Are you struggling for time?
Looking for tips on time management?
Are you making time for priorities?
Or are you wasting time?
Well it’s time to stop for a second.
Life is hectic. If you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself so stretched that you’re wasting time on unimportant things and not concentrating on your priorities.
You need to take action now.
John Lennon once said “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Don't let that happen to you. I’ve put together a guide on how to manage your time more effectively and get more from your life.
Without further ado, let's get to my 10 Time Management Tips that actually work.
#1. Make Time To Think
This is one of my most important time management tips. Make time to think. Don't find time to think.
Making time is a priority.
You’ve got to know what you want from your life. Where are you going? What is your purpose? So many people go through life like zombies – sleepwalking from day to day and not thinking about what they want to get out of life.
So how do you do make time?
Wake up early. I get up at 5am. This time is for me and me only; I can read, I can work on self development and I can go to the gym and exercise. I dedicate this to myself. Most people are still asleep at 5am so it’s the perfect time to work without distraction.
I’ve just written an article on this very subject – How to Wake Up at 5am Daily.
#2. Time Management – Understand You Can’t Have It All
You can’t do everything so don’t even try. It’s just not possible. Attempting to do so will mean you’ll spread your time so thinly that you won’t be able to move forward in a meaningful way.
My advice to you is to take the path of the Essentialist. Spend a little more time looking the bigger picture and decide what do you really want. What are your priorities? You need to focus on them. There’s a great book by Cal Newport called ‘Deep Work – Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World’.
You should also check out the book ‘essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less’ by Greg McKeown. If you don't have the time to read, you can listen on the commute to work.
#3. Be Honest – What's Important To You?
Let me be straight: most of you are lying to yourselves. I’m going to ask you: what do you not have time for? If you are looking for time management tips, you need to be honest with yourself.
“I don’t have time to play with my kids”
“I don’t have time to have coffee with my wife in the morning”.
“I don’t have time to socialize with my friends”
By saying you don’t have time, you’re saying it’s not important to you or that it’s not a priority for you.
Perhaps you’re spending all your time at the office. Everyone’s circumstances are different but I can tell you that you’re not spending time on what’s important in your life.
You may have to reevaluate and cut back your hours. Using the work example, ask yourself what are you working for? You are probably working in order to have a good quality of life. And a good quality relationship with that person in your life and those around you. How can you do that if you don’t have time for them?
#4. Cut Out The Fat
There are a lot of non essential things in our lives. Conduct an audit on how you spend your time. Measure your time and you will be amazed at how much time you are wasting. Are you wasting your time watching TV? Or commuting to work? You need to identify these areas that are sucking your life away.
#5. Set Up A Routine
Create a morning routine, a day routine and an evening routine. It may sound robotic but have a series of steps and processes you follow. Once you have a process, you can improve upon that process. If you have no routine and do things hap-hazardly, you can’t improve them. This is a key concept if you want to figure out how you can improve things.
For example, if you’re groggy when you wake up, you might need to improve your evening routine. For example, cut out Social Media before bed. Or eat earlier.
Or simply go to bed earlier.
#6. Just Get Started!
Stop procrastinating and take action! You must be strict with yourself and set yourself deadlines.
In our personal lives, a lot of things don’t have deadlines so we procrastinate and we ‘dilly dally’ and don’t get things done. Without deadlines, we can’t work to anything so there’s no urgency. If you have an ‘afternoon meeting’, chances are you’ll spend a lot of the time not focusing on the important topics. If you know your meeting is 30 minutes long, you’ll make sure you get what you need to covered in this time.
You can use this strategy in conversation too. If you are speaking with someone and you're pushed for time, you can explain that you only have 5 minutes. You’ve then set the expectation and you’ll get to the point quicker.
#7. Get An Accountability Partner
Don’t rely solely on yourself.
I find that someone holding you accountable is an incredibly powerful technique for being productive – much more powerful than any other app out there. I’ve got a Personal Trainer who meets me at the gym every morning. I have paid in advance, meaning I will lose my money if I don’t show up. (And he will call me if I don't show up.!) I don’t want to let him down or waste my money and this means I am on time, every time.
It can be anyone but you’ll be surprised at how much more you get done if you’re answering to someone. As time management tips go, this one is very effective.
#8. Schedule Everything
Schedule your personal AND professional events. I was very good at scheduling my professional life – I was on time for meetings I had scheduled but I found that I was turning up late to events in my personal life, like showing up late to dinner with my wife.
I wasn’t making her important enough in my life. So I started scheduling dinner, bed time, lunch. And I started treating them with the same importance as my professional life. We’re all human so there are times when I don’t stick to this schedule but I will see reminders and notifications in my calendar and this helps keep me on track.
When it’s in my scheduler, I generally find it gets done.
#9. Stop Giving Bad Time Estimates
One of my top time management tips is this – stop giving bad time estimates! If you think it takes you 25 minutes to get to work, this is your best case scenario. You might find this takes you 30 / 35 / 40 minutes and that’s where the problem happens if you run into traffic. You might justify this as “not my fault – I didn’t expect traffic”. False. You messed up your timing. You knew there could be traffic so why didn’t you plan accordingly?
As human beings, we always try and go for the best time estimates so you need to re evaluate these things.
So there we have it, gentlemen. My 10 Time Management Tips that actually work.
Now you know how to effectively manage the time you have, why not check out my article on 10 Timeless Style Habits?