Learning time management skills is essential if you want to do more of what matters to you.
But what’s the best way to do it?
Here are five of the most common options available to you, with pros and cons for each one:
Flexible and accessible; you can read whenever you want, wherever you like.
A time management book, like all non-fiction, doesn’t need to be read cover to cover.
Use it for reference, and "read ‘till you’re bored, then flick ‘till you’re interested".
Cheap; use your local library, borrow books from friends or buy recommended reads. The return on investment can be huge. But…
It’s easy to waste money.
How many books have you bought but not read yet? More to the point, how many time management books have you read that were actually any good?
The best tip for learning through books?
Leverage other peoples’ time and experience. Either buy on someone else’s recommendation or read others’ reviews first.
For example, a good rule of thumb with Amazon is to only buy books with at least a 4 star rating.
Great to use when you’re travelling. Learning time management skills this way is itself an effective use of your time.
All you need to do?
Listen and absorb it! Listen to it enough, and it eventually sinks in.
Less material available compared to books. You’re also reliant on your sound system working properly.
The fact that you’ve invested time and money to attend means you’re more likely to want to get something out of it.
Developing your time management this way can be quick, powerful and motivating.
Cost. Unless it’s covered for you, you can pay good money and invest a considerable amount of time when you attend a time management seminar or course.
Again, use recommendations to reduce the risk of ‘Death by PowerPoint'.
If you’re online, you have instant access to all the information on time management resources you could ever want.
Quality of content. Anybody can put up a website, without the need for editors, proof readers, even accurate information.
A lot of online dross. Even when you find accurate information, you still need to sift through until you find a site with style that you like.
Learning time management skills the hard way is often the most effective. Trying tools and time management systems to see what works and what doesn’t means first hand experience –- you can adapt ideas to your unique situation.
Expensive, time consuming and often demoralizing.
Bottom line for learning time management skills?
Try them all.
If you are more comfortable with books, try an audio version of it. Book yourself onto a time management course. Learn systems, then try them out. Adapt them until you find what works for you. Find a time management website that's easy on the eye and seems to make sense, then bookmark it.
Above all, apply what you learn, then adapt it and refine it.
“As long as you think you're green, you'll grow.
As soon as you think you're ripe, you'll rot."
- Scott Horton
Circumstances change, but skills remain, as long as they're used.
Sharpen your skills and you’ll do what you need to do quicker so you can do what you want to do sooner.