6 time management strategies for people lacking organisational skills
Time management has been the Achilles’ heel for Andrew Robinson. Throughout his academic life, he had to rush through assignments and tests to finish them on time. After graduating from college, he landed a promising job in marketing. He decided to work on time management to maintain productivity at work. But, there seemed to be no end to his struggle. Like they say, old habits die hard; he still had trouble managing time.
Just like Andrew, many of you are probably stuck in this vicious cycle of rushing through tasks and struggling to find a balance in your life and work. This is probably because you lack the natural organisational skill.
The inevitable question is, how to break free from this cycle of poor time management? To answer the question, here are some vital tips that will help break the jinx of poor time management. These time management tips will work for students as well as for working professionals.
1. Determine how you spend your time
Do you continuously wish you had more time in the day? Do you ever feel like you don’t get enough time to do the things you enjoy?
Sure, there are days when you’re busy and unable to meet a friend for lunch. All of us get 24hours in a day, and yet some of us are better at time-management than others. Think about why can’t you meet a deadline or find the time to pursue your passion when others can. It's possible that your lifestyle is preventing you from properly managing your time.
The first step to master time management is to evaluate how you spend your time on daily tasks. In this case, can use a time-tracking app or the good ol' pen-and-paper method to record what you're doing, and how long have you been doing it.
2. Ditch the bad habits for the good ones
One of the reasons you might be disorganised is because of bad habits. If you want time management to be your strong suit, you need to drop the bad habits for a successful professional life. One such practice is taking on more than you can handle.
This happens when you just start your career or your own business. Since you are doing everything yourself, nothing really gets done efficiently. Know your limits and identify when to draw a line. Remember, it’s always better to under-promise and over-deliver.
Another common habit is relying on your memory too much. Even if you possess an eidetic memory, it can fail you at some point. This is why you need to give your brain a little respite from jogging the memories. Keep a notebook with you at all times to write down ideas and thoughts. This way, you can refer to it when you have to.
3. Set your priorities straight
In majority of the cases, disorganised people tend to think they always have too much on their plate. But actually, they just need to prioritise the important things that need to be accomplished first. It’s wise to finish off one or two important tasks in a day than to leave ten tasks half done.
To manage your time more efficiently, identify your priorities and work through them in order. You should always spend the most time and effort on your top priority; starting with the most complex tasks first will make the rest come across much easier to deal with.
When at work, this time management method could be implemented by asking your superiors what is the most important task that needs to be done and start there. Eventually, you will learn to identify the tasks that are vital.
4. Divide and conquer
This might just be your go-to mantra if you are trying to manage your time efficiently. Breaking elaborate projects into smaller action-items can work wonderfully for you. It's often easy to feel intimidated when you have major commitments looming over your head.
Your objective should be to take each project and break them down into manageable elements. Pick a chunk of the ones you can accomplish today and successfully complete them.
One of the perks of this approach is that you can reward yourself after completing the major portions of the tasks. You will notice how gratifying it is to accomplish something that has been looming over your head. It also helps keep up your morale in the future endeavours.
5. Plan ahead for tomorrow
The irony of this process of time management is that many of us just can’t spare the time to manage it well. Habits and responsibilities prevent us from setting priorities, breaking down tasks and getting organised.
Amidst such obstacles, you can stay one step ahead by planning for tomorrow. Create a to-do list of the things you want to complete. Make sure your goals are realistic and connect them to larger goals if you can. Set aside particular time slots to do a particular task.
Planning your day provides you with two immediate payoffs. First, it can dial down the stress levels. Without a gazillion things to juggle in your mind, you can get a good night sleep. Second, it allows you to hit the ground running. That way, you'll be prepared to deal with your tasks at hand.
6. Relax and take a breather
If you think time management is about rushing from one task to the other, then you’ve got it all wrong. If you're hurrying, chances are you've lost a lot of time and are probably operating inefficiently. This contributes to stress and your time management efforts ultimately go down the drain.
While managing time is essential, but at times, it’s alright to let loose. Maintaining your productivity is important, but you should have enough time to enjoy life. This is why it’s vital to spend time with family and friends, and indulge in some unadulterated fun. When you draw up a list of priorities, it's essential that you include your relaxation in there.
While time will run at its own pace, you have to work out ways to use it to your advantage without succumbing to stress and anxiety. The ideas mentioned here will ensure time management never threatens your productivity. Leave a comment and let us know if these suggestions work for you.
Patrick Austin is an operations manager for a renowned corporate firm in Australia. He comes with extensive experience in his particular field. He had acquired his management degree from Murdoch University. He also serves as an advisor for websites like TopAssignmentReviews and TrustedEssayReviews.