You will find this in many books and courses on entrepreneurship that say “Productivity is a way to success,”. Indeed, this statement drives many who are willing to improve their time management skills. Additionally, the more you work and the more projects you have, the more money and the more success you get.
One day, if you have a business website, followers on social media, a reputation, a blog, and dozens of important tasks to complete, you cannot simply just wake up and start working.
You need effective time management techniques along with a plan. Stellar time management skills are what makes business management or remote work not everyone’s cup of tea.
Finally, you have to master the art of good time management to work less but more efficiently. To help you get started follow the timeless time management tips below.
But before that let’s cover the basics.
What Is Time Management?
Time management refers to the way that you plan and organize how long you spend on specific activities. It may sound a little naive to invest your time in learning about time management, but the benefits are enormous:
- Less stress.
- Greater efficiency and productivity
- A better professional reputation.
- Increased opportunities for advancement.
- Greater opportunities to achieve important career and life goals.
Failing to manage your time effectively can lead to:
- Poor work quality.
- Inefficient workflow.
- Missed deadlines.
- A poor professional reputation and a stalled career.
- High-Stress level
What Are the Best Time Management Skills?
Time management skills are those that help you achieve your desired results by effectively managing your time. Additionally, they are designed to allocate your time properly and accomplish tasks seamlessly.
Here are my picks for the best time management skills to master.
1. Set Substantial Goals
Being a business owner, a remote worker, or any other professional you certainly need goals. These goals will vary from profession to profession and different priorities to complete them. Also, to make sure these things become reality you need to set daily plans. However, there is a problem that you will only know what to do; but you won’t know why to do this.
For that, you need long-term planning and goal setting. Set goals that are substantial by asking where you want to be in a year or five. Abstract goals like making more money on youtube or dreaming of a luxury home will not work here. To become productive you need to understand where productivity will lead you to.
2. Convert Plans to Actions
Say for example you are planning to become a freelancer or want to publish a book. You set up your goals for a year or two. But when and what are you going to do to materialize these goals?
To achieve these goals you need to convert these long-term plans to important specific tasks. Deadlines play a significant role in achieving tasks. Therefore, you need to implement this 52-week year plan or use mind mapping software to do the related work and assign the time to do it accordingly.
Moreover, do not ignore associated activities like promoting your business accounts, creating a series of individual consultations, writing for the media, taking part in webinars, etc.
3. Allocate Time for Promotion and Self-Awareness
When you work on multiple projects and don’t have any other plans you risk having no personal or professional growth. It’s a vicious circle that ends up in increased stress levels, procrastination, burnout, and zero productivity.
So when you are managing work time remember the following points:
- Divide your client project work into stages and control points
- Work on your own ideas or project and bring them to realization.
- Set aside time for networking on social media and personal branding development to increase client visibility
- Invest some time in webinars, books, podcasts, courses, educational newsletters, etc.
- Place aside some time to recover from your work stress by going to the cinema, spending time with friends, traveling, etc.
Now how to assign time for this and at what proportion? This completely depends upon the time you have available after completing your client projects. Therefore, the more client projects you have assign less time accordingly to other activities like self-learning and self-promotion.
4. Make Short-Time Planning
We always hear of the sleepless nights of entrepreneurship and remote work to meet project deadlines. But this is nothing but a lack of short-term planning.
To avoid deadline pressures and rush hours try considering the following points:
- Prioritize all clients coming at the same time by evaluating and estimating each project plan and giving up the ones that aren’t your cup of tea.
- Make sure you leave some free time in your calendar to resolve problems with approval, corrections, etc, and revise tasks accordingly.
- Try scheduling apps to manage meetings effectively, improve collaboration efforts, and boost productivity.
- Always make sure you divide the projects into stages as it’s difficult to estimate the completion time of the projects.
5. Manage your Calendar Effectively
The common mistake we tend to do is to plan all the tasks for a day. This happens when you cannot estimate your abilities and scope of work but believe a day is long enough. You insert all the tasks in one day and then fail to deliver them which costs productivity and work efficiency.
Moreover, You need to understand that time management skills and productivity are not about doing all things at one time. It’s all about proper prioritization and the ability to read the time.
