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I'm guessing you are here because you want to make the most of your time. You recognize that time is a unique and precious resource that you need in order to do your work, accomplish your goals, spend time with your loved ones, and enjoy everything that life has to offer.
Perhaps you have a heavy workload and want to find ways to become more effective so you can get more done in less time.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed or “stressed out” and want to find ways to do less and enjoy more. Or maybe you simply want to feel more focused and in control of your time, instead of feeling like you rush madly from one activity to the next until you fall into bed exhausted every night.
Benjamin Franklin said, “Do you love life? Then do not squander time, for that's the stuff that life is made of.”
Whatever your reasons, you came to the right place. Here you'll find tons of resources, ideas and suggestions to help you improve your time management skills, increase your productivity and make much better use of your time.
What Exactly Is Time Management?
Time management is a set of principles, practices, skills, tools, and systems working together to help you get more value out of your time with the aim of improving the quality of your life.
The important point is that time management is not necessarily about getting lots of stuff done, because much more important than that is making sure that you are working on the right things, the things that truly need to be done.
Smart time managers know that there is much more to do than anyone could possibly accomplish. So instead of trying to do it all, smart time managers are very picky about how they spend their time.
They choose to focus and spend their time doing a few vital projects that will really make a difference, rather than spending all their time doing many trivial things that don't really matter all that much.
If you become a good time manager, you’ll not only get a lot more done in less time, but you’ll feel more relaxed, focused and in control of your life.
You’ll be able to use your time in a much more balanced and effective way, and you’ll be able to make time for the people and activities that you love. When you get to the end of a busy day, you’ll feel a strong sense of accomplishment from everything that you actually got done.
Improving your time management skills can even help you get better results by doing less work, because you're focusing on the things that really matter rather than all the low-priority busywork that just keeps you busy.
If you don’t learn how to manage your time well, you’ll be far less productive than you could be and you’ll get a lot less done. You’ll also feel much more stressed and overwhelmed, and you’ll struggle to find time to spend with the people you care about and to do the things you enjoy.
To start, I recommend that you signup for my newsletter and read look at some of the free reports including the 7 Secrets of Very Productive People and the Top Ten Time Management Mistakes. It's fast, easy and free.
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Learning Time Management Skills
In the end, time management comes down to choices. Good choices lead to better results, while poor choices lead to wasted time and energy.
The good news is that time management can be learned and mastered by anyone. All it takes is practice and dedication.
Like any other skill, you can learn time management the easy way or you can learn it the hard way.
The hard way usually involves years of trial and error and lots of false starts trying to figure out what works and what doesn't.
If you'd like to save yourself some time, money and effort, I recommend you try the easy way: learn from someone who has already done it.
Makes sense, right?
15 Best Time Management Tips
In the meantime, here are 15 practical time management tips to help you get started...
1. Write things down
A common time management mistake is to try to use your memory to keep track of too many details leading to information overload. Using a to-do list to write things down is a great way to take control of your projects and tasks and keep yourself organized.
2. Prioritize your list
Prioritizing your to-do list helps you focus and spend more of your time on the things that really matter to you. Rate your tasks into categories using the ABCD prioritization system described in the time management course.
3. Plan your week
Spend some time at the beginning of each week to plan your schedule. Taking the extra time to do this will help increase your productivity and balance your important long-term projects with your more urgent tasks. All you need is fifteen to thirty minutes each week for your planning session.
4. Carry a notebook
You never know when you are going to have a great idea or brilliant insight. Carry a small notebook with you wherever you go so you can capture your thoughts. If you wait too long to write them down you could forget. Another option is to use a digital recorder.
5. Learn to say no
Many people become overloaded with too much work because they overcommit; they say yes when they really should be saying no. Learn to say no to low priority requests and you will free up time to spend on things that are more important.
6. Think before acting
How many times have you said yes to something you later regretted? Before committing to a new task, stop to think about it before you give your answer. This will prevent you from taking on too much work.
7. Continuously improve yourself
Make time in your schedule to learn new things and develop your natural talents and abilities. For example, you could take a class, attend a training program, or read a book. Continuously improving your knowledge and skills increases your marketability, can help boost your career, and is the most reliable path to financial independence.
8. Think about what you are giving up to do your regular activities
It is a good idea to evaluate regularly how you are spending your time. In some cases, the best thing you can do is to stop doing an activity that is no longer serving you so you can spend the time doing something more valuable. Consider what you are giving up in order to maintain your current activities.
9. Use a time management system
Using a time management system can help you keep track of everything that you need to do, organize and prioritize your work, and develop sound plans to complete it. An integrated system is like glue that holds all the best time management practices together.
10. Identify bad habits
Make a list of bad habits that are stealing your time, sabotaging your goals, and blocking your success. After you do, work on them one at a time and systematically eliminate them from your life. Remember that the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit, it to replace it with a better habit.
11. Don’t do other people’s work
Are you in the habit of doing other people’s work because or a ‘hero’ mentality? Doing this takes up time that you may not have. Instead, focus on your own projects and goals, learn to delegate effectively, and teach others how to do their own work.
12. Keep a goal journal
Schedule time to set and evaluate your goals. Start a journal and write down your progress for each goal. Go through your goal journal each week to make sure you are on the right track.
Keeping a journal on your computer has never been easier!
13. Don’t be a perfectionist
Some tasks don’t require your best effort. Sending a short email to a colleague, for example, shouldn’t take any more than a few minutes. Learn to distinguish between tasks that deserve to be done excellently and tasks that just need to be done.
14. Beware of “filler” tasks
When you have a to-do list filled with important tasks, be careful not to get distracted by “filler” tasks. Things such as organizing your bookcase or filing papers can wait until you tackle the items that have the highest priority.
15. Avoid “efficiency traps”
Being efficient doesn’t necessarily mean that you are being productive. Avoid taking on tasks that you can do with efficiency that don’t need to be done at all. Just because you are busy and getting things done doesn’t mean you are actually accomplishing anything significant.
You can get many more tips like this, along with lots of other valuable resources, when you signup for my newsletter.
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Here are some additional time management articles that you may find helpful:
Improve your time management skills fast and take your productivity to the next level: Check out the Be More Productive training program.
Investing in yourself through time management training could be one of the best investments you make because time is one of your most precious and valuable resources.
If you'd like additional help, time management coaching and life coaching are both a great resource to implement these ideas and improve your time management skills. You can use personal coaching or group coaching depending on your needs.
In a corporate setting, executive coaching is also very valuable to help you be more productive and perform at your best.
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