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Last Updated on January 13, 2020

10 Practical Ways to Improve Time Management Skills

10 Practical Ways to Improve Time Management Skills

Do you often feel stressed out with too much of workload? As time passes by, do you feel like you have more tasks on hand than you have time to do them or you could have effectively use your time to complete all the given tasks?

The trick is to organize your tasks and use your time effectively to get more things done each day. This can help you to lower stress level and do better at workplace.

Time management is a skill that takes time to develop and is different for each person. You just need to find what works best for you.

Here are 10 ways that you can use to improve time management skills and increase productivity:

1. Delegate Tasks

It is common for all of us to take more tasks than our desired potential. This can often result in stress and burnout.

Delegation is not running away from your responsibilities but is an important function of management. Learn the art of delegating work to your subordinates as per their skills and abilities and get more achieved: The Careful Art of Delegation

2. Prioritize Work

Before the start of the day, make a list of tasks that need your immediate attention. Unimportant tasks can consume much of your precious time. Some urgent tasks need to be completed on that day only while other unimportant tasks could be carried forward to next day.

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In short, prioritize your important tasks to focus on those that are more important.

Here’s an effective technique to help you: Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster.

3. Schedule Tasks

Carry a planner or notebook with you and list all the tasks that come to your mind.

Make a simple ‘To Do’ list before the start of the day, prioritize the tasks and focus on the essentials. Make sure that these tasks are attainable too. 

To better manage your time management skills, you may think of making 3 lists: work, home and personal.

4. Set up Deadlines

When you have a task at hand, set a realistic deadline and stick to it.

Try to set a deadline few days before the task so that you can complete all those tasks that may get in the way. Challenge yourself and meet the deadline; reward yourself for meeting a difficult challenge.

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To make setting and meeting deadlines work for you, learn these 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines.

5. Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination is one of the things that badly affect productivity. It can result in wasting essential time and energy. It could be a major problem in both your career and your personal life.

Avoid procrastination at all cost. Learn from this step-by-step guide and stop procrastinating: What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

6. Deal with Stress Wisely

Stress often occurs when we accept more work than our ability. The result is that our body starts feeling tired which can affect our productivity.

Besides delegating tasks to your juniors to help reduce your burden, try these 5 Ways To Turn Stress Into Productivity.

7. Avoid Multitasking

Most of us feel that multitasking is an efficient way of getting things done but, the truth is that we do better when we focus and concentrate on one thing. Multitasking hampers productivity and should be avoided to improve time management techniques.

Make use of to-do lists and deadlines to help you stay focus! This way you can do better at what you’re doing.

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If you have a lot of tasks to handle, try these techniques: 9 Tips on Multitasking Management That Will Improve Your Productivity

8. Start Early

Most of the successful men and women have one thing in common — they start their day early as it gives them time to sit, think and plan their day. Here’s the reason: This is Why Productive People Always Wake Up So Early

When you get up early, you are more calm, creative and clear-headed. As the day progresses, your energy levels starts going down which affects your productivity and you may not perform as well.

To stop dragging from bed and start waking up energetically, take a look at this guide: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

9. Take Regular Breaks

Whenever you find yourself feeling tired and stressed, take a break for 10 to 15 minutes. Too much stress can take a toll on your body and affect your productivity.

And even better, schedule your break times. It helps you to relax and gets back to work with energy again later.

Take a walk, listen to some music or do some quick stretches. The best idea is to take off from work and spend time with your friends and family.

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10. Learn to Say No

Politely refuse to accept additional tasks if you think that you’re already overloaded with work. Take a look at your ‘to do’ list before agreeing to take on extra work.

If you have problems saying no, these tips from Leo Babauta will be useful for you: The Gentle Art of Saying No

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned all these practical time management tips, start from listing out everything you need to do, prioritize them and decide what can delegate to others. Then schedule the tasks with deadlines set and schedule your break times too.

When you get clear about what’s on your plate, you’ll be more focused and get more done in less time!

Good time management requires daily practice of prioritizing tasks and organizing them in a way that can save time while achieving more. Use the above strategies for few weeks and see if they can help you!

If you want more recommendations on improving different aspects of productivity, check these out:

Articles Recommendations:

Books Recommendations:

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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Rinkesh Kukreja

The founder of Conserve Energy Future, trying to educate people how to save energy and sharing entrepreneurship and management tips

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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