A Guide To Time Management For Dummies

Time management is a crucial skill that can help you in leading a productive, opportunity-filled, and happy life. 

However, to learn about time management you need some basic guidance and in order to do that, here is everything that you need to start with managing your time as well as mastering the skills. 

Page Contents

What You Should Know About Time Management? 

According to the definition, time management is a process that includes planning, organizing, and controlling the time spent on doing specific tasks.

 It’s an ability used for managing time in a productive and effective manner. 

It’s crucial for the professional and personal both, The most important concept is priorities, and it’s centered around it. 

  • Setting the priorities 
  • Maximizing the time you are spending on the priorities 
  • Reducing the time on non-priority tasks. 

Also, you need the set of skills, in order to practice your time management and crucial for dummies to know about.

skill you need for time management

Signs When Your Time Management Need To Change 

There are different reasons why you should start learning about time management. 

Even though you don’t have time management right now, you still follow some kind of schedule.  

But learning the right way can help you to get better control over your time.

Without this, you can end up wasting hours and missing opportunities. 

Also, time management can help you in : 

  • Finishing what you want to start
  • Finish what you want to do faster 
  • Finish more tasks in less time
  • Waste less of your time
  • Find more time for doing leisure activities 
  • Find time for having enough sleep and proper meals.

So when you have good time management, you are much able to get more work done but when it’s not, you have different issues to face. 

Here are some of the signs that your time management skills are bad. 

You Are Always Late 

No matter if it’s doing a project before the deadline or attending the meeting, you are always late in your projects. 

You end up breaching your deadlines and reaching late to important events. Well, the reason can be having too many tasks which are not organized. 

You have different promises and in the end, you simply can’t follow every single of them. 

You Are Slow With Work 

To get the work done that takes an hour by most of the people, you are taking more than 2 hours. 

Not just you are slow at work but facing problems while you are doing it. The reasons can be the lack of organization and having no structure which can help you in working better. 

Also, help you in finishing the assignment faster. 

You Waste Time More

You are spending three hours on the projects that could have been completed within 2 hours. 

The reason is you don’t have a strict schedule that can tell you when you should start and when to stop. 

Also, you don’t have the order with no clear organizational system for doing the work. 

You Are Often Having Low Energy 

You feel like you have no energy and exhaustion every single minute like you don’t have enough time to eat, rest and sleep. 

The constant state of procrastination and failure behind your work is making you work extra and spend more hours which is exhausting you mentally and physically. 

You Are Overscheduled 

You might have a lot of work in your schedule because you have a lot of tasks on your list. 

Also, you are accepting requests from others even when you don’t have time for getting your work done. 

This is because you don’t have their priorities set and since you are not clear,  you are accepting requests from everyone. 

What Are The Skills You Need For Time Management And Why?

In order to understand how you can manage your time, you need to have certain skills which can help. 

Also, it will make your time management much smoother, effective, and easier. 

It includes : 

Ability To Define Your SMART Goals 

The first thing that you should possess is the ability to define your SMART goals. 

SMART goals mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. 

This also helps in knowing where your goals live up and checking all of these parameters to decide if you need to pursue it or not. 

What does it solve? 

With the help of this, you can solve the problem of wasting a lot of time. This helps in saving time for yourself. 

How Does It Solve?

Having Specific Goals: You are clear on what goals you want to achieve, to where, when, why, how as well as whom and clear regarding the limitation on your goals. 

  • Measurable Goals: It’s possible that you have an understanding of the weather as well as when you need to reach to get the goals. 
  • Attainable Goals: It helps in making it possible to reach to your goals 
  • Relevant Goals: you decide on what goals you want to achieve and plan according to it
  • Time-Bound: You can fix the deadline to achieve your goals which saves time. 

Ability To Identifying The Prioritie

It is useful as it helps you in knowing which tasks are actually important and also identifies the urgent tasks which need to get done faster. 

What Does It Solve? 

It helps in solving the problem of taking too much work and also in being indecisive. 

How Does It Solve? 

  • You do the tasks which are most demanding, difficult, and consuming first, 
  • With this, you have more clarity over your priorities and clear the schedule for your day.
  • Implementing the Eisenhower matrix helps in deciding what to differentiate and then what should go second as well as what can be a delegate or eliminated. 

