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Whatever your great dream or vision in life may be, one thing is certain: you will need to become an expert at time management if you want to bring your dreams into reality and overcome obstacles that are bound to pop up in your way.

Unfortunately, many of us suffer from poor time management skills. Even among those who manage to balance the different elements of their lives productively, there is almost always room for improvement.

Whether you are doing an accredited online MBA to boost your future career prospects, while working full time, or whether your challenge is raising a family while trying to manage a startup, here are some tips for improving your time management today.

Work to improve your health and energy levels

While time management is primarily about your habits and self-discipline, it is certainly possible to make the job of improving your time management either easier, or harder, based on how you handle the other elements of your life. Wherever possible — and especially if your time management is already poor to start with — you want to make the journey as smooth and easy as possible.

One of the best ways of achieving this, is to take real steps to improve your overall health and energy levels. While the key components in this process are likely to be different for everyone, getting enough sleep, cutting back on addictions and dependencies, and eating filling, nutritious meals, are all excellent general guidelines.

The healthier and more naturally energetic you feel, the easier it will be to manage your time.

Introduce positive habits gradually

Habits are built in small increments, until they are so deeply embedded in our psyche, that deep, neural connections have formed in the brain to correspond with them.

Practically everyone is naturally impatient when it comes to picking up positive habits. But remember, you’re not playing a week-long game. This is for the rest of your life. You’re in a marathon, not a sprint.

By trying to do too much, too soon, you’re likely to lose motivation, burn out, and break the chain of positive action before the habit is fully fledged. By beginning small — for example, like starting with 30 minutes of productivity for every working hour — you can lay the foundations of the habit, and build your way up, bit by bit, without getting disheartened within a few days.

Track how you use your time

To improve something, you first need to track it, establish a baseline, and have a way of determining whether or not you’re heading in the right direction.

When aiming to improve your time management, you should always track how you’re spending your time, either with a digital service like Toggl or RescueTime. Another option can be a printed out time sheet, such as the one created by Laura Vanderkam, author of the excellent time-management book, “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think”.