One Skill to Rule Them All

If you could pick one skill to be completely proficient in, which one would you pick, and why? There’s a ton to pick from, right? I mean, you could be the world’s best piano player. That’s going to be worth bank in the long run, right? Or you could be an expert rock climber, or a race car driver or any number of things. And I suppose any of those would make an awful lot of sense, and they’d work out really well for you in the long run.

But if we tone the hypothetical down a notch or two and just made it “what skill would you work on improving before any other,” I think one rises to the top for me: time management.

So much of success in life seems (to me, at least) to stem from being a good manager of your time. If you know how to stay on top of your work, do the things you’ve committed to do, and do them all on time when they’re expected, then life becomes a whole lot easier. It’s much(!) easier to hold down a good job and get promoted. It’s much easier to find time for yourself and your hobbies. It’s easier to improve other areas of your life.

On the other hand, if you’re always running behind and playing catch up with yourself, everything becomes more difficult. In many ways, it seems like it’s parallel to good money management. Have enough money in the bank and don’t over commit yourself, and life suddenly gets a whole lot easier.

So the question then becomes, “How do you get better at time management?” In my experience, you do that the same way you get better at any other skill: consistent, mindful practice. Decide that it’s something important to you, and then work at it every day. For me, I’ve done that through making daily goals. I also heavily utilize lists, analyzing any big projects I’ve got on my plate and breaking them down into a series of daily tasks that need to happen each day. Then all I need to do is get that smaller bit done consistently, and the rest takes care of itself.

But what about you? Do you also think time management is important? If so, how have you worked to improve at it? If not, what do you think outweighs it? Inquiring minds want to know.


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