Ability To Plan And Organizing Day 

The next ability that you need to possess is planning the priorities and organizing the day around them helps in saving time as well as finishing the need. 

What Does It Solve? 

It helps you in solving the issue of being late to the projects and important events.

How Does It Solve? 

  • Identify the most important and urgent tasks that you need to do.
  • Delegate the work and eliminate everything that’s not needed.
  • Compiling the priorities and making the to-do list 
  • Note down the important events in the calendar and follow them.

Ability To Manage Stress 

With the help of managing stress, you can also deal with situations. Also, high-stress levels can hinder your ability to perform the best at your work. 

What Does It Solve?

It can help you in solving the problem of solving the lack of energy.

How Does It Solve?

  • Meditate and try a similar relaxation method for your brain. 
  • Make sure you are getting a sleeper night and not skipping the meals. It makes you anxious if you are tired and hungry.
  • Saying no to work which is extra for you 
  • Avoid alcohol and nicotine.

Ability To Delegate The Work 

It’s a helpful skill as it delegates the tasks which you are not obliged to do. This will help you in solving time for what holds the priority and is urgent to get it done. 

What Does It Solve? 

With the help of this skill, you can solve problems like experiencing a lack of energy and wasting time. 

How Does It Solve?

  • If you are having problems letting tasks go, you can start small and defeat smaller tasks, from here you can go up.
  • Delegate tasks can be urgent but they are not as important as others. 
  • Defining the task expectation as well as including the instructions related to the tasks. 
  • Trust the colleagues as they will do the job right but verify they are doing it. 

Ability To Avoid Doing Procrastination 

The ability is crucial as it helps in avoiding putting off your work for the next day or to do it when the deadline is about to be breached. 

When you don’t do the work on its time, it gets carried out to next but also gets doubled. So here you end up investing more time than it’s needed along with doing more work.

What Does It Solve? 

The ability helps in solving the problem of being slow with the work, also you get work done faster without wasting time. 

How Does It Solve?

  • Here you make your goals, expectations, and deadlines clear. It makes it easier to keep moving forward as you know where you should be going.
  • Dividing the difficult tasks into smaller subtasks which helps in keeping the overall task much more achievable and less daunting. 
  • It defines the deadlines for the task and makes it more immediate. 
  • Planning the subtask gives you more detail and specific time allotted to it. 
  • Accepting that you might not work that perfectly will ease the pressure. 
  • Visualizing your obstacles helps in keeping fewer fears of failing. 

Ability To Avoid Distraction

The skill is useful for avoiding distractions that waste your time. Also, the distraction can be caused due to phones, chatty colleagues, social media, etc which is taking away your time. 

And in order to cover the lost time, you have to put in extra time to get the work done. 

What Does It Solve?

It helps you in solving the issue of belonging slowly with the work in your time management. 

types of distractions

How Does It Solve?

  • Put the phone in another room when you are working.
  • Limiting the time you are spending on social media by putting the maximum time and sticking with it. 
  • Use the headphones in order to block out the noises and imply to our colleagues that they should not disturb you when you are working.

Ability To Put More Effort In Work That Has High Value 

It is useful for time management as if you are putting your 20% of the effort into doing the right tasks, it will match 80% of the results that you are looking for. 

So instead of spending your time getting 8 easy tasks done, solve 2 which are important and 2 on difficult tasks, it will solve 8 of the problems. 

What does it solve? 

Well, it helps in solving the problem of being indecisive and also helps in saving yourself from wasting time. 

How does It help? 

  • You can analyze the characteristics of 20 % of the blog which is bringing you 80% of traffic and use it to replicate a similar blog post. 
  • Identify the 20% of the feature of your software development that is treating the 80% of users, and focus on keeping it much better. 
  • As for the project management, identify 20% of critical tasks that will bring 80% of failure and allocate the extra time on doing the work. 

Ability To Single Task 

Single-tasking is now considered as new multitasking, where you can’t focus properly on different tasks at once. It’s best to pay you attention to one work 

What Does It Solve?

With this, you can solve the problem of wasting time.

How Does It Solve?

  • Set the time block for the specific task.
  • Get rid of any distractions, you need to avoid the new request and not let anyone disturb your schedule. 
  • Set the timer for your work and stick with the predefined time.
  • If the project is huge, parse it into chunks and define the time. 

