How can I improve my time management skills? 

How can I improve my time management skills? 

Time is an enigma. Even though we spent the same amount of time every day, time passes at its own rate. A fun day seems to pass too soon, but challenges appear to take up a lot of time, thus we sometimes find ourselves having too much time on our plate, and other days we rush from task to task. We end up feeling that time controls us instead of us being in-tuned with it. 

Time management is important because not only is it about completing things but also about how such situations make us feel. Knowing how to manage our day effectively can be empowering too. 

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Before we start developing skills, it is necessary to accept few facts: 

- There are only 24 hours in a day and we cannot do everything, so we need to pick what matters most and spend our time doing that. 

- It is essential to differentiate what we can control and what we cannot. Decide what is realistically possible under the circumstances. 

- It can be difficult to say no because we do not prefer disappointing or hurting others’ feelings. However, accepting all the demands even when there is a time constraint can be stressful and unproductive. 

- To learn how to manage time better, we need to nurture and focus on the skills of planning, prioritization, decision-making, and assertiveness. 

1. Decision making and prioritization 

When there are many tasks on the to-do list, it is important to decide which tasks are to be done, what can be shifted for later, and what can be delegated or discarded. 

Once we have the list cut out for the day, the requirement of prioritization comes into play. Prioritize the task based on how important and urgent they are, how much time would we like to give to it, and during what time of the day would we do it. 

These two steps are important because many times the confusion starts with not knowing when to begin and how to proceed. 

2. Awareness of when it is ‘enough’ 

When we have a need to be perfect, please people, or a fear of losing, it does things beyond our physical and mental limits. This happens because we find it difficult to tell ourselves the right time to stop, say no, or take a break. 

3. Asking for help

Despite knowing that it is the right thing to do, we often find reaching out to someone and asking for help to be an impossible task. However, it is important to be aware of our inhibitions and accept help when needed. 

4. Break and self-care 

The load and pressure of work can be time and energy-consuming, and our brain and body require rest for their wellbeing and efficiency. Giving ourselves a break of 2-5 minutes between every hour, drinking sufficient water, and not missing meals seems basic but continuous hectic working days easily make us forget about them. 

5. Figure out the challenges 

With all of the efforts and plans, it is important to figure out the obstacles you face in the journey. For example, despite planning, some people are not able to manage time properly. A couple of reasons being: 

- Inability to manage thoughts 

- Inability to manage stress and overwhelming emotions 

- Interference of outside factors and people 

- Inability to concentrate 

- Other concerns, apart from work 

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Once you know what exactly is coming your way, you will know the path to overcome it.

6. Accepting work 

Our approach and mindset about work can be a big factor that affects our time and yield. It is important to try and generate or find a positive perspective about the things you dislike about your work. 

Time management is not as difficult as considered, but it does require not looking at the restriction of time as a burden and over-working as a necessity.