Learning time management skills can take time and dedication - particularly if you never received any proper training from parents or employers in how to correctly use the hours in each day to the highest level possible.
The first step is admitting that you have a problem. Acknowledging that you just aren’t being as productive as you could be is hard, but you have to realize you need help before you can move forward. Time management is an alien sounding solution, but it is one of the nest ways to get your personal life or business back on track and under control.
The second step is getting your hands on some great material. There are numerous books out there that can help you figure out where the time in your day goes. You can use time management analysis tools to graph your days and pinpoint exactly where you are losing valuable time. Look for grids, matrixes, and logs to help you track your activity and prioritize your workload.
Third step: get organized. A messy workspace can lead to a messy mind - and once you are distracted, regaining your focus can be tough. When someone walks in your office and wants ‘file such and such,’ you should be able to lay a hand on it, pass it off and return to the task at hand without missing a beat. Having to stop what you are doing and scrabble for it amongst a pile of clutter can utterly derail your train of thought.
Step four is all about finding that sweet 20% of your day when you get the most done - and figuring out how to transfer your tactics and methods from that window to the rest of your day. If you can figure out what makes you work like a madman from noon to two in the afternoon and duplicate that from eight to noon and two to five, you can quadruple your output and impress your family / boss / teacher.
Fifth step: don’t let yourself get sidetracked. Turn off your phone, shut down your social networks and get busy, let distractions be a reward or saved for a designated break time when you need to unwind for a minute (and no, you cannot schedule designated break times every half hour!!)
Stay on task and focused, and you will get done in plenty of time to indulge your taste for inane online games or catching up with friends via IM.
Step six - apply as needed to all areas of your life. Becoming more efficient at work can spill over into your home life and vice versa.
Getting better at your job can give you skills to get better at your relationships. Spend time every day concentrating on the most important things in life, and reap the benefits in all areas.
Learning time management skills can create a life of peace and productivity where only stress lurked before.