Ability To Say No 

The skill will help in keeping your schedule protected from getting overstimulated. 

Also, you need to know that it’s okay to say no to things that you are not excited about.  

What Does It Solve?

Learning the skill that will help in saving time as you stop adding things you don’t need. 

How Does It Solve?

  • Make it clear you don’t have enough time to accept the tasks. 
  • If it’s possible, tell them when you are free to get back at them.
  • If you don’t have time, make it clear so they can ask someone else. 
  • Keep it clear about that you are preoccupied with other work 

List Of Time Management Techniques To Start With 

Well, time management techniques are helpful if you are starting out with time management as it makes it much more effective. 

The average person may depend on using 13 different strategies in their everyday life. But there are more techniques you can find. 

However, you can consider these listed ones to avoid confusion at the beginning of your managing time schedule.

Pomodoro 

Pomodoro technique is based on the ideology of taking breaks in order to keep your productivity boosted. 

Also when you are in deep work, you should not avoid taking breaks, and Tomatoes or Pomodoro helps in that. 

What is it? 

Developed by author Francesco Carcillo in the late 1980s, the technique is one of the most popular. 

Here you parse the work into sessions of 25 minutes straight. And focus on getting your Pomodoro done and then take a break for 3 or 5 minutes. 

Dividing the Pomodoro depends on the work you have, but after 4 Pomodoro you exceed the break time to 15 to 30. 

The basic steps it needs to start with are : 

  • Pick the task that you need to do 
  • Set your Pomodoro timer 
  • Work on your first tasks 
  • End work when the time is up, you complete your first Pomodoro
  • In case there are fewer Pomodoro than four, take short breaks. 
  • In the case of more than four Pomodoro, take longer breaks and then restart the whole thing to get your next task done.  
benefits of pomorado techniques

Why To Use?

The Pomodoro technique helps you in working on facing the intervals and helps in boosting the focus. 

You also take breaks and help in reducing the chances of getting burned out. 

Who is it for? 

To those who feel like they don’t remember taking breaks while they are in flow and it’s affecting their energy as well as productivity should consider. 

GTD or Getting Things Done 

Getting things done or GTD is one of the popular comprehensive time management frameworks that you can get. 

It includes a five-step method that helps in breaking the bigger tasks into manageable and smart steps. Also following the steps can help in achieving those goals. 

What Is It?

It helps in capturing, organizing, clarifying, reflecting and working on your to-do list.

The tagline for the framework follows which says “ The art of stress-free productivity” 

It includes the five steps such as :

Capture 

The first thing that you need is to capture everything that you get in your mind, it can be every idea, task, or what else that is worth remembering, for example, things that you need to read, notes, watch, bills, etc.

You capture everything in your inbox and unload the mind. But it is also important to make sure to empty the inbox on a daily basis. 

Process 

After you are capturing all things and then you should analyze as well as decide what to do with your specific goals. 

If those items are not actionable, you require to delete, archive, or delay them. 

If those are actionable, you have to choose if you want to delegate or defer. 

Organize 

After processing, you need to organize your items and actions. 

When you are organizing, you need to do four things.

Put your items in four action lists such as project, next, waiting for, action, and calendar. 

File tasks under labels that are actionable and put non actionable items which are stored in paper-based and digital archives. 

Reviewin

The goal of reflection helps in making sure what is up to date. And when you review, keep your list updated, irrelevant items, remove, etc. 

Engage 

The final stage is to start working on the tasks you have been selected for. Before you choose it, get your context right and focus on it.

Why To Use? 

It’s great for managing aloof your priorities as well as ideas 

Also, it’s helpful in tackling the tasks related to personal and business. 

Who Is It For? 

If your mind gets too confused since you have a lot of things to think about, it can be an easy method to get all of the things out of your mind and put them into the right actions. 

Kanban Board 

The word Kanban is a Japanese word, it means a signboard or billboard. The idea of this technique is to have a board that is visual to you and helps in tracking the progress of your work. 

What It Is? 

Kanban is a time management technique in which you use the visual approach for tracking the progress of one-act tasks, also add tasks, define the progress levels and move columns as they change their progress level. 

People who are using the technique usually have a whiteboard of big dry wipes for visualizing the goals. 

