10 Essential Time Management Skills for Work & Why You Need Them.

Time management skills and your career go hand in hand.

You can get yourself a job, but if you happen to lack time management skills, you won’t be able to last long.

You will not be able to progress nor cope up with the competitive landscape of the industry.

With proper organization, you will never miss deadlines, ensure a space to be creative and proactive in the assigned tasks, and most importantly stay engaged.

In this guide, we will be talking about the importance, a list of essential time management skills that are needed by any individual in a professional setting.

Lastly, the piece also includes a bonus chapter about practices that you can make use of to improve your time management skills.

Why do you need Time Management Skills?

Time management skill plays an important role when it comes to structuring your personal and professional life.

Time management skills not only promise you success but also helps you in managing your time effectively and making the most of it.

Here are some reasons why time management skills are important to you:

  • More Productive Hours – through effective time management skills you will be able to create extra productive hours for the week. Simply put it this way, if you are successful in gaining one extra hour of focused output through discipline and organization, this means that by the end of the year you will end up with 250 extra hours to work or, around one month of extra working time.
  • Prioritizing Your Tasks – ideally, if you bear good time management skills, you will never have to stress about the work that needs to be done. You’ll be aware of what’s ahead and what would be your plan of action to tackle it. Moreover, if you come across problems that are holding you back, you will have a clear idea about what to do – delegate or move to another task – improving your efficiency. This would leave you with ample time to focus on strategic issues.
  • Improved Self-Confidence – you will come across situations where saying “no” to something can prove to be difficult. Putting yourself on a quest to set fires out for others will make you prone to put your priorities at risk, and you should probably reroute your course of action. You don’t have to be arrogant when it comes to drawing lines. Nevertheless, by drawing lines you will determine the amount of time you spend working on other irrelevant tasks, all thanks to time management skills.
  • Improved Focus – with effective time management skills, you will know what tasks to complete first, according to their importance, irrespective of the number of tasks you have on your plate. Time management skills help you in mastering the art of staying focused.
  • Setting Milestones Effectively – leveraging on time management skills you will be to set a milestone in a more organized and effective manner so that your momentum towards goal completion is not disrupted. Setting effective milestones will help you track your progress and turn a mundane task into a challenging objective.

10 Essential Time Management Skills

When you lack good time management skills, you miss deadlines, unhappy clients, and most importantly increased overtime costs.

Successful time management helps in avoiding unwanted overtime costs and advocates improved performance.

Time management skills constitute a variety of skills, which help you manage your time.

Some of the most essential time management skills include:

1. Organization

Don’t forget that it’s your organization that makes or breaks productivity.

When you stay organized you are clearly aware of what needs to be completed and when.

Being organized means that you are maintaining an up to date calendar, having a tidy work environment, detailed and diligent notes, and being able to locate the needed documents.

Every minute you waste due to disorganization could have been utilized in completing a task.

This means that emphasizing the importance of organizing your workplace helps in maximizing efficiency.

2. Goal setting

Successful time management starts with setting effective goals.

Goal setting allows you to clearly know about the end goal and what should be your priorities to achieve it.

However, you need to make sure that your goals should comprise of both short term and long term goals to chart success.

The best practice is that supervisors and employees should work together to set yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily goals.

For each goal you set, there should be a specific deadline in which they should be completed and break those goals into smaller and manageable tasks.

3. Prioritization

Setting your priorities straight is one of the most time management skills that a good time manager should possess.

There are several ways to prioritize what you need to accomplish.

Such as deciding on what to complete quickly, simple items followed by longer ones, and the ones that require more involvement.

Moreover, you can also start with prioritizing tasks, which are time-sensitive or you can also use a combination of both.

You should also note that prioritization of tasks should always start with getting rid of tasks that you are not performing instead of focusing on getting more work done.

4. Communication

With strong communication skills, you are always at the luxury to explain your goals and plans in a more comprehensive manner to people you are working with.

Moreover, it also helps in easing the delegation of tasks, so that you can focus on completing the tasks that are most important, relevant and align with your goals.

Strong communication helps you in building supportive relationships, which would allow you to work better and achieve more than you can ever go solo.

5. Stress Management

Time management skills and stress management skills are intertwined.

One major thing that you should keep in mind, to avoid unnecessary stress you should always try to deal with the problem before it occurs rather than dealing with it once it has occurred.

In order to improve your time management skills, proactive stress management should be a ritual of your life.

It goes with the saying that when you manage your time better you tend to have less stress.

