Whether it is school, work, or other external responsibilities, learning the art of time management has never become more prominent. If you are able to know how to effectively delegate your time to certain tasks, it can prevent you from the temptation to procrastinate and ensure everything that needs to get done is done to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, one of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking they have all the time in the world, which can lead to results that are beneath their standards. Here are some tips as to how you can develop better time management skills.

Plan ahead

If you have a series of tasks that must get done, you need to plan ahead. One of the worst things that you can do when it comes to time management is wake up without a plan of action in place. That is why you should be encouraged to come up with a plan of attack well before certain tasks need to be completed. Sometimes, this planning can be done the night before when you come home from work. You do not need to spend any more than 15 minutes jotting down what tasks take priority. You can also plan ahead early in the morning when you are not doing anything and have some free time.

Say “no” to distractions

It can be difficult to pass up the opportunity to spend a night with your friends or engage in another activity that provides you a temporary reprieve from your responsibilities. Sometimes, however, the time will come where you will have to (politely) reject people offering you other plans. If you do accept their invitations or engage in other tempting activities that take you off course, you will have to live with rushing at the last minute and doing things at half the efficiency. While you need to take the time to have fun and socialize, there are going to be times when you have a lot to get done and you have to be able to manage your time and no when to say no to distractions and focus on your work.

Find inspiration

Let’s face it. Sometimes, the reason why we leave certain tasks off is that we have no motivation to complete it, or at least on time. So an external source of motivation is often needed. Sometimes, it can be a TED talk, reading a biography, or something else. Regardless, find something to start that fire within you and get back to work.

Time management is important, and following these steps can help.