Not just that, there is software that helps in the visualization of Kanban. 

However physical kanban boards work much more effectively. 

Here you need to draw the columns, visualize the stage of tasks, and then divide the blackboard into : 

  • To Do 
  • In Progress 
  • Done 

Once it’s done, you use sticky notes and each represents the tasks that need to get it done. 

Write the name on tasks and use different colors for different tasks 

Why to Use? 

It’s a customizable approach that helps you in breaking the tasks into manageable parts and subtasks. 

It helps you in putting more energy into the progress of your projects.

Who is For? 

It is best for you if you want to have a visualization of the progress you are doing in getting your work done. 

The Eisenhower Matrix 

The Eisenhower matrix or The Eisenhower box,  once you have the goals written,  here you don’t break them down into tasks that are much more actionable and concrete. 

What It Is

The technique is prioritizing the tasks which are based on the levels as well as urgency. And it’s important to understand how to tackle it in the right order. 

Its most popular framework helps in prioritizing what is important. The technique recommends arranging tasks in four quadrants, it includes : 

  • Urgent with Important ( Do this one first ).
  • Not Urgent But important ( It can be a schedule )
  • Urgent but not important ( It can be delegated)
  • Not important and not urgent ( you can eliminate this )

Why To Use 

With this method, you get more learning about prioritizing 

Also, you learn that you can delegate and elite to make your schedule look freer. 

Who Is It For? 

It’s for you if you need much more clarity on what you are supposed to focus on. Also to learn the right way of prioritizing and use your time wisely. 

What Are The Types Of Time Management You Are? 

Different people have their own ways of managing time. Identifying which style goes perfectly with you helps in strengthening and understanding more about time management. 

Also, it boosts your productivity and makes it effective. 

There are six basic styles you will get in time management. It includes : 

types of time management

The Hopper 

The hoppers are those people who can manage multiple tasks simultaneously. they suffer from one task to another before the one completes. 

Such style loves chaos and finds themselves getting involved in a lot of projects related to personal and professional at once. 

Why Is It Good? 

Such hustlers are likely to stay much busier. Also, they can do different things with them. 

Not just that, Hoppers have an easier and comfortable transition between different tasks. 

Why Is It Bad? 

Multitasking is not good for those who want to be more productive. Even though it’s popular, it disturbs the way of focus and also lowers the IQ.

Moreover, it is hard to stay organized, complete tasks, and meet deadlines. 

What does Will help? 

To get the best from this style, The hoppers require to : 

  • Focus on limiting the distraction which is not working for them.
  • Using the Pomodoro technique will help and also give the break which is needed to boost productivity. 
  • Focus only on the two or three tasks and prioritize them, and keep the shift between these until they complete it. 

Big Picture 

People who follow the personal management style tend to have a bird’ eye view on tasks and plans they need to focus on. 

Also, they spend the majority of their time on planning and strategizing, and paying attention to the fine details. 

Why Is It Good

The style focuses on seeing the bigger picture as they are much more quick thinkers and spontaneous in solving the problem. 

They often come up with creative and novel strategies to solve problems. 

Why Is It Bad?

The drawback of this is that if you are using the big picture style, it makes you unable to pay attention to details and smaller tasks. 

This is also unable to put in high-quality work. 

What Can Help? 

To make sure you are using the complete potential, you need to do : 

  • Write down your daily routine
  • Collaborate with people who have more focus on the details and can help you. 
  • Make sure that you are communicating much more precisely about what you want to accomplish. 

Hyperfocus 

Well, to those who work with hyperfocus style, they are much more involved on a deeper level with the task they are doing. 

They are also much quicker in getting in their zone. Also, they focus on tasks and follow them until they complete them. 

Why Is It Good? 

Hyperfocus styles are incredibly productive. Also, they are into producing high-quality work along with focusing on paying attention to each and every detail. 

Why Is It Bad? 

The downside of the style is focusing too much on one task leads to breaching the deadlines and also leads to stress when the tasks stay unfinished. 

Also the individual needs to pay much more attention and this makes important things left undone. 

With the lack of flexibility, it gets challenging to move to different tasks. 

What Can Help?

To get the best from this style, a few things might help : 

  • Remind yourself that you need to switch from one task to another in set intervals. 
  • Use the backward planning strategy which will help you in making the predictions more realistic and understand when work will be completed.
  • Track the amount of time that is allocated to do the different tasks.

