10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Time Management

Quick Tips

Last week at a conference, I was approached by a TMN reader who asked me, “Can you give me a quick tip to improve my time management?”

I felt like a comedian put on the spot with the cliché, “Say something funny…”

So, for those who want some “quick tips,” today I have a list of 10 Quick Time Management Tips…

10 Quick Time Management Tips

As much as I talk about time management, productivity, technology, and goals, it can be difficult to give a “quick tip” to improve your productivity.

There are no silver bullets. After all, everyone’s life, job, and circumstances are different.

However, just in case I get that question again…

Here are 10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Time Management:

  1. Plan Your Day – The single best thing you can do to boost your productivity is to plan your day before leaving the house. Less than 10% of individuals do this, so start your day ahead of the pack.
  2. Block Your Time – Block time on your calendar for your work. Otherwise your calendar will be nothing more than a schedule for other people’s priorities. Make appointments with your tough tasks to ensure you have time to get them done.
  3. Get Out of Your Inbox – Email is not your job! (Unless you work in customer service…) Get out of your email inbox and get your real work done. Close your email client when you are not working in it. Your email will still be there when you return.
  4. Say NO When Appropriate – Saying NO is a learned skill. Whether it is to meetings, taking on others’ responsibilities, and more… you need to be able to say NO when necessary.
  5. Always Do Your Most Important Work First – