In-Demand Soft Skills: Smart Way to Manage your Time More Effectively

In-Demand Soft Skills: Smart Way to Manage your Time More Effectively

Have you ever wondered why some people manage their time effectively while others rush from one to another and struggle to finish anything? It all depends on how well you manage your time. Time management is an essential soft skill that one should possess to ensure that his targets achieved. Certainly, it is an art that you should master in your day-today life.

This article will address some of the important aspects of Time Management. It is so important that time management will develop your soft skills effectively as you will always face difficulties in balancing conflicting demands. Say, manage your time between your work life and personal life, or may be even during a typical busy working day. So it is clear that if you are not a good manager of your own time your life will be stressful and obviously you will not perform to your maximum capacity.

Let’s have a look at some of facts about effective time management that improve productivity of a personnel. Here, the only trick is to organize your tasks and use your time effectively to get more things done each day. This can help you to reduce stress and even do better at workplace. Time management is a skill that takes time to develop and is different from person to person. You just need to find out what works best for you. Use few strategies listed below for few weeks and see if it can help you.

  1. Delegate Tasks: 

In today’s competitive world, it is not unusual for us to accept more tasks than our desired potential. Surely, such a situation would burn you out unless you find an alternate way to cope up with the situation. One way of easing out such a stressful life is “Delegation.” Delegation does not mean that you are running away from your responsibilities. Rather, it is a smarter way of getting things done from others depending on their personal skills and abilities.

  1. Avoid Procrastination:

Procrastination refers to action of delaying or postponing something. Watch out for “Procrastination”! It is one of the things that badly affect the productivity. It can result in wasting essential time and energy. It should be avoided at any cost. It could be a major problem in your career or in your personal life especially if it is a very urgent and most important task.

  1. Schedule Tasks:
Always 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 make sure that they are attainable. To manage your time management skills, you may consider of making three lists: Work, Home, and Personal.

  1. Avoid Stress: 
Apart from delegation of work, there are various ways in which we could reduce stress. When stress level strikes you, your body will start feeling tired and eventually productivity will go down. So why not set-a-side some time for relaxation and reduce stress?

  1. Set up Deadlines: 
In order to achieve any target, there should be clear, realistic and specific deadline. Otherwise, you will lose control over your expectations. Challenge yourself and meet the deadline.  When you reach a deadline do not forget to reward yourself as well.

  1. Avoid Multitasking:
Even though you are competent that you can take part in more than one task at a time, it may be at the cost of accuracy and focus! Many of us believe that multitasking is an efficient way of getting things done but the reality may be that we do better when we focus and concentrate on one thing. In other words, multitasking obstructs productivity and should be avoided as long as possible to improve time management skills.

  1. Start Early:
This is not a new technique, though most of us do not follow properly. Try and start your day as early as possible. 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. Needless to say that when you get up early, you are more calm, creative, and clear-headed. When the day progresses, your energy levels starts going down which affects your productivity and you don’t perform well.

  1. Take Some Breaks:

Between major tasks, find a time for a short break. Say, when you find yourself 10-15 minutes, take a break and start fresh after the break. Take a walk, listen to some music or do some quick stretches etc. wherever it appropriate. The best idea is to take off from work and spend time with your friends and family.

  1. Learn to say No:

This is something that many of us reluctant to do, say NO to your boss. Of cause this has to be handled with care and it is largely depends on the situation. 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.

Once you are contented with the above techniques, you can make use of the following structured matrix to maximize results in time management.

Workout for your own Priority Matrix:

Maintain a “To-do-list” is a common technique that we all know.  Let’s have a closer look at a more structured form of a priority list. To start with, list down all the tasks that you need to fulfill during the day. Then, carefully analyze your to-do-list and position your activities in the matrix given below. Really, this a very useful technique that can be used to identify the tasks that need your immediate attention based on the level of importance and urgency.  Moreover, this method will guild you to recognize the tasks that need to be completed on same day itself while other unimportant tasks could be carried forward to later time and so on.

There are no specific rules to follow when you make use of the above matrix, rather you have to develop your own way of implementation which would suit for a given situation and desired activities.

We believe that the above approach would enable you to enhance the effeteness of time management. In the next article we will cover another area of soft skill development that would empower you to shine from others.

Thamara Ranasinghe

The author, Thamara Indika Ranasinghe, is an associate member of both the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and Chartered Institute of management Accountants of UK. Further, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has served in a number of leading private and public sector establishments in the sphere of finance.


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