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If you’re struggling to take control of your time, better time management will help you learn how to manage your time effectively.  The aim of good time management is to transform busyness into productive and effective work so you can feel more focused, motivated, energised and in control.  If you never seem to have enough time, these time management tips will give you the framework for better time management to help you move confidently towards achieving your goals.

If you want to take control of your time and get more done each day, it”s important to develop time management skill and learn what is effective time management and how to manage time.  Good time management will help you become more effective at removing distractions and prioritise so you can stay focused and productive all day long.

These tips for better time management will ensure you prioritise better, become more productive and ensure you stop wasting time on activities that aren’t productive.  Learning how to manage your time effectively will help you achieve your long-term vision and achieve bigger and better goals in the short-term.

What is time management?

Time management is defined as the process of planning, organising and using your time effectively to achieve bigger results.  Good time management enables you to manage your time effectively through better goal setting, better prioritisation and dividing your time between specific, important activities.  Essentially time management enables people to get more done, and achieve bigger results in less time, by focusing their time on the productive activities that achieve the result they want.

Learning how to manage your time effectively helps you set better short-term goals and control how much time you spend on the most important activities you need to undertake to achieve those goals.  Good time management ensures you identify your most important activities and organises your time to focus more time on that work.  Read more about the benefits of time management

Why is time management important?

Time management is important because it ensures you prioritise and structure your time in a way that allows you to be more focused and productive on your most important activities.  Time management is the ability to use your time productively and effectively.  Good time management means using your time effectively to focus on the biggest strengths and biggest opportunities that will move you closer towards your goals. 

Better time management and learning how to manage your time effectively increases productivity, creativity, focus and gives you more time freedom to spend with the people that matter most.  Read more about the importance of time management.

What are good time management skills?

One of the most powerful and transformational skills you can have in business and life is effective time management.  If you don’t manage your time well you can feel overwhelmed, distracted and struggle to make progress on your goals.  Developing better time management skills can help you take control of your time and your actions.  

Some of the most important time management skills include:

Organisation  

Start improving your time management skills by getting better organised.  Staying organised and being clear on how to manage your time can make you more focused and productive.

Create a schedule 

Creating a daily schedule of your most important activities gives you direction and focus each day.  Having a schedule can also reduce overwhelm and being distracted.

Delegate activities

Good time management starts with understand you can’t do everything yourself.  Expand the time you spend on your most important activities and learn to delegate activities you don’t like or aren’t good at.

Set deadlines 

Work expands to fill time.  One of the most important time management skills is to set deadlines for your work.  If you don’t set deadlines, time can run away with you.  Start managing your time better by giving yourself a specific amount of time to complete your work in.

Stress management

Feeling like you don’t have enough time can cause stress.  Better time management helps you take control of your time.

Energy management 

We only have so much energy and motivation.  Good time management harnesses your energy and focuses it on your most important activities.

Goal setting

Setting goals gives you clear direction and focus, enabling you to manage time better.

Prioritisation

Effective time management helps you prioritise your time better, giving you better direction and focus each day.

Read more about the best time management skills.

8 time management tips for better time management  

Here are 8 tips for better time management tips to you achieve your goals quicker 

1. Set better goals  

Having long-term goals and short-term goals helps you manage time better.  You know where to spend your time as you have identified your biggest priorities which ensures you manage time effectively instead of drifting, losing focus and getting distracted.

By creating clarity on where you are now and where you want to get to it becomes much easier to focus time on the high value activities that will help you achieve your goals.

It also gives you a clear plan and path to help you schedule your time each day to avoid busyness and procrastination.

2. Prioritise your high value activities first

Your time is limited so it’s essential to tackle your biggest priorities first.  If you are busy without being productive, it’s easy to lose control of your time and spend most of your time reacting.  Instead of tackling easy or low value activities first, identify three biggest priorities and work on them first. 

This will help you manage your time better and move from being busy to being productive every day.  Take some time in the morning or the night before to identify your three most important tasks so you start each day in a productive mindset, knowing exactly what to do and where to focus your time.

3. Track your time 

If you want to learn how to manage your time effectively, the first step is to understand where your time is going right now.  Many of us have a sense of where we think our time goes, but the reality is often very different.  Start by tracking your time for one working week and in half-hour (ideal) or hour intervals, from when you get up to when you stop working. 

