reinforce procrastination.
The good news is that procrastination can be unlearned as we consistently work on skills and habits to become more productive in how we use and manage our time. As we accomplish more with better habits, the more motivated we become to stay on track.
Stay consistent with developing the following skills and tips for better management of your time and you’ll see you’ll become more productive and procrastinate less. Just take action, and keep at it!
1. Set Detailed Goals with Time Limits
Having a clear target to hit can allow you to focus on it to ensure you hit it. If we don’t make clear specific goals we want to accomplish, we may take forever to reach them — or not reach them at all.
The more specific of a goal we make, the more clear we can be about exactly what we want to accomplish. In addition, we can then better plan on how exactly we are going to reach it.
Along with planning how we’ll actually accomplish a goal or a set of tasks, setting a target/goal date or time limit for when a specific goal should be reached can make us much more serious and focused on achieving it.
You’ll also be able to break down your progression in chunks of time to ensure you’re on track to obtain the final end goal.
2. Planning for Success
Properly planning how you are going to reach goals and the specific tasks involved can keep you on track. Using a calendar and breaking down goals in smaller goals is a great way to remind what you have to accomplish and when in order to achieve the main goal at the set date or time.
Having a calendar is key to managing your daily and weekly activities. There is a lot of free software and services out that you can use that are available online.
You will want something you can sync across platforms like mobile phone and other devices you use, that way, you can access your schedule wherever you are.
Google Calendar allows you to do this and it can also send you reminder emails and alerts to your Gmail Inbox under the same Google account . If you have a smart phone with Android, S Planner can be updated and give you reminders as well if it is set to sync with Google Calendar.
Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Many successful people find it most effective to plan each day the night before but either way, don’t start your day unless you have a plan.
The main benefit to having your to-do list figured out for the next day is that you will be have a clear plan in the morning, so all you have to do is execute the plan.
3. Focus on Completing One Task at a Time (Don’t Multitask)
Multi-taskers think they get more accomplished, but studies have shown that this is not actually effective. In reality, our minds work better when we are truly able to focus and concentrate on one thing at a time.
For help with this you can download FocusBooster or other Apps like it. This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, a time management system that challenges you to focus on a single task for 25 minutes and then give yourself a 5-minute break.
The method is based on the idea that frequent breaks can improve mental agility. When those 25 minutes are up, the app sounds the alarm and counts down the 5 minute break as well.
4. Get Rid of Distractions
It’s been said that some of us can waste as much as two or more hours a day to distractions such as social media, email, and other internet related activity. What could you scratch off your to-do list if you had all that time back?
Keep your browser closed or any tabs that are open that don’t need to be open. Some people have ensured that they are disconnected from the internet, which is a helpful tactic if you can do some work without using the Internet.
There are also some addons for your Chrome or Firefox browser such as Leach Block or Self Control that prevent you from wasting your time by blocking sites that you waste time on, such as social networks and web email accounts.
You can specify the sites you want blocked and the times you want them to be blocked to help keep you free from Internet related distractions and help you remain disciplined and focused.
Removing clutter and other distractions from your desk/workspace and keeping your door closed to further eliminate other distractions can also be effective.
5. Accountability for Keeping on Track
There’s no point in setting deadlines if you’ll just push them back. Having some form of accountability can help keep you on track to ensure specific tasks are completed and so your target date (deadline) can be met.
Being accountable is especially important if you are self-employed or have little or no supervision at a job or for an activity you wish to excel at. There should also be consequences in place if you procrastinate.
Holding yourself accountable could work if you follow through but it is unlikely if you don’t have someone you respect know what your specific goals are and when they should be completed.
Have a friend or colleague keep tabs on you with some degree of consequence that’s minor enough to not be problematic, but big enough to that helps motivate you to keep your goals.
Psychologically, we also do not want to let others down and we would rather avoid embarrassment of not finishing what said we would complete.
6. Save Time by Shopping Online
Shopping online can save you a ton of time in finding products that you’re looking to purchase. When you shop online you don’t have to drive, you don’t have spend time finding a parking spot, and you don’t have to wait in line ups.
In addition, if you do go out for a couple hours of checking out stores, you may come back empty handed, or without what you primarily went shopping for in the first place.
It’s also so much easier to browse and compare products online, and then once you find the product you want you can complete the purchase within a minute.
Amazon can be one of the single best places to shop online especially for Americans for a number of reasons. First off, it’s basically a one stop shop, because you can buy just about anything from Books to Electronics, from Baby products to Home and Garden products.
Think of the amount of time you can save when you buy a majority of the stuff you want and need on Amazon within minutes.
If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, as a member you can enjoy FREE Two-Day Shipping and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, and Kindle books.
7. Delegate Tasks to Others
Delegation is a smart idea if you want to be even more effective at managing your time well. If you run your own business or have other important duties that take much of your time, you should consider hiring an assistant to take on some tasks. You can also hire a virtual assistants if need some online tasks completed.
In addition, simply hiring someone part-time to come to your home once or twice a week to take care of household duties can free up your time to focus on tasks that are much higher priority and warrant more of your attention.