Today's topic is Effective Time Management Skills
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Audio On Effective Time Management Skills Contributed by Our Friends at Motivation2Study
In today's audio, we get 15 important secrets to developing effective time management skills.
There are many things in life that are outside of your control, but how you spend your time is not one of them. How you spend your time dictates what you achieve in life. Using your hours to work toward the outcomes you value the most will help to not only bring you success but will also sustain that feeling of fulfillment that comes from accomplishing your goals.
Making the most of your time and achieving the life that you dream of requires not only developing a set of effective time management skills but creating a mental shift in how you think about time management best practices. Stop thinking of time as a resource that’s out of your control. Realize that you can develop time management skills that can help you to focus your attention on what really matters so that your brain can zero-in on reaching your highest value outcomes without getting swept up in distractions.
If the actions that you take aren’t aligned with what truly matters to you — your core values — then no matter how much you accomplish with your time, you’re not going to get that same sense of achievement and fulfillment than you would if you focused on the outcomes that add the most value to your life.
Suppose that you want to strengthen your relationship with your partner, and you decide to use an hour out of your day to give that person the attention they deserve. But as you’re sitting there, your phone vibrates in your pocket. You take it out to see who texted you.
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You’ll probably even text them back, and, before you know it, you’ll have a conversation going. By shifting focus to your phone, you’re directing your attention away from your partner, and you’re no longer working toward the outcome that you truly value, which is a healthier, more passionate relationship with the person you love. By staying focused on your end goal, and letting the phone conversation wait for an hour or more, you’ll be more successful at attaining the outcome that speaks the most to your core values.
Once you have several weeks of progress written down in front of you, take an objective look at how you’ve been spending your time. Eliminate any activity that you identify as unconnected to your values and goals from your schedule. Replace these activities, like checking social media too frequently, with something that serves your ultimate plan, like cooking healthy meals or regularly exercising.
As an experiment, journal your “interruption emotions” for one week. Each time you allow yourself to be interrupted, stop and jot down exactly what you were feeling before you stopped what you were doing and switched tasks. Often we allow ourselves to lose focus and be interrupted as a crutch when we’re experiencing uncomfortable emotions like boredom, frustration or lack of interest. These are learned, addictive responses – and we can learn to overcome them and change our behavior by employing effective time management skills instead of backing down when a task becomes challenging.
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This is one of the biggest skills we all need to learn. When you say “no” to something that isn’t really adding value to your life or supporting your core values or goals, you are saying yes to something else that is: time to be with family, exercise or even much-needed sleep.
If saying no to something seems hard, think about a time when you reluctantly said “yes” to something and later regretted it. Now, remember all of the emotional turmoil that one decision caused. You went around kicking yourself for a while, and then you resented the person who asked you to do the task or attend the event in the first place. You fantasized about ways to get out of the commitment.
In the end, you either did the task begrudgingly even though you didn’t have the time or resources to do it, or you flaked out because you were over-committed. Saying no in the first place to a task you don’t want or don’t have time to do is a lot easier than all of that, so learn to do it. In the end, this effective time management strategy will help you devote more time to things that are actually important to you.
If you have endless lists of priorities, it’s the same as having no priorities.
If you’re facing an overwhelming number of tasks around an outcome, remember that you can create better to-do lists by chunking all related tasks into smaller groups so that they are easier to manage and tackle. That way, you can better visualize and identify the steps you need to take to reach your goal.
When you have difficult things to do that demand all of your focus, it can be draining and intimidating to work on them. One great tactic to use in cases like this is the 20-minute increment block. Here’s how it works:
Get your mind ready; let yourself know you’re about to focus on something important. Prepare to tackle the task and set an alarm for 20 minutes. Until your alarm rings, give that task everything you’ve got, without any email, cell phone or other distractions. When the alarm goes off, decide whether you’re going to put the task down or finish it. Take a small break if you like, and then get back to that task afterward. Repeat the process until the task is complete.
You’re already familiar with that incredible feeling you get when you’re in the zone. You’re unstoppable, and you get more than you thought you could get done finished. The only problem is that right now getting into the zone feels haphazard and random; sometimes you’re there, but sometimes you’re not. Working on your tasks in these 20-minute chunks helps you pull yourself into the zone as needed, instead of hoping to fall into it by chance.
Try not instantly committing for one month. Instead, take time and ensure that you commit only to tasks or activities that support your core values and goals. If something someone asks you to do doesn’t align with those values and goals, be bold and politely decline.
