Six Steps to Improve Your Time Management Skills

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The terms productivity, time management and efficiency often cause a stomach ache for a lot of people for whatever reason. With this little guideline, showing you that stressing over those topics is just not necessary, we want to take that fear and tackle the issue. 

If it's the student trying to reach a deadline, the business woman, eager to impress her colleagues, the ambitious man wanting to show off his skills or the mom trying to squeeze in one more adventure for the little ones. All have one thing in common and it all narrows down to organization. It's as simple - and at the same time - as hard as that.

Every individual might achieve their goals differently and not all tips work for everyone. With the following guideline, we want to give you something to hold onto, to look for help if all fails. It's not about ticking off every step of this list but finding out what works best for you!

Get an overview. Make sure you know what you are working up to. Get a sheet of paper and a pen or start typing on your laptop, whatever works best for you! Start writing everything down that comes to your mind and don't bother putting anything in order yet. Done? Great - move on.

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Get structured and set dates. Look at the things you’ve written down so far. Read them and bring them in order of relevance. Depending on the dimension of your project, it might be helpful to split your main goal up into hourly/daily/weekly goals. Achieving smaller projects will seem easier and will hopefully keep you motivated to carry on. Keep your goals in front of you. Literally. Write them down again on separate sheets and hang them over your desk, so they can't be ignored. Plus: You'll get to take them down and throw them into the bin once they’ve been achieved.

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Create a workspace you actually enjoy working in. Working is way easier if you are surrounded by things you like and an atmosphere that actually gets you motivated to grab the pen and start working. If there isn't already a study on this - which is highly doubtable - there should definitely be one.

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Stay on track. Remember that list and those little notes you so arduously put together? Keep to it. Don't forget to feed your pet/kid/plant though. You don't have to and in fact can be focused on one project only for a whole day. Take a few breaks to get some coffee, look out of the window, doodle around or sing along to your favorite song but make sure to keep within the time frame you've set for yourself!

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Keep going.Treat yourself. Reaching one goal and ripping off that note from the wall might be enough motivation to start working on the next step. If this doesn't do the trick for you, keep yourself motivated by planning little rewards at the end of each milestone. This could mean a nice meal, a catch-up with colleagues, a virgin Mojito - let's be honest, once you've had alcohol, there is no going back to work - or a sneaky little catch up on your favorite show.

Keep going and going until you are there. Don't lose sight of your big goal and don't let the rewarding breaks dominate your working process. Tick off all those little goals one by one. It might seem hard now, but it'll all be worth it in the end. The sooner you achieve your big goal, the sooner you can start a new project and have that real Mojito!

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