Developing Your Essential Time Management Skills

2006 | Feb 15 in Management

By Erin Duckhorn,

.Time Management Skills

In these modern times we are turning to more advanced tools - such as automated machinery and advanced software applications - to increase productivity. But as our use of these tools grows, the more responsibilities and activities we are able to add to our day, which results in the need for more time to do them in. The cycle is virtually endless and the pace seems to increase each day.

The reality is that time management is a challenge for all of us, and it is important to see it as a habit to be improved upon and optimized. Changing the way you use and manage your time can be one of the most positive and rewarding things you do for your business.

To manage your time more effectively, you will first need to be aware of your current time usage patterns. This can easily be done with a pen, paper, and a commitment to improvement. Tracking the activity flow of your day lets you clearly see when and where you spend time on each task. For example, it will tell you how long, on average, you spend writing emails, sitting in meetings, making telephone calls, and so on. This essential information then acts as a catalyst for creating a schedule that parallels what is important to your business and your life, and that helps to eliminate disruptions and distractions.

Time discrimination: Knowing what’s important

Effective time management requires using the essential skill of "time discrimination." It is up to you to decide where and how you spend your time, and which things are most important and should be prioritized. A leader knows how to discriminate between what is important and unimportant, and to focus his or her time and attention accordingly. Your job as the leader of your organization is to set the tone for effective time management, because you are also a role model for your staff.

So remember: Begin by becoming aware of how you spend your time on a daily basis. Write down and track when and where you are not focusing on priority tasks, and strive to break the habit of bad time management. Creating positive changes in how you manage your daily routine will help you to better focus on your leadership role and activities. And good time management skills are not only essential for your leadership responsibilities, but for your personal satisfaction as well.

Good time management: A good habit to have

You can get past the assumption that your lack of time is beyond your control. You can learn to manage your time more effectively - and faster than you may think.

Bad time management is a habit, but good time management is a habit, too - it just takes practice. Try using the next week as an experiment in changing some of your routines. I think that you will find that you can make some significant changes to your time management strategies in just a few days, and set the tone for the future.


  1. .Mike H. says:

    Good Stuff,  If only I had time for good time management skills.

    Submitted Aug 4, 2008 2:23 PM

  2. .Paul A. says:

    This by far is my biggest challenge. I havee a to do list that I attempt to prioritze on a daily basis, I would estimate 4-5 days a weeek I complete by prioritzing my list. On average it takes me about 30-40 minutes to accomplish this. Too often however I drift off the list and can not tell you how often only one to 3 items havee acctually been completed , very frustrating. At one point in the past I had a tool that was broken out in 15 minute intervalls, time running across tasks running down that would keep tracj of what I did. I have found this helpful. Also blocking time has been effective 

    Submitted Aug 10, 2008 6:51 AM

  3. .Ian T. says:

    some much of my lifes opportunities are robbed by bad time management. I need to conquer this.

    Submitted Feb 11, 2010 12:25 PM

  4. .Craig S. says:

    Today i carved out an hour of time to analize an employees use of time for a 6 hour block. There was an agreement that was not met regardging the deadline for preparing the condiment line in our pizzaria. I took one hour out of my schedule to establish accountability for the future. So rather than feel frustrated about a 6 hour overtime shift situation that had occured where an employee had wasted valuable time in his duties of preparing the store for peak time business, i took a step in establishing a future within which to live into where that employee realized his accountability for his actions and got clear about my expectations.

    For myself in my operation where at this time i am required to execute many technical tasks myself in affording payroll savings. This was a step towards relieving myself from doing work that was not completed that i was paying others to do. Affording myself time for stratigic marketing planning i have scheduled with our marketing planner.

    Submitted Mar 8, 2010 10:53 PM

  5. .jehnavi p. says:

    Time management skills are your abilities to recognize and solve personal time management problems. All time management skills are learn-able. More than likely you will see much improvement from simply becoming aware of the essence and causes of common personal time management problems. With these time management lessons, you can see better which time management techniques are most relevant for your situation. http://www.businessmantra.net

    Submitted Jun 21, 2010 12:58 AM

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