Plan one or two time-consuming tasks and three or four short tasks in a day. Make this in a weekly schedule, and you will not panic to miss the deadlines to complete the task.
6. Prioritise your assignments
We believe that remote working and freelancing offer freedom of time. However, without clear boundaries, your working time can get out of control. Without prioritizing or scheduling your hours, your private life and mental health could suffer, and stress and procrastination are commonplace.
Make sure you create a schedule for your daily assignments a definite number of hours per day and avoid spending your spare time on work. Also, spare a day from your weekend and forget about all the business decision-making and other activities. Additionally, you should also not open any emails or stuff related to business as it might end up consuming hours and ultimately lead to a nervous breakdown.
7. Set some boundaries for yourself
Don’t even try to realize all the ideas that come to your head. Yeah, that might seem unproductive but only 30-50% of your creative things like projects, new courses, services, and activities go live. The rest of the things go buried in drafts.
That’s normal. It’s great to have a ton of business ideas and write them down so you won’t forget them. Make a habit to keep checking those ideas and evaluate their preparation stage i.e how much time and effort you need for its realization. What benefits or profits are you expecting from it? Is the game really worth it?
8. Automate Things using Technology
I know you will all love to keep sticking to the traditional things like creating to-do lists on sheets of paper, sticky notes, and other things to keep us on track. But often we find it ineffective if you are working with one project or plan.
For productive work in different areas of life, you need instruments like software. You do not need everything to be inside your head. Therefore, Feel free to use anything that helps you keep the schedule and organize your work and allow you to follow the plan. Trello, Jira, Monday you name it.
To keep your productivity level high keep mixing your instruments or change existing ones from time to time. This allows you to save your energy levels and avoid feeding up with one tool and getting lost in tasks.
9. Delay Email Response
We all know that social media feeds and TV series are common distractions and time-wasters. Remote workers and Entrepreneurs are their own sales managers and marketers, so they try to be available online all the time. They bombard emails to all potential prospects in the hope to score new leads or connections.
Replying to these messages in a wink is hard to resist. You tend to believe that you will offend them anyhow if not respond to their message right here and now. But that’s not true.
The more quickly you respond, the quicker your client will respond. Plus, the more emails you send, the more you will receive. Once distracted, you lose your concentration on the task at hand.
To avoid this simply turn off your messengers when you start working or start relying on social media management tools. If it’s difficult for you to ignore distractions from other websites, use marketing automation tools to handle those resources.
10. Treat Yourself
In this hustling and bustling life, we often tend to forget about ourselves. It’s okay to treat yourself for a week or month with anything you like for example eating, objectless rambles in the city, shopping, web series, etc.
Moreover, this will help you to maintain and support your work productivity and efficiency. But make sure you don’t confuse this with your day off! Take care that it does not collide with the deadline of your important task. Plus, do not make such days your everyday habit.
11. Grow your Soft Skills
We as human beings are not logical but biological. You can’t manage time and work productivity without managing your life in general. The detailed schedule won’t make you super organized and happy either.
Skills also require the knowledge of how to build relations with clients, how to say no to toxic people, how to understand if you need to work with this person, and so on. As you can see, the skills of a professional in their niche go beyond time management tools.
To avoid mistakes and organize your work, you need to draw on your experience and expertise, take all peculiarities of your niche, and be aware of your weak points. Once considered, these details will help you build a working schedule for better productivity and good time management skills.
- Learn to say no – Work with projects that are interesting to you and alternate between short-term and long-term projects.
- Delegate – The world won’t collapse if you don’t do all the tasks alone.
- Raise price – Don’t be afraid to raise the prices or your services if it pays.
Time Management – Final Summary
Time management is not a math or operation schedule, but consciousness and creativity that change your life for the better.
A specialist who meets deadlines is a valuable asset. Businesses include such people on the lists of their favorites and gladly recommend them to their circle.
So, your stellar time management skills allow you to become more expensive and much in demand on the market. Make sure you develop the above skills and get the positive boost you dreamed of in your career and life.
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section below.
More from Smashitbuck – Check my other posts on the best accounting software, leadership qualities, and inspirational quotes to read this year.