Once you have a clear picture of how you actually spend your time, the next step is to get clear on whether you’re happy with how you’re spending your time, or not.  If you want to better manage your time, look at the things you want to do more of and the things you’d like to do less of.  

Then pick a time frame for how you want your time to be used in the future.  90 days is a good starting point but you may want to set a 30-day time management goal. Next, lay out 3 things from your list you want to do more of and 3 things you want to do less of, and write an action plan on how to achieve it.

4. Work in blocks of time  

Good time management is hard if you are constantly distracted or spend a lot of your time multi-tasking.  If you want to manage your time better start using time blocking to stay focused and productive.  

Time blocking will help you work in chunks of time on your priority projects, and stop you switching between tasks or projects.

Many people use the pomodoro technique to help with time blocking.  I personally work on the 60/60/30 principle, working in chunks of 50 minutes, then taking a 10-minute break for the first two chunks of time before then taking 30 minute break to read, walk or meditate.

Time blocking will help you stay focused and productive and give you a real sense of accomplishment when you make real progress on your important projects. 

5. Set better boundaries around your time 

Good time management enables you to work smarter, not harder, so that you can be more effective and productive.  Good time management requires an important shift in focus from worrying about time spent, to a focus on achieving a specific result.  It’s difficult to manage your time properly if you feel fatigued, exhausted or tired all the time.

Effective time management is about working in a peak state on activities you love to do and are great at.  To ensure you remain in that peak state, it’s important to eat healthily, take regular exercise and sleep better at night.

Taking more time out of work on a regular basis will also ensure you are rejuvenated, motivated and productive. 

6. Cut back your to-do list to save time 

Good time management is about the quality of work you do, not the quantity.  If you focus on doing lots of tasks you will likely be very busy, but not productive.  Spending long hours on an ever expanding to-do list is not the most effective way to manage your time.  There is a better way.

Use this time management tip.  Start each day with just three items on your to-do list. If you’re able to complete those three items by the end of the day you’ll feel productive and accomplished.  If you still have time in your day to tackle additional priorities, add another item to your to-do list.

This way you will always be making progress and feel confident about what you’ve achieved.  If you have 15 items on your to-do list and you fail to achieve them, you’ll feel very different.  Focus on a small number of important tasks each day to be way more happy and productive.

7. Improve your planning 

If you can plan your time effectively you have a better chance of being productive and managing time wisely.  There are a number of proven time management tips you can use to plan your time, that I use as a time management coach.  

When you plan your time out it helps you schedule your time each week and each day.  This gives you direction and focus and reduces the chance of distraction, overwhelm and multi-taking.

Two great times to schedule your time for the following week are on Friday and Sunday.  Both these days are at the end of the week so you get a clear sense of what you achieved that week which can lay the foundation for what you want to achieve the following week.  You also feel more relaxed on a Friday afternoon or Sunday evening so you have more clarity, instead of being busy and unable to think clearly.

To amplify your time planning, at the end of every day take 5 minutes to note down what you achieved that day and then lay out three things you want to achieve the following day.  Read more about the benefits of time management coaching.

8. Stop procrastinating 

When you procrastinate you waste precious time.  If you want to manage your time better, the key is to stop procrastinating and start taking action on your most important activities.  We often procrastinate when we have too much going on or we don’t know what action step to take first.

To stop procrastinating, get clear on the result you want to achieve and then lay out the obstacle that is stopping you from taking action.  Then outline the first action step you can take to overcome that obstacles.  You may be able to do this, or you may require help from someone else.  Learn more time management tips and tools on how to stop procrastinating.

Conclusion 

Time management is important if you want to achieve your goals in business and life.  Good time management will help you better manage your time and be more productive on your most important work.  Use these time management tips to help you manage your time better, increase your focus and reach your goals quicker.

More time management tips

Productivity: tips on how to be more productive 

How to be more productive: 9 productivity tips

Now I’d love to hear from you. 

What’s your number one time management tip? 

How do you get out of busyness?

Let me know in the comments.

About the Author

Mark Pettit is the Founder of Lucemi Consulting and 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. 

Get more articles, tips and tools to help you manage your time effectively on the blog.

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