Developing Time Management Skills

One of the better ways of managing stress levels is through effective time management. Often, running out of time to perform the necessary tasks and completing those things that must be completed causes the body and mind to feel a great deal of pressure. And, when under pressure, stress develops. As many of you already know first-hand, when you're stressed, you generally work less well and less efficiently then when you're not stressed.

We aren't born with innate time management skills. It takes learning and practice to develop the skills and habits necessary in order to be organized and able to cope with deadlines and other time pressures. Fortunately, there are many books available that will show you the ins and outs of time management and organizational skills. There are websites that will also provide you with the information you need to develop good time management practices.

It may sound silly, but the first thing you need to do to develop better time management skills is to accept that you need them and to pursue them. One important task you will need to accomplish in order to become better organized and able to meet deadlines and accomplish tasks is to write down a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Then, you need to analyze how your weaknesses interfere in the efficient and timely completion of tasks. Once you isolate the whys and the hows, you can then take steps to overcome these problems and weaknesses. As you continue in your efforts to overcome the weaknesses, you develop good work habits and better organizational skills. Once they are in place, you should be able to manage your time constraints much more effectively, enabling you to meet your deadlines and to perform your tasks better.

One common problem faced by those of us who have trouble with time management is in decision-making skills. Those who have problems with completing their tasks on time often have trouble making decisions in a timely manner, or making good decisions. Once you develop good decision-making skills, you will find that you can prioritize your work better. Doing things in the correct order and devoting only the time that should be required to the individual tasks will be a big help in managing your time well.

Obviously, this involves learning how to plan effectively. Again, there are an untold number of books and webpages devoted to the art (or science) of planning effectively. Don't expect to get it right the first time -- as with most things, it takes experience to come up with efficient plans. You get this experience by doing. Each time you come up with a plan to carry out the required tasks, you develop experience. If you learn from your experience, you'll become a better task planner. By planning your tasks well, working on your strengths and working around your weaknesses, you'll be able to manage your time better.

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