What is Time Management

Time management is, like the word suggests, the process of actively managing your time. Someone who doesn’t manage their time actively, simply goes with the flow and does whichever task or to-do pops up.

Efficient people, on the other hand, plan out their time beforehand. They decide how much time they want to spend on certain activities or areas of life. This makes it possible for them to exert control over what their day looks like. They decide their priorities. Not someone around them who happens to come up with a task they could do.

What are Examples of

Now, this might all sound a little too generic for you. So let’s have a look at a few examples of time management in action.

Let’s say you plan a nice barbecue with a group of friends. You whip out your pen and paper and start writing down all the things you need to do for that. – This is a good example of the planning step in time management.

While you write down these tasks, you notice that someone will need to get the drinks. Your car is in repair, but one of your friends happens to be on vacation right now. So you ask them if they could take care of the drinks. – Delegation, like in this example, is another important part of time management.

It’s almost time for you to go to work. So you plan to finish the rest of your barbecue to-dos for tomorrow afternoon. – And this is an example of scheduling, another time management strategy.

What are some GOOD TIME MANAGEMENT Skills?

Planning is the first skill you will need to master if you want to get better at time management. It helps you to understand how much time you can spend on one task. You will also see how certain tasks might be dependent on each other. And where you might have to wait for other people to give their input.
While you plan, you will notice that there are always more tasks than time. So you need to decide, which tasks are more important than others. The skill of prioritizing is more important than you might think on first glance. Because you cannot simply do the things you like best first. Prioritizing includes looking at the big picture and understanding which tasks will lead you faster to your goals.
White notebook and plan with text: "What goal do you want to achieve?" To be able to prioritize, you need to set some goals first. And yes, there is such a thing as setting bad goals. Being able to set reasonable and attainable goal is an important time management skill.
Another skill you will need for successful time management is decision making. Actually, being decisive and knowing how to take good decisions will help you in every area of your life.
This skill seems to get rarer and rarer, as our brains learn to deal with millions of notifications and other distractions. But jumping from task to task will make you way less productive. And your time management less effective.
Self-awareness is another one of these skills that will help you in every area of life. When it comes to time management, you need it to manage yourself. You can only manage what you know. This includes knowing your own tendencies, like procrastination. And noticing when you do it. Related: What is mindfulness and how to practice it?
I first considered calling this skill “discipline”. But then I decided to use “Self-motivation”. It expresses a very similar thing, but in a more positive way. Self-motivation is important to make you stick to your plan. You need to be able to motivate yourself again and again. And do things you decided on doing, even when you don’t feel like it. Related: How to find cleaning motivation: 11 tips
Knowing when to let go of a task and let someone else do it is another super important skill. Sometimes we are so caught up in our little world that it can seem like we are the only ones who know how to do our tasks right. But chances are that some people can do some of our assignments better than we could.
To be effective at time management you need to be able to deal with stress. And no, by that I don’t mean that you have to be able to work 16 hours a day. This is rather about your ability to let bad feelings go and refocus on your task. It is also the ability to know when to take a step back and rest. Related: 13 super effective stress relief activities (no gadgets)
You can have the best plan laid out, knowing what to do every hour of the day. But then – oooops – you cannot find the documents you need to finish the task. Does that sound familiar? Then your next step is to work on the skill of organization. For your plans to work, you need to have an overview over them. You need to be able to find your things. And honestly, once you got everything organized, you’ll feel like a boss because you got everything under control!