And when you have less stress you can focus on time better.

When you handle stress in a constructive way, you stay motivated and perform well on the schedule that you have planned for yourself.

6. Delegation

There will be times when you are being delegated work to do, and there will be instances when you will delegating work to others.

Getting the work done should be your focus, instead of who is doing it.

One of the greatest time management skills is knowing when you are not the right fit for a particular job.

Delegation by no means that getting the work off your back and onto somebody else’s.

Delegation refers to getting the work done in the highest standards, by the right person and at the right time.

7. Planning

When you work towards your final goal, you will come across tasks, which will overlap and at times be dependent on each other.

Similarly, your schedule will also be impacted by the schedules of others.

This is why all such factors should be incorporated when you start planning for the project in the beginning and should be monitored throughout.

Planning is one of the most important time management skills, which will allow you to foresee all the tasks (both overlapping and dependent) required for the completion of the project and what course of action should be taken so that they best fit with each other.

Don’t forget that a well-crafted plan helps in saving a great deal of time.

So plan accordingly.

8. Effective Team Work

The blog piece has already highlighted the importance of effective communication in maximizing time efficiency.

Working in teams is the quickest way to get things done with less rework.

Working effectively in teams is more than just delegation and communication, you should be aware of what others like to work, their goals and expectations.

This would not only help in bolstering positive relationships, but you will also get to know people better.

Working in teams is considered to be the most delicate and subtle time management skill because it demands you to identify the subtle and latent needs of others, identify the differences and figuring out a way to eradicate them.

You must also not forget that understanding the time management skills of each member on your team plays a critical role in being able to work effectively and efficiently.

9. Patience

Most people are of the opinion that time management skills are all about getting more work done, which however is not the case.

Time management skills are all about doing what’s important.

If you follow the first approach, you will always end up rushing things and making mistakes.

There will be times when you will not end up results you desire; this is where patience comes into play.

Patience again is one of the most important time management skills that you need to possess, with the vision to accept results that often lag long behind the work you completed.

This is something, which is not in your reach to control and you have to live with it.

10. Ensuring Balance

Managing and delivering flawless work is temporary and will die out, to ensure that this sustains you should be vigilant when it comes to stress and energy level of your employees.

Deteriorating energy levels and excruciating levels of stress will prevent your employees from giving their best.

The best practice is to encourage them to take regular breaks throughout the year and try introducing an employee wellness program into practice to educate them about healthy practices.

Striking a balance between work and life is pivotal when it comes to efficiency and effectiveness.

Bonus Chapter: Improving Time Management Skills

Improving your time management skills can help you become a better employee and always treat yourself with something extra as compared to others.

Here are some ways you can capitalize upon to improve your time management skills:

1. Managing Your Calendar

You should always have ample time in your calendar for the most important tasks on your list.

The ideal approach is to book certain slots in your calendar so that you are promised with guaranteed time besides the brackets you have reserved for meetings and distractions.

Moreover, you should also try to avoid attending meetings that you think might not be productive and will not add value, there is no harm in turning down attending meetings which would eat up your time.

While turning down the invite, you should always be discrete and polite.

Consider sending them an email to let them know why you will not be able to show up in the meeting.

2. Always Prioritize Your Tasks

Setting priorities can be difficult when you start, but with the passage of time, things will get easier for you.

The practice is to draft a to-do list and then start prioritizing tasks from important to least important.

Writing or listing them down can help you physically prioritize the tasks that are easy to get off the way or are most urgent.

However, you can also seek advice from your manager or a colleague that is good at prioritizing tasks so that they can be completed on time.

Setting your priorities will help you understating the importance of due dates, how tasks affect one another, and most importantly it helps you get certain things ahead of others.

3. Setting the Right Goals

Setting the right goals can help you in understanding exactly what needs to be done to achieve certain results.

In order to accomplish the ultimate goal, you should always start by breaking the larger goal into smaller milestones as you progress.

This is why your goals should be smart, specific, measurable, achievable and time-bound.

You are looking for assistance with goal setting, which is SMART; it is highly recommended that you use WeekPlan.

Final Words

One thing is for sure if you are looking for the best possible results from your life; time management skills are a must.

With improved time management skills, you would observe that you would be able to get more work done in less time.

There are many types of time management skills and the list above is by no means exhaustive, but the list does cover the essential time management skills that one would need in order to be more productive and efficient.

Over to you now; if you think we have missed out on some skills, please let us know through your comments.

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