Remember, you’re not in control of how many hours there are in the day, and you’re not in control of every outcome of your actions, either. That’s okay! However, you can work to be the best, most efficient version of yourself possible. One way to do this is through outsourcing. Outsourcing tasks is a critical skill that every successful entrepreneur and Fortune 500 CEO has to master, and so do you. When you can delegate tasks, do it.
Think of it this way: If you’re too focused on completing a giant list of menial tasks every day, you’ll be unable to focus on your larger goals and core values. If you focus on only the outcomes that are in your control instead, you’ll avoid the frustration that comes with overburdening yourself and what you do accomplish will be that much richer in meaning. It’s also worthwhile to remember that by delegating whenever possible, you help yourself grow because you give yourself space to take on the newest, most challenging tasks yourself, and can delegate someone else to handle the smaller, everyday items on your to-do list.
Effective time management skills are at the heart of a happier, more fulfilled life because you’ll be able to focus and achieve the outcomes that drive your passion. Imagine that intense feeling of peace that comes with being fulfilled with what you’ve achieved; this feeling is in your grasp, as long as you commit to reclaiming your time and working toward your ultimate purpose. With the right time management framework, you no longer have to imagine that state – you can attain and live it.
Thought For Today:The commodity that is the most valuable on Earth is time. Click To Tweet
More Links and Resources On Effective Time Management Skills
- Improve Your Life By Adopting The Habits of Happy People
- Jim Rohn Talks About Setting Goals In Life
- How To Achieve Your Dreams In Life
- Brendon Burchard: Designing An Ideal Day
- Things To Stop Doing In The Morning To Have Success
- Even More About Effective Time Management Skills
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Get the right things done in less time
To get ahead in your career, deliver your projects successfully and to get a promotion or a pay rise, you must learn to consistently focus on the activities that add the most benefit to your projects and your clients. The better you are at maintaining focus and developing effective time management skills to manage your time, the more you will achieve, and the easier it will be for you to leave the office on time. Not only does effective time management allow you to get better results at work, but it also helps you withstand stress and live a more fulfilling life outside of work.
The following strategies will help you get the right things done in less time and develop more effective time management skills.
1. Start your day with a clear focus.
The first work-related activity of your day should be to determine what you want to achieve that day and what you absolutely must accomplish. Come clean on this purpose before you check your email and start responding to queries and resolve issues. Setting a clear focus for your day might require as little as five minutes, but can save you several hours of wasted time and effort.
2. Have a dynamic task list.
Capture the tasks and activities you must do on a list and update it regularly during the day. Revisit this list frequently and add new items as soon as they appear. Make sure your list gives you a quick overview of everything that’s urgent and important, and remember to include strategic and relationship-building activities as well as operational tasks.
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3. Focus on high-value activities.
Before you start something new, identify the activity that would have the most positive effect on your project, your team, and your client if you were to deal with it right now. Resist the temptation to clear smaller, unimportant items first. Start with what is most important.
To help you assess which activities to focus on first, ask the following:
- What does my client or my team need most from me right now?
- What will cause the most trouble if it doesn’t get done?
- What is the biggest contribution I can make right now?
- Which strategic tasks do I need to deal with today to help us work smarter tomorrow?
4. Minimize interruptions.
The more uninterrupted time you get during the day to work on important tasks, the more effective you’ll be. Identify the activities that tend to disrupt your work, and find a solution. For example, avoid checking emails and answering the phone when you’re in the middle of something important. Once you have broken your flow, it can be difficult to reestablish it. Instead, discipline yourself to work on a task single-mindedly until it’s complete.
5. Stop procrastinating.
If you have difficulties staying focused or tend to procrastinate, you may benefit from creating an external commitment for (deadline) yourself. For instance, schedule a meeting in two days’ time where you’ll be presenting your work and by which time your actions will have to be completed. It’s also very effective to complete the most unpleasant tasks early in the day and to allow yourself small rewards once you’ve completed them.
6. Limit multi-tasking.
Many of us multi-task and believe we’re effective when we do so, but evidence suggests that we can’t effectively focus on more than one thing at a time. In order to stop multi-tasking, try these tips: Plan your day in blocks and set specific time aside for meetings, returning calls and for doing detailed planning and analysis work at your desk. Whenever you find yourself multitasking, stop and sit quietly for a minute.
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7. Review your day.
Spend 5-10 minutes reviewing your task list every day before you leave the office. Give yourself a pat on the back if you achieved what you wanted. If you think your day’s effort fell short, decide what you’ll do differently tomorrow in order to accomplish what you need to. Leave the office in high spirits determined to pick up the thread the next day.
This article first appeared on liquidplanner.com
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Audio clip courtesy of our friends at Motivation2Study
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