Time Management "Soft" Skills You Need to Develop
Time management is a soft skill and is among the top desirable abilities that can improve your life overall. This skill is important for business owners as it can help them plan, control, and grow a business. Good time management skills are also the key qualities that employers look for in their employees.
Although hard skills showcase your experiences and knowledge of a particular ability and get your foot in the door of opportunities, soft skills are what open most of the doors of opportunity. According to research released by LinkedIn, 92% of hiring managers prefer soft skills over hard or technical skills, and 89% of bad hires often lack soft skills.
What is Time Management?
Time management is the process of planning and organizing how long you spend your time between specific activities. When you have good time management skills, you become more productive and work more efficiently.
Benefits of Time Management
Why should you manage your time? Good time management enables you to work smarter, not harder. It helps you stay on top of your tasks and get more things done faster and efficiently.
Here are Life Benefits of Time Management:
- Managing your time can directly reduce your stress levels.
- You can create a better work-life balance.
- Time management makes an individual disciplined and more organized.
- You become less prone to stress and anxiety.
- You waste less time and procure more leisure time in your life.
How to Develop Your Time Management “Soft” Skills
1. Assess your time management skills
Establish a baseline of behaviors or object assessment which will gauge which areas of your time management need improvements. You can ask for feedback on your time management skills from your boss, colleagues, or other people who know how you work. You can also answer an online time management assessment test to evaluate your abilities in managing your time.
2. Develop awareness skills
Most people fail time management because they are not self-aware. You must recognize your preferences towards time management, deepen your understanding of what areas you struggle with, and make an effort on how you are going to change your bad habit of poorly managing your time.
When you develop awareness skills, you become conscious of how much time you are spending on each task or activity. Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I don’t have time”? Or have you ever thought that you are wasting much time on unimportant activities, like using social media for hours? This is already an awareness problem.
Developing awareness skills will help you avoid procrastination and prioritize your activities well. So how do you do this? Here are some tips.
- Journaling. Writing in a journal helps you become more self-aware.
- Meditating develops a stronger understanding of yourself, reduce stress and anxiety.
- Take a quiet time each day and reflect on what you have accomplished.
- Try asking these questions to know yourself better.
- When are you the most and least productive?
- What are your limitations?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
3. Take control of your life
Taking control of your life and structuring your work around it increase productivity. You should also understand where your time actually goes to become good in time management. Here are some tips to take back control of your time and increase your productivity:
- Avoid the “urgency trap” or the “mere urgency effect.” According to research, the mere urgency effect is a tendency to pursue urgency over importance even when these normative reasons are controlled for.
- Plan ahead to prioritize your activities and obligations.
- Track your time. You can use calendar apps to record dates, appointments, and tasks.
- Set daily goals of what tasks you want to accomplish for that day.
- Avoid multitasking. This will only make your work longer when you are switching from one task to another because your brain needs time to transfer focus.
- Learn to say “no” or turn down a request. One of the worst habits that actually take much of your time is over-committing yourself with too many tasks.
4. Look for signs of procrastination and take action before you’re swamped.
Procrastination is the effect of a lack of discipline, and it is a trap that many of us fall into. It is an active process where a person chooses to do something else instead of an important task. Procrastination is often the direct result of poor time management, poor self-care, and emotional and psychological factors, such as stress.
Overcome procrastination with these strategies:
- Starting a task is often the hardest part. What you can do is just start working on the task, even for just a few minutes, until you get the hang of it.
- Do the hard task first. This is to ensure that you have enough cognitive energy to accomplish an important task.
- Fill your day with low-priority tasks and short deadlines.
- Minimize distractions. Start by creating a distraction list of all the things or people that distract you from your work, turning off all your notifications on all your devices, and having a clean workspace.
5. Creating a schedule and sticking to it
Learning how to schedule your time efficiently, so you are able to finish your tasks is a challenge. The benefits of creating a schedule include:
- Provide structure and framework in conducting your daily activities.
- Save your time and allow you to use it efficiently.
- Help reduce stress and anxiety because you do not have to think and worry about what needs to get done. Developing and sticking with a schedule is one of the surest ways to ensure you are achieving your goals.
6. Learn time management in online courses
The good news is that there are a lot of easy ways to learn time management. You can take time management courses to advance in your career and reclaim those seemingly elusive lost hours of the day. Here are some of the top time management online courses from Skill Success.