Are you one of those people who’s just always late? No matter what you do, you can’t seem to get to class or your next meeting on time? Or maybe you just can’t seem to get that essay handed in before the deadline.
Having tip-top time management skills is really important whether you’re at school or work. You’ll be more productive as well as less stressed out. But if you need a little help in this department, don’t freak out: that’s where we come in. We’ve got some really easy ways to transform yourself into a time management pro.
Why do time management skills matter?
Time management basically means making the most of your time. It’s all about keeping track of how much time you have and how much time things take. The goal is to be a really efficient student or worker.
At school, allocating your time well means you’ll have plenty of time to spend on revising, homework and presentations. You’ll avoid feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, and ultimately you’ll get better grades.
Making the most of your time also means you’ll have a better “work-life balance”. That means you can balance study and working, leaving more time for fun!
Employers want you to have these skills because more efficient members of staff are more productive. They make the company run more smoothly, and ultimately earn more money.
How to boost your time management skills
Here are 6 easy tips and tricks you can use to optimise your time.
1. Make to-do lists.
Lists are one of the best ways to stay organised and on top of your time. You’ll quickly learn how long things take and what is achievable in certain time frames. Plus, checking off your tasks as you complete them is super-satisfying.
2. Set goals.
Consider what you need to achieve at work or school, and set yourself some monthly goals.
You should include a date you’d like to achieve each goal by, and then do your best to stick to those targets. It could be something small to start off with, like practice French words for 10 minutes each day. When it’s something bigger, like a long-term project at work, try to break up the pieces of the project into smaller, more manageable steps.
3. Think about your priorities.
At the start of every day at school or work, take some time to prioritise what needs to be done first. Do you need to reply to that email right now or can it wait ‘til the end of the day? What homework needs to be done first? Developing these skills will help you be save loads of time.
4. Avoid procrastination
We know how hard it is to avoid procrastination – we all waste loads of time aimlessly browsing online or chatting to friends. But avoiding getting started on your school essay or work project can be a real drain on your time. Some handy ways to stop procrastinating are:
- Change your environment. If you’re bored of revising in your bedroom, try the school library. Change your work meeting from the office to a park.
- Identify distractions. If it’s the Xbox, remove it from your room. If it’s Instagram or BuzzFeed, try an app that stops you browsing. If you’re serious, you could even disable your social media accounts!
- Have a buddy. Getting a friend to study with or a colleague to work alongside can do wonders for your procrastination.
Read this for more successful study habits.
5. Take a break.
And no, we don’t mean procrastinate! When work is getting on top of you, it’s important to take a quick 10 minute break away from your computer or phone. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed is a real drain on your time. Take a walk or listen to some music. Then when you’re ready to work again, you’ll be so much more productive.
6. Stop multi-tasking.
Believe it or not, most experts agree that doing more than one thing at the same time is not productive or efficient. Try really concentrating on one task at a time and you’ll get things done much faster.
Why should I develop my time management skills?
The awesome thing about working on your time management is that you’ll develop lots of other useful skills that employers really value. These include:
- Setting clear goals.
- Breaking down your workload into manageable steps.
- Making priorities.
- Organisastion skills.
- Perseverance (sticking at something).
- Taking initiative.
Ready to start working on your time management skills? Read our guide to workplace skills and check off the ones you already have, and the ones that need some work.