So how do we become better time managers? There is certainly no shortage of advice — books and blogs, hacks and apps, all created to boost time management with a bevy of ready-to-apply tools. Yet, the most frustrating reality for individuals trying to improve their time management is that no matter how effectively designed these tools might be, they are unlikely to work. Simply put, these tools presume a person’s underlying skill set, but the skills comprising time management precede the effectiveness of any tool or app.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of research that delves into the skills that undergird time management. Here, time management is defined as the decision-making process that structures, protects, and adjusts a person’s time to changing environmental conditions.
Three particular skills separate time management success from failure:
Second, people struggled the most with awareness and adaptation skills, where assessment scores were on average 24 percent lower than for arrangement skills. This evidence suggests that awareness and adaptation are not only rarer skills, but are more difficult to develop naturally without direct interventions. Additionally, awareness skills were the primary driver of how well people avoided procrastination and adaptation skills were the primary driver of how well they prioritized activities.
Third, the results ran counter to popular admonitions of either the virtues or the detriments of multitasking.
How to Improve Your Time Management Skills
So how might people best prepare themselves to become better time managers? Doing so first requires figuring out where to focus. Taking a deeper dive into your current skill levels is the only genuine way to answer this question...
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