CliffHanger 

The personality works best when they are under pressure. And the thing that makes such a unveil more forward is the adrenaline rush they achieve when the clock ticks to meet the deadline. 

Why Is It Good? 

The personality who follows the CliffHanger style, they thrive in situations that get stressful and also can handle the pressure in the best way. 

Why Is It Bad? 

The style works under pressure, however, they are generally rushed and have a lot of low quality.

These especially end up doing more procrastinators as they wait for the last possible second in order to start the work. 

What Can Help? 

To make most of this, you need to follow some of the pointers “ 

  • Track the amount you need to complete each of your tasks. 
  • Prioritizing the tasks in order to avoid the rush that occurs at the last minute. 
  • Scheduling your earlier dates to those tasks which are really urgent. 

Perfectionist 

The next one is the perfectionist, they are invested too much in details and making sure everything is perfect. 

Also, they use most of their time, energy, and attention to keep everything just right. 

Why Is It Good? 

Following the perfectionist makes the understanding of producing the quality work and also getting tasks much more better in precise. 

Why is it Bad? 

They often end up missing deadlines and in pursuit of getting it perfect, they depend too much on micromanaging all of the details. 

What Can Help? 

To deal with the problem, you can include : 

  • Take a few projects and focus on one. 
  • Audit the time in order to get caught up in meaningless details. 
  • Collaborating with team members so you can complete the work on time. 

Impulsive 

People who are impulsive with time management, they like to work but without any plan. Also, they get the adrenaline rush that they get from spontaneity. 

Also, they feel dread if they have to set up the routine or create a list for a task. 

Why Is It Good? 

As the major advantage that you get is that they are great improvisers, they also have much more understanding of how they can thrive in situations that are unexpected. 

Why Is It Bad? 

The drawback of having this style, it can often end up not getting the deadline. Also, they have issues with committing with long-term consistent effort. 

What Can Help

To make sure you are using  it wisely, here are some of the tips that you can use : 

  • Incorporate routine, create your schedules, and remind you to have the goals. 
  • Consider the products which are larger, objectives and responsibilities before you make a decision. 
  • Make sure that you have long-term plans, review the routine, and also set time for your spontaneity. 

What Do You Need To Start With Time Management For Dummies? 

To know how you can start with time management when you just started, well here are the basic ways for you to help : 

Get Your Time Audit Done 

Humans are not well aware of how time goes, so it’s important that you have an understanding of the time. 

Also, you are prone to overestimating the work time and underestimating time you spend on distractions. 

Here are some steps to help in getting your time audit time right. 

  • Select the days, at last, keep it 1 to 3 days for performing the time audit. 
  • Print off the sheet for time tracking and keep it one for each day. 
  • Set the hours for waking and also when your work will be done. 
  • When the timer goes off, jot down the time and be honest. 
  • The audit will help in understanding the exact time you need to get your work done. 
  • At the end of the audit, review the sheet and search for things that can be done together. 

Determine Your Priorities 

If you want to know what the priorities are, you need to look where you are spending time. 

To learn the time audit and how you need to spend the hours to get the work done. 

Zero in on your important work and identify how impactful it will affect your work.  

  • To forge closer bonds with your children, prioritize the quality with them. 
  • To eat healthier, and cook healthy meals. 
  • To earn the address and prioritize studying as well as reading. 

Create Time Budget 

A money budget is like a spending alliance, but it’s a time budget. 

So you need to narrow down the priorities, assign a specific amount and allowance for it on a weekly or daily basis. 

It can be like : 

  • Spending time with Family –  2 hours per day 
  • Learning how to draw – 3 hours of the week 
  • Cooking meals at home – 1.5 hours per week 
  • Self-care – 4 hours per week 

Plan Your Day Ahead 

When you start the day, make sure you have your game plan ready. In case you don’t have it, you tend to get reactive. 

So the best remedy is to plan the day ahead. Keep your priorities straight and use them smartly to achieve your goals with time efficiently. 

  • Spend 25 minutes on your daily planning and 60 minutes weekly. 
  • Also, leave the room so you can be flexible with unexpected tasks. 
  • Keep your mind open, and also keep your to-do so you can change when it’s needed. 

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