Time management is an important soft skill to have. When you can organize the structure of your day, it’s easier to stay on task and efficiently complete your goals. At work, this skill is especially helpful and will lead to more success and productivity. Managers and bosses will notice your ability to manage time and might even promote you.
Still, time management can be useful in other avenues of your life. When you have everything planned out, you have more of a work-life balance. You get your work done on time, and you have the space to enjoy other activities in your life as a result.
Some people might underestimate the value of this, or might not fully understand what time management is. But in this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about this important soft skill.
What Are Soft Skills?
Many people refer to time management as a soft skill, but what exactly does this mean? Soft skills, are important traits that employers look for.
These include personality traits and interpersonal skills that contribute to workplace harmony and efficiency. In short, soft skills allow you to interact and collaborate with other colleagues in a successful manner.
Most soft skills are characterized by your ability to connect and work with others. So soft skills encompass all kinds of desirable traits. These include working well with groups, problem-solving skills, the ability to take personal responsibility, and even time management.
These skills aren’t formally taught, but they are crucial in a work setting and even in your personal life.
Being able to relate and work with other people in your life is a strong determining factor for success. Nowadays, many people have hard skills.
Access to college and technical schools has given people a more advanced hard skill set. Still, many people don’t have a strong set of soft skills. Hard skills based on technical or skilled work is crucial.
If you can code, or market, or speak another language you will definitely get your foot in the door. You might even stand out more during an interview.
However, if you possess no interpersonal abilities or are unable to manage your work ethic, you will have a hard time being successful anywhere. In fact, you could even get yourself fired.
Considering this, soft skills are more important than you think. So don’t disregard them or underplay them when interviewing for a new position. Show potential bosses evidence that you can work efficiently, effectively, and with other people.
Why Is Time Management An Important Soft Skill?
Time management creates structure in your workday, and in your life. When you possess this set of crucial skills, you are able to accomplish more in your day to day life.
In truth, you only have so much time to get things done. You don’t want to waste precious minutes figuring out how you are going to complete your work or other goals within a certain period of time.
Instead, when you can effectively manage your time, you are able to precisely maintain your schedule.
Planning out your day can seem restrictive and boring. But with a plan, you can fit in everything you need to do within twenty-four hours. You reduce your stress levels and know exactly what needs to be done to make your day a success.
It’s easy to say you will get something done, but if you don’t have a plan, you will never accomplish anything.
For instance, many people waste time procrastinating. You have probably done this as well. You intend to complete the items you know need to get finished, but instead, you find excuses or more enjoyable ways to fill your time. As a result, this slows your day down.
In reality, it is better to take the reins and figure out in advance when you are going to work, and what you plan to achieve.
When you know exactly what needs to be accomplished and when it needs to be accomplished, work becomes less taxing. You can set your attention to a goal for a certain amount of time and then move on with your day. In short, time management is important because it makes your goals easier to attain.
Time management skills break down your day and your goals into manageable pieces. You take tasks one hour at a time, and as a result you have more focus and energy.
Furthermore, you aren’t worried that you are missing a deadline, or cutting things close. As a result, you also have more time to yourself because you control when you work.
Why Is Time Management Considered A Soft Skill?
So why is time management considered a soft skill? There are many reasons this skill is classified this way.
Most importantly, time management is considered a soft skill due to its benefits in work environments. Time management helps create a better working atmosphere and allows you to work in a smoother fashion.
Time management is a must if you want to stay on top of your goals. It also enables you to turn in quality work on time!.
No one wants to work with someone who never meets a deadline. Without time management skills, you can disrupt your co-workers and make life harder for everyone in your work environment. This can cause friction amongst your co-workers.
Soft skills are all about enhancing the workplace and being able to work well with others. Therefore, the ability to manage your time definitely falls within this category. Furthermore, these skills cannot be understated in your workplace or your personal life.
Top 4 Time Management Soft Skills
Below we review the top 4 time management soft skills. Moving forward, try implementing these skills throughout your workday. Do you feel less stressed? More organized?
1. Prioritize Your Work
Knowing what work is important will help you prioritize your efforts. You want to work smart and stay focused on tasks that help you accomplish your goals.
Anyone can work all day. You could stay at your desk and answer emails and do other ordinary tasks. But if you don’t prioritize real work nothing can be accomplished.
So hone in on what is necessary. Ask yourself what really needs to get done, and work on prioritizing that.
Additionally, don’t be afraid to say no to people at work. If a project or a task is distracting you from your goals, it’s okay to say no.
Taking on tons of requests from co-workers or bosses can seem like the right thing to do. Likewise, it is not a bad thing to help someone in the office out.
However, if it sets you back or you have trouble completing your own work, consider reprioritizing. Again, you need to focus on what is important for your own success. This will help you schedule your day properly.
2. Create A Schedule And Stick To It
Once you know what you need to be working on, create a schedule for yourself. Schedules are the cornerstone of time management. They allow you to divide your day into chunks.
Additionally, they also make it much easier to focus on completing individual tasks.
You don’t need to schedule in every single aspect of your day. Just pencil in what needs to be done in the immediate future. Having a timeline for your work is extremely helpful.
If you plan to finish a task within a certain amount of time, you can worry less. As tasks or activities are scheduled, you know you have the time to finish something up. Furthermore, you know exactly what needs to be done to meet a deadline.
3. Set Goals – What Do You Actually Want To Accomplish?
Don’t just plan to work during certain hours of the day. Set goals for yourself so you can make the most out of your time. In particular, you want to set smart goals for yourself.
Plan to do things that are realistic and helpful for your career. Then figure out when and how these goals can be accomplished.
You can tell yourself that you want to be promoted, but without specific goals in mind, this isn’t likely to happen. So create goals for yourself that will help you stand out and get that promotion. For instance, make a goal to speak up more at meetings or share more ideas.
You can also make a goal to take on more challenging projects that will show off your strengths. Work to create a plan on how you will accomplish these goals and assign a timeframe of when you want to achieve them. But again, be realistic with your plan.
4. Minimize Your Distractions To Increase Your Productivity
Becoming skilled at time management means that you don’t let distractions get in the way of your work. Emails, texts, and other diversions should be eliminated during work time.
This is your way of staying focused and using your time wisely. It’s tempting to let people, messages, or your own laziness interrupt your work. However, you need to stay focused and organized to meet the demands of your schedule.
Work time should be your own, and not anyone else’s. And you shouldn’t waste your time surfing the web or looking at other unrelated work material.
Stay focused. You set goals for a reason. When you focus your efforts appropriately, you will achieve your goals much faster.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
eightysixfourhundred, make them count