With so many people having busy lifestyles, many feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. This is why it is important to learn effective time management skills.  Time management comes in many forms including strategic planning, careful scheduling, setting realistic goals and prioritizing.

Planning is one of the most important time management skills. If a person fails to plan out their day and actually put it in writing, they may actually spend too much or too little time on certain tasks. An individual may lose track of time due to an unimportant issue and fail to spend time on a task that critically needs to be addressed. This could be because that particular task was forgotten about or because of procrastination. Writing down issues and tasks on paper acts as a constant reminder and helps to organize items by importance.

Careful scheduling is another time management skill that everyone should work to improve. Some people have a great deal of free time and don’t have to schedule specific times to do things. Others need to carefully plan out each day in order to get anything accomplished due to their busy lifestyles including careers, kids and friends. If a person has an important doctor’s appointment or a critical meeting at a certain time then it is important not to schedule multiple conflicting items that might interfere during these times.

Setting realistic goals is another critical time management skill, and should not be forgotten. If goals are set excessively high then they appear totally impossible to achieve. This will cause the person to become demoralized and cease attempting to achieve that particular goal. Setting realistic goals is often the most difficult time management skill to master because everyone wants achieve outstanding results and will occasionally over-estimate their abilities.

Prioritizing is the final example of vital time management skills. When scheduling competing tasks the most important tasks should be scheduled first. Who is going to plan to take a dog to the Veterinarian to have routine vaccinations before taking a sick child to see the doctor? Even in the workplace, prioritizing has to be implemented for maximum efficiency. For instance, if a supervisor gives an employee a list of tasks to complete in a week, it would be a lot smarter for the employee to start by completing the tasks with upcoming deadlines first and save the work with lower priority for later.

Fortunately, training is available to learn effective time management skills.  Whether you hire a professional speaker or select a time management seminar on DVD, you will receive a lifetime of benefit.

Obviously, all of these time management skills are equally important. They must all be utilized together to ensure that time is managed properly and that the person makes the most of each day. This will prevent any time from being wasted unnecessarily and ensure that all, or at least most important, tasks get accomplished on schedule.  You never know, you may even find some spare time.

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