5 Practical Ways to Improve Time Management
Posted on October 20, 2018 by Danny Leffel
Regardless of any advancement in science or development of a new app, you cannot gain more hours in a day. When you’re tasked with a lot of work but you’re unsure how you’ll accomplish it all, devising a strong time management strategy can be crucial. Excellent time management can help you achieve more, have lower stress levels, and produce a higher quality product. Here are five tips on how to improve time management.
1. Stop Multitasking
No matter what anyone tells you, they are not more productive when they multitask, and neither are you. It’s easy to think that you will accomplish more by doing many things at the same time; however, in reality, you are not doing multiple things at the same time but are doing small pieces of many tasks in relatively quick succession. Each time that you transition from one item on your list to another, your brain has to spend time shifting its focus in preparation to accomplish the task at hand.
Instead of wasting time refocusing your mind over and over again, fully commit to completing one task before moving on to the next. In doing so, you will gain back all of the time needlessly spent in transition from one project to the next.
2. Don’t Procrastinate
Time management is about more than just accomplishing more within a set period; it involves maximizing your efficiency and productivity within the time given. This means that you should allow the time necessary to complete your tasks to a high level of quality. When you procrastinate, you waste the opportunity to produce a better product and even run the risk of not accomplishing your work.
You may choose to procrastinate for a variety of reasons. The task may be daunting; you might feel that you lack the skills or preparation necessary, or perhaps you think that you perform better under pressure. Each of these reasons can be addressed with proper time management.
If you’re intimidated by the work, break the job up into small pieces so it’s more approachable. If you lack the skills or preparation, grant additional time for research or practice. If the countdown clock gets your juices flowing, then give yourself mini-deadlines to accomplish parts of the project over time. This allows you to work under pressure while still giving yourself enough time to produce a high-quality product.
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3. Prioritize What’s Most Important
Not all tasks are created equal. Sometimes, you need to devote more attention to one project over another. When you encounter this issue, it’s essential to prioritize the most critical jobs and hold off on what can wait. If some tasks have strict deadlines or require immediate attention, make sure to work on those first. Each time that you have a list of items to accomplish, organize them by their deadline and then by importance. When prioritizing tasks, you may find that you’re not able to complete everything assigned to the level of expected quality. When this occurs, you will need to delegate work to others.
Proper time management isn’t just about your ability to accomplish more tasks; it’s about making sure those tasks are taken care of efficiently. Sometimes that means that you’re not the best person for the job. Regardless, if other tasks have higher priorities or you do not have the necessary skill set to accomplish the task to a high level of quality, you will want to delegate some work to others.
Delegation does not mean passing off your work to others. Instead, it means that once you evaluate everything that you’re assigned and find that you will not be able to handle everything adequately, you should reassign some tasks or communicate with your team or management about your workload and their expectations.
5. Create a Schedule
As the one in charge of your team scheduling, you should also book time to accomplish your own tasks. Once you have prioritized your work, you’ll know how much time to allow each to perform them adequately. If you’re unsure how much time something will take, schedule an estimated block of time and leave sections of your week free to clean up loose ends. Once you’ve created a schedule, adhere to it as strictly as possible.
As you continue to improve your time management skills, the tips listed here will become second nature, and you’ll be able to accomplish more in less time and to a higher degree of quality. Always remember to share your time management tips and tricks with your peers and management (try using the Crew App) to improve everyone’s efficiency.