Time management skills and how they influence our lives

time management skills

What are the time management skills

In general, the notion of skills defines the abilities of a person to successfully perform certain activities under certain conditions.
Time management is the process of planning and controlling the time spent in certain activities, to increase efficiency and productivity.
We take as a starting point these two general definitions and get to the definition of time-management skills.

Time management skills - definition
Abilities that allow a person to plan and organize their activities in such a way, as to improve their performance in terms of efficiency and productivity.

Which are the time management skills

Depending on the field of activity we refer to, we can identify more general or more specific time management skills.

1. Goal setting
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible
Tony Robbins
2. Prioritizing
Good things happen when you set your priorities straight
Scott Caan
3. Scheduling
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities
Stephen Convey
4. Organizing
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned
Benjamin Franklin
5. Strategic Thinking
A vision without a strategy
remains an illusion
Lee Bolman
6. Problem-solving
We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them
Albert Einstein
7. Delegation
If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate
Richard Branson
8. Decision-making
It's not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are
Roy E. Disney

Why we need time management skills

Whether we work for an employer or are self-employed, in both cases time-management skills are essential. Even in our personal lives, we can fully benefit from the benefits of time management skills. We will be more productive and efficient in everything we do, and this will have positive effects in all areas of our lives.

If we work as self-employed, we know that this implies multiple responsibilities and that very often we must work an extended program to be able to face them. Instead, if we develop time management skills, we will be able to better determine how much time you need to complete tasks and whether you can take on additional work. Together with an efficient prioritization of tasks and careful planning, we will be able to fulfill our tasks on time and to meet our deadlines without problems. Thus, we will succeed in maintaining a good balance between professional activity and personal life.

Regarding companies, it is worth mentioning that for 51% of those with less than 500 employees, time-management skills are one of the most valued soft skills. The company's field of activity or position level has no relevance, as time management skills can be applied across all industries and positions.

How to learn time management skills

Although time management skills are part of everyone's personality, they can also be learned. Moreover, learning time management skills is an ongoing process.

For starters, you will need to apply some of the basic principles of time management like planning, organize and prioritize, no multitasking, or procrastinating. Moreover, for outstanding results, you will have to do this constantly. Here are some steps to get you started:

  • Set goals and set a deadline for each one
  • Break down goals into objectives and activities to be performed
  • Plan ahead and set deadlines (Prepare your weekly To-do list in the previous weekend and the daily one in the previous evening)
  • Follow your plans, but if necessary be flexible with story plans
  • Use a time tracking program to make sure you stay on track

No matter what methods and strategies you choose to apply, from time to time you will need to do a self-assessment on the results of your time-management skills. Try Planned day VS Real day, an objective comparison between what you set out to do and what you did, to keep yourself on track in a timely fashion.

How to improve time management skills

As you work on this you will discover for yourself what your flaws are in terms of time management and you can take the measures you deem necessary. And even if it's not about flaws, there is always room for improvement in time management skills. Here are some suggestions that will help you to constantly improve your time management skills:

  • Once you start working avoid any distractions. Create an environment in which, as much as possible, you can work quietly
  • Keep the quality of your work high, even if it means refusing certain projects or saying no to certain invitations.
  • If possible, delegate tasks that do not necessarily require your attention