Do you often feel overwhelmed with all the things that keep piling up? You are not alone. Most people feel the same way. The good news is that you can improve your time management skills to get more work done.

Here are a few things that you can start doing to manage your time better.


1. Set specific goals

An excellent way to start your time management journey is to envision what you want to achieve. Is your goal to leave the office on time? What do you plan to do if you can leave the office sooner? You need to be clear on your goals so as not to lose focus.


2. Make a list

Having a goal is not enough. You have to write it down and make sure to refer to your list often. Keeping a to-do list makes all the tasks more manageable.


3. Categorize your tasks

Not all tasks are created equal. Some items on your to-do list may require more time and your full attention, while some are regular administrative tasks that are very easy to accomplish.

You can follow the Eisenhower principle when categorizing. Decide which tasks are:

  •  Important and urgent
  •  Important but not urgent
  •  Urgent but not important
  •  Not urgent and not important


4. Prioritize important tasks

You can’t do everything at the same time, that’s why it’s important to learn which items to do first. Start with the important and urgent matters and work your way through the list.


5. Get used to decision-making

This is a skill that needs to be developed and used frequently to better manage your time. Start by deciding which things should be on your list. Next, determine which jobs can be handled by someone else.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to do everything by yourself. It’s good to ask for help.

Decision-making also means knowing which item to tackle, given the circumstances. For example, if you have 15 minutes to spare before a meeting, you can answer emails instead of starting on an important project that you know would take a lot longer to finish.

Decision-making also means knowing when to say NO, especially when there’s already too much on your plate.


6. Give each task your focus

Forget about multi-tasking for now and practice focusing on one task at a time. You’ll get more work done when there are fewer distractions, and you give full attention to what you are doing.


7. Be more self-aware

The ability to recognize your habits, strengths, and weaknesses is an important aspect when it comes to time management skills. Take note of distractions that make you inefficient. Try to avoid or eliminate these things so you can concentrate better.

In the same way, keep track of habits that make you more productive.


8. Start to plan ahead

Taking a few minutes to plan the next day can make a huge difference. It enables you to know what you’re going to do next, allowing you to make the most out of your day.


9. Batch similar tasks together

This is an efficient time management technique that lets you finish a lot of things in the least amount of time. If you are going out to do an errand, why not swing by the pharmacy or dry cleaning as well, especially if they are near each other.

If you are managing several social media accounts, make sure to update them all while you’re at it.


10. Create a routine that works

Having a routine is great because you become used to doing the same things at the same time. When you know precisely what you’ll do as soon as you get to the office, you eliminate idle time.


11. Learn to delegate tasks

Working hard does not mean you have to do everything yourself. Learn to ask for help. However, make sure to give the job to someone who is qualified and give them ample time to finish it.


12. Outsource, if needed

This is pretty much like delegating, but instead of a coworker doing it for you, you hire experts outside your organization to do the job. A lot of services are being outsourced nowadays, such as accounting and IT services.


13. Interpersonal skills

In a nutshell, this refers to how well you work with others. Because better time management includes getting help from others, you need to be able to have a harmonious working relationship with your colleagues and peers.

People are more likely to help you when they enjoy working with you.


14. Communicate effectively

Things get done faster when there is effective communication. This includes proper email etiquette and providing all the necessary information right from the start, so things run along smoothly and without delay.


15. Improve your scheduling

One of the best time management skills is knowing the best time to do certain tasks. Tackle difficult and important projects when you are most productive.

If you are a morning person, then make sure to pack your mornings with things that need the most of your time and concentration.

You can then go easy in the afternoons and handle routine tasks.


16. Start record-keeping

Keeping an account of important matters, schedules, minutes, events, ideas, and various other things that may come up again can be a big help in the long run.

A person can only remember so much, and when you keep forgetting stuff, you’ll end up having to start over or having to research again when you already have that information.


17. Be more organized

Another way to increase productivity is to keep things organized. Being organised means planning your day ahead of time, anticipating what you might need, and making sure all resources available are on hand.

That way, you can work quickly with minimal interruptions.


18. Use time management tools

The internet age opened the door to a whole lot of productivity apps that you can use to organize, manage, keep track, record, and help you with your day to day tasks.

It’s just a matter of knowing which time management tool best suits your needs. You can even use a combination of different apps and products to help you become more productive.


19. Stress Management

Everyone faces different kinds of stressors that significantly affect the way you do your job. This is especially true when unforeseen events disrupt the regular workday routine.

For example, your car breaking down or waking up with the flu when you have a big presentation coming up.

These things happen now and then, and the trick is to be able to manage your stress so that you can still get some work done despite the circumstances.


20. Work on your self-motivation

The ability to motivate yourself is a skill that everyone needs to learn. This inner drive is what keeps you going no matter what setbacks you may encounter.


21. Take a break

How to be more productive? Take regular breaks. Working non-stop will only make you more irritable and inefficient. You are most likely to commit mistakes when you are too tired. Self-care is important to keep you sharp and more productive.


These are practical time management skills and tips that you can apply in your daily life. Most of these you probably already know.

But if you are serious about improving your time management skills, you should give these tips a try.


You might also like to read:

Effective Team Meeting Tips

A Checklist for Planning Your Next Big Meeting

5 Productivity Hacks for Incredibly Busy People (YOU)