9 Time Management tips that really work

9 Time Management tips that really work
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 25-03-2023

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Have you ever wondered why some people find enough time to spend on several activities and yet others find it hard to complete their work on time? Everyone has 24 hours and yet some people are able to do more in the same time. How come some people achieve more? According to statistics, around 92% of people are unable to achieve their long-term goals. So, does that mean that the remaining 8% are buying some extra time or are cutting out on their tasks? No, these people are simply managing the time at hand well enough to ensure more productivity, happiness, and less stress, or in other words are showcasing good time management skills.

Time management is the process of utilizing your time well. It is organizing and planning how much time is to be dedicated to each task. Basically, it is a skill that enables one to do all that they want in the desired time without stressing much about it. It is the ability to use your time effectively and efficiently. Easier said than done, this management requires effort from your end. Investing/ “wasting” time to plan out the tasks seems to be counter-intuitive right? Why should you spend time planning things when you can just use that period to work on your tasks? This investment is not huge compared to the benefits it provides you with. Developing this skill will enable you to succeed not only in your career but in every other aspect of your life.

Some key benefits of time management are listed below:

  • Enhanced productivity and efficiency: Time management helps you work with a fresh mind and energy and thus can help in increased efficiency and productivity. A tired, exhausted mind tends to work with low efficiency. Time management helps you replenish your energy thereby resulting in an increase in productivity in a given time.
  • Stress relief: Following a schedule reduces anxiety. Striking things off the ‘to-do list’ gives a sense of positive progress which reduces stress due to worrying about whether things will be done or not and at what time.
  • Extra time in hand: Proper planning helps complete tasks efficiently and that too on time which may leave you with some extra time in hand to dedicate to yourself.
  • Increased opportunities: Managing time well opens gates for more opportunities as less time is wasted on trivial activities.

Time management tips:

  1. Set goals appropriately: You must set goals that are achievable. Unrealistic goals should be avoided as they may end up in disappointment. Use the SMART method when setting goals. The goals that you set should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely(Mindtools.com)
  2. Prioritize: One key aspect of time management is prioritizing which is to basically know what order the tasks are to be performed in. Prioritization is done on the basis of urgency and importance.
  • Important and urgent: Do these tasks right away.
  • Important but not urgent: Decide when to do these tasks.
  • Urgent but not important: Delegate these tasks if possible.
  • Not urgent and not important: Set these sides to do later.

The urgency/importance of work is not absolute. It depends from person to person. Hence only you can decide what is urgent and important for you. The priority list should be updated regularly to ensure that a task that is urgent/ important is not moved up/delayed.

  1. Set a time limit for a task: Setting time limits for tasks can turn out to be beneficial as they motivate you to be more focused and efficient. This extra effort to set time limits can also make you aware of the potential problems that may arise later. You can make plans to deal with them well in advance.
  2. Take breaks between tasks: Taking short breaks while working helps improve one s focus and efficiency. If you keep on exerting yourself and do not give your body any break, then it tends to take a toll on your body. This eventually leads to you working extra hours for a job that could have been done in a much lesser timeframe. This happened due to your decreased efficiency. Therefore, one must keep taking short breaks in between and maybe take a nap, meditate, or go for a walk during that time.
  3. Organize: Plan your calendar for upcoming deadlines. Choose what days would be best suited for what tasks. Go for such long-term management.
  4. Remove non-essential tasks: Try to remove unnecessary activities from your “to-do list”. This helps in clearing up the time at hand and making it available to be used for other important activities.
  5. Plan ahead: Plan for activities well in advance. For example, prepare a “to-do list” for the next day in the evening itself.
  6. Eliminate bad habits: If you are serious about achieving your goals you must eliminate all time-wasting habits of yours, be it, binge-watching on OTT platforms, surfing social media for hours, and so on. Use your time wisely.
  7. Declutter: We often get distracted by our surroundings especially if it is cluttered. Try and keep your surroundings decluttered and organized. Don’t organize everything in one go. Start with a small space like a drawer maybe and steadily move ahead to maybe finally clearing up your whole desk. Don’t invest all your energy and time in just organizing and be left with lesser time to dedicate to your tasks.

Time management is a very important skill that everyone must try to inculcate in their lives. It not only helps with your career but also helps in maintaining a balance in life as it helps you to have time for your close ones as well without compromising on your dedicated tasks. It helps you remain stress-free which reflects in your behavior and helps you and your loved ones stay at peace.

"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it." -- Stephen R. Covey


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