Time management skills, simply put, refer to the skills that a person needs in order to organise and divide their time between different tasks and activities. These skills are essential not only in the workplace but also in living productive personal lives. That said, what time management skills should a person strive to acquire?

Our team at Priority Management suggests a few skills and habits that are essential to productive individuals. Adopting the following time management skills will help just about anyone improve their performance at work as well as balance how they spend their personal time.

Setting Goals

Setting goals is an important time management skill because it allows the person to get an idea of the tasks they should accomplish within the day. It also lets them determine how to divide their time between these activities. This, in turn, will help them figure out how to pace their work properly so that they can complete all the things that they need to do within the time that they have allotted. It’s a good idea to make a habit of setting goals at the start of every day and review it periodically to see how much work still needs to be done.

Prioritising Tasks

Tasks can be urgent or non-urgent and important or not important. Urgent tasks need to be done as soon as possible, while non-urgent tasks can wait. On the other hand, important tasks, if not done, can have serious consequences, while non-important tasks can be done at a later time or not done at all with little to no consequence.

That being said, unexpected tasks are unavoidable in some situations. People who want to use their time efficiently should be able to determine if an unexpected task is:

· urgent and important and should be done immediately;

· urgent and not important and can be done later;

· not urgent but important and should be done later; or

· not urgent and not important and can be disregarded altogether.

Doing so will help them prioritise their tasks and proceed to their next activity without using up too much time.

Improving Focus

Not everyone can be good at multitasking. In many cases, working on two or more things at the same time can cause a person to use up more time for the said tasks than they initially planned. People who are finding themselves distracted by the deluge of tasks in front of them can remind themselves of their priorities by looking at their goals and analysing which tasks have a higher level of importance and urgency. Doing these should help them decide right then and there which goal or activity should be prioritised ahead of the others.

Reviewing Day-to-Day Activities

Processes in the workplace and at home can be made more efficient. At the end of every day, it’s a good idea to look back at what’s been done, how it was done, the common hurdles that the person encountered while carrying out the task, and how they were able to overcome the challenges that they faced. Thinking of these things will help the person streamline their processes and, in the future, immediately deal with the common issues that prevent them from using their time and energy more efficiently.

Using the Right Tools for the Job

Finally, one of the most essential time management skills that a highly effective leader or team member should have is the ability to acquaint themselves with the time management tools and programs at their disposal.

There are many programs and mobile apps that are designed to help people align their priorities, organise their tasks, and track their projects. Some popular tools that they can check out include Microsoft Project, Microsoft Outlook, and a slew of Google Applications. Those who are not familiar with these tools and those who are looking to refresh their know-how on how to efficiently use these programs can easily join online classes like the ones offered by Priority Management. Learning how to use these tools will go a long way in ensuring that professionals can do their work more efficiently.

Caring for One’s Self: An Essential Part of Using Time Efficiently

No matter how busy a day may be, it’s important for a highly efficient and organised person to dedicate a bit of time to self-care. Caring for one’s self—that is, making sure that the person is capable of giving it their all to the tasks in front of them—is an essential aspect of using time wisely and most efficiently. If the person is not 100 per cent capable of committing themselves to their activities for the day, then it’s likely that they will use up more time than needed to accomplish tasks in a manner that measures up to their standard of quality.

Good time management skills are essential to any professional who wants to keep up and get ahead in this fast-paced world. By adopting good time management skills, a person is empowered to become more effective, productive, and well-balanced, and they’re also able to make time for activities that truly matter to them. As long as you follow the advice we’ve given above, you should be well on your way to becoming more efficient, one day at a time.

Need to up your productivity during your work hours? Check out Priority Management Australia’s Time Management Training courses today.