Developing your skills to manage your time takes more than to-do lists, schedules and plans. It takes awareness and adaptability that is often looked past. In this Harvard Business Review article, author Erich C. Dierdorff discusses these aspects developing your time management skills and how to improve on them.
Dierdorff separates time management into three distinct skills:
- Awareness: thinking realistically about your time by understanding it is a limited resource.
- Arrangement: designing and organizing your goals, plans, schedules, and tasks to effectively use time.
- Adaptation: monitoring your use of time while performing activities, including adjusting to interruptions or changing priorities
Improving your time management starts with building your awareness of your current skills. Recognize how you prefer to spend your time and your habits to understand how you can build your skill without having to drastically change your preferences.
Once you have an idea of where you need to improve, prioritize one skill to work on. It’s more effective to focus on one that needs the most attention than to spread yourself thin trying to work on multiple skills.
Dierdorf provides further tactics you can try to develop each skill in the article.
Building your time management skills won’t be quick, but it’s not impossible.