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Learning how to manage your time effectively can help you be more productive while feeling more relaxed, focused and in control.  Failing to manage your time effectively can lead to overwhelm, stress, feeling tired all the time and put you at risk of burnout.  With effective time management, you can easily manage your time and achieve much bigger results in less time.  In this guide I’ll outline 10 time management tips that will help you start managing time effectively to be more productive, get laser focused and achieve your goals quicker.

Learning how to manage time effectively will help you become more organised, more effective and more productive.   You will move from a feeling of time scarcity to one of time abundance.

But, learning how to manage time wisely can be a struggle for many people.  There is a feeling of not having enough time, of always being busy, of feeling that there is not enough time in the day or that there is so much to do.

This article is for you if you’re struggling to manage your time, feel busy but not productive or just want some time management tips to take even more control of your time.

How do you manage your time?

What’s the best way to manage time effectively?  To manage your time, it’s essential to get clear on your goals and then use your time productively on your most important activities each day.  When you set measurable goals with a clear deadline to achieve the goal in, this allows you to simplify your time and prioritise a small number of activities that create the biggest impact and results.

This simplifying allows you to better manage your time through leveraging time and following a daily schedule to achieve bigger results in less time.

When you can master time management, you can plan, manage and maximise your day by being effective, rather than efficient.  Managing your time will help you to:

  • Stop multi-tasking
  • Start working smarter, not harder
  • Reclaim your energy
  • Expand your time freedom
  • Increase your productivity, focus and results

If you can manage time effectively it frees up your mind to focus on your most important activities, creates more balance in your life and can help you achieve the results you want much quicker.

10 tips for managing time effectively

What’s the best way to manage time effectively? Applying these 10 time management tips is a good place to start.

1. Set measurable goals for better time management

If you want to learn how to manage time, start with better goal setting.  Having a small number of specific, measurable goals with deadlines to work towards ensures you manage your time effectively and eliminate the time thieves that don’t move you closer to your goals.

This goal setting process ensures you don’t overcommit, and have too many goals to work towards.

A smaller number of goals simplifies your time, energy and focus.

Too many goals create overwhelm and frustration and a feeling that you’re super busy and don’t have enough time in the day.

By simplifying your goal setting you’ll realise you can actually manage your time better.

2. Focus on three important wins every day

It’s difficult to manage time effectively if you have 10-15 things on your to-do list.

Good time management starts with simplifying your time and focus and being more productive.  You do this by prioritising only three activities to focus on each day.

This singular time and energy focus ensures your time is maximised to produce bigger results.

The smaller number of activities also creates a bigger opportunity to achieve something every day, instead of feeling busy but not productive.

Achievement build motivation and momentum.

3. Effectively schedule your time  

When you effectively schedule your time, you get clarity on your most important activities each day ensuring they get scheduled into your diary.

Without a clear schedule it’s easy to get reactive, distracted and feel overwhelmed with the amount you have to do.

When you schedule tasks or activities you’re better able to manage your time and feel more accountable to actually doing the work.

If you schedule an activity and the work gets completed, you feel more confident and motivated.

You know you’re making progress.

A great time management tip is to take ten minutes at the end of every day to schedule your activities for the following day.

You could also take some time on Sunday evening to schedule your most important activities for the following week.

4. Focus on results, not time invested

Being able to manage your time effectively is not about working harder.  It’s actually about working smarter.

Developing good time management skills is about getting clear on the result you want to achieve and looking at the simplest, easiest and most productive way of achieving that result.

If you can achieve a specific result in half the time of other people that’s highly valuable.

If you can leverage time through technology, outsourced experts or your team to produce a result quicker than you can, then you are maximising your productivity.

Remember, it’s not about time spent, it’s about delivering a result.

Spending extra time on something to make it perfect is not managing time effectively.

5. Track your time

In order to start managing time effectively, you need to understand where you currently spend your time.  We often have a sense of where we think we spend out time, but the truth can be revealing.

Auditing your time, or tracking time,  helps you identify time thieves and the activities that maximise your time and productivity.

When you track your time, you get clarity on the work you do that produces the biggest results and the activities that simply don’t.

You can then explore delegating or outsourcing low value work and expanding your time on activities that deliver the biggest results.

6. Start time blocking

If you have limited time to work each day or simply have a lot on, time blocking can be a life saver.

To manage your time better, simply get clear on the most important activity you want to work on and then block out time to do the work.

I always suggest a time blocking formula of working in 45 minute blocks and then taking a break before starting work again.

You can use a timer to track this time to ensure you stay focused and on task.

7. Manage your time effectively 

Planning ahead is an essential time management skill to develop if you want to manage time effectively.

Friday evening or Sunday evening is a great time to plan ahead to ensure Monday morning is a productive time, rather than a getting started time.

When you know what your goals for the week are, it becomes a lot easier to manage your time, be more productive and actually achieve your goals.

This up-front planning will help you stay organised, focused and productive.

Use a nightly routine to plan for the following day, and to recap on the progress you made that day.

8. Don’t do everything yourself

If you want to better manage your time it’s important to understand you can’t do everything yourself.  You may think other people can’t do things as well as you.  Or, you’re worried about the time it will take to train someone up.

The thing is you can’t do everything by yourself.

If you think you can, you’ll end up spending more and more time learning new skills and working on the activities that you’re simply not very good at.

These are both great time thieves.

Start delegating and finding experts to do the important work you’re not great at.

This simple act will free up 100’s of hours every month for you to focus on your biggest skills and the activities that really move your business forward.

9. Forget about perfectionism

Perfectionism is a big time waster.

Rather than being happy with what they’ve created, people spend hours and sometimes days changing, updating and tweaking things until it is perfect.

There is no such things as perfection.

Create something you’re happy with and get it out there.

Alternatively, use your unique skills on a project and then pass it to someone else to finish.

This way time is not wasted and a big result can be achieved in a much shorter amount of time.

10. Work smarter, not harder

Managing time effectively is about working smarter, not harder.

It is about doing less to achieve a bigger result.

When you have a small number of goals to work towards, you simplify your time.

If you can leverage time to achieve bigger results you can work less but deliver bigger results,

When you collaborate with other and look for time or result multipliers you can free up more time.

The key to managing your time effectively is to always simplify,

To look at the small number of things you are expert at that deliver the biggest result and then work with others to handle smaller tasks and to multiply the work you do

Conclusion

If you were wondering how to manage time better these time management tips will help.  Managing time effectively is about understanding the value you create and then using those skills to deliver a result in the quickest, easiest and most productive way possible.

Developing effective time management skills will help you leverage time through better collaboration, delegation, technology and outsourcing to create an even bigger result in less time.

Managing time effectively starts with looking at your personal time and focusing that time on delivering productive results.

It is then about better scheduling, creating better boundaries and working with others to deliver a result

When you understand the ideal result you want with more time and the difference it will make, you will become more focused on developing better time management skills.

Now I’d love to hear from you.

What’s your best tip for managing your time?

Which one area do you struggle with most with time management?

Let me know in the comments.

Read also:

8 time management tips to manage time effectively

Productivity: Tips on how to be more productive 

About the Author

Mark Pettit is a small business coach to business owners who want to simplify their time, energy and focus so they can multiply their freedom, impact and results.

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