How to improve your time-management skills

image.phpby Kathleen Ashwill and Ann Jenrette-Thomas, Esq.

I want to invite you to give yourself the freedom that comes with better time-management. Feel the relief and sense of accomplishment that comes from a productive day.

Take a moment right now and get out a sheet of paper. Make a list of all the areas that you shine when it comes to time-management. Next to that, make a list of the areas where you need improvement. Leave some space below each of those to jot down solutions. The best way to make improvement in your life is to know yourself. What’s really going to work for you? Be realistic and honest with yourself. This is the first step!

Now let’s take a look at some tips and as you’re reading each, visualize and formulate a plan for how you can customize the advice. Think of a real instance that you could apply each tip to. Feel into the feelings that will be present as you learn to better manage your time. Do you feel relief? Competency? Ease? Satisfaction? Excitement? The more you give your brain and body the reward of positive feelings, the easier it will be to acclimate to a new routine!

So let’s get started:

  • Prepare in advance: It may seem obvious, but many many people thrive on the thrill of finishing something at the very last minute. Was this a strategy that worked for you in college? As you get older, your body, mind and spirit will thank you as you learn how to prepare in advance. Plan your next day the evening before (visually, with a list, even talking out loud… whatever works for your unique learning style). Make sure to feel the feelings, too. As you plan, visualize stress-free, solution-based situations that feel good. Planning the night before will allow your subconscious to prepare you as you sleep, and then when you wake up, executing your vision will be almost effortless! Your subconscious will also very likely provide additional insights into how best to make your plan a reality and maybe even better than you imagined. Planning the night before in a creative and empowering way also frees up your mind when you do go to bed, reducing the dreaded insomnia that can make the next day seem like a nightmare.
  • Schedule your time: You are in control and can schedule your time in the way that best works for you! Accept who you are and don’t try to force yourself to fit a schedule that isn’t YOU. Do you crave a walk after work but think you “should” be doing something else instead? Follow your desire, and schedule in that walk. Own what really nurtures you. Making it a part of your schedule makes it official and helps you respect yourself more.
  • Start early: There are a lot of distractions vying for our attention at the late hours of the night, but you will benefit from beginning to aim for an earlier bed-time. Winding down earlier (dimming lights, turning off the computer and TV, having quiet time with loved ones) eases your body and mind into a slower pace. You’ve made your plan for the next day, and you are at peace and ready to sleep. Going to bed and rising early really give you a head-start that helps you feel in control, motivated, and infinitely capable. The quiet time that you have when you wake early promotes reflection from which creative solutions can arise that will significantly reduce the time it takes for you to complete a task later that day.
  • Organizational skills: Use a filing system that feels fun and easy. Take a moment to clean your computer, eliminating duplicate files and organizing items in folders that make sense to you. Certain programs can help you clean your computer and provide the foundation for a streamlined organizational system. Develop a master list for all your files (in hard-copy form) and for all the documents on your computer. List each item and where it’s located.
  • Increase productivity with prime time: Here we touch again upon the importance of knowing yourself. When is your prime time, when you are most alert and on-point? Become aware of this and schedule more complicated tasks at this time. Highlight your prime time within your calendar so you know when you’re on and can use this knowledge to your advantage!! Be aware of both your internal prime time and external prime time. External prime time is when your clients are most readily available. Learn to balance both to best serve both yourself and your clients.
  • Air travel productivity: A study comparing work in a normal office with work on an airplane showed that one hour of uninterrupted work-time in an airplane yielded the equivalent of three hours of work in a normal work environment. Before you travel, know what you want to tackle while en route and use that uninterrupted time wisely!

 

Best wishes to you on your journey to better time management. Know that you are always evolving, so have fun with it! Enjoy your successes, learn from and love your mistakes, and keep getting to know YOU!

If you found these tips helpful, download The SASS-E System ebook – a great resource for increasing productivity and managing your time.  There are tips, strategies, charts and worksheets in the e-book to really help you get the most important things done.  This e-book is free when you sign up for our Elevate newsletter at www.esquirecoaching.com.

What time management strategies work for you? How do they match and serve your unique personality? Your advice can help others who are similar to you! Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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