How To Learn Time Management Skills and Strategies

Here are some ideas on how to learn time management strategies to allow you to get more accomplished each day.  Time management is accomplished by organizing your work tasks in concert with your other activities of daily living.

Step 1

Purchase and use a planner, even if you have a computerized calendar in your computer at work.  The planner will allow you to carry your plans and lists with you at all times.  If you prefer, you can use a computerized planner or Blackberry that contains this information, but some people still prefer to use a pen and paper.  You can print out your work calendar and tape it into your planner if you want to use both the computerized and manual methods simultaneously.  The method to use is the one that works best for you.

Step 2

Lists are the key to your organizational excellence.  Use a list for handling daily tasks at work, spelling out the components of large projects or events and then creating action plans that coincide with your preparation steps. Use a master list for each month which will highlight the major items you need to have accomplished over the four week time period.  Weekly, you can divvy up the smaller parts that will ultimately complete the whole at month's end.

Step 3

Systematically and tenaciously work the items on your lists to completion.  Be sure to ask for help if and when you need it, and if you have others working for you, be sure to delegate as much as you can to others.  When delegating, don't just hand out tasks haphazardly.  Give some mundane and some challenging items to your assistant so you can further her development when she has a chance to handle new issues.

Step 4

Stay on task as much as possible and understand that diversions and interruptions are going to be a commonplace occurence.  Monitor your time lines closely and make whatever adjustments necessary in order to meet your deadlines.  This includes checking in with others who are assisting you in getting the project done by the required date.

Step 5

Follow up at the end of each time period, i.e. monthly, to see how you did in accomplishing your goals.  Where did you fall down and what areas could you improve upon next time?  Elicit feedback from others if you can to get a more objective view of how tasks, jobs or events were carried out.  Take the advise into account in the future and further enhance your efficiency. As part of the follow up, give feedback and reward or positively reinforce good behavior on the part of those who helped you get the desired result within the time constraints. 

Being systematic, using a planner and lists appropriately and delegating work are you best strategies in managing your time.  Throughout the process, try to keep your work area neat and organized so you can keep track of all your materials and tools.  If you plan well, time will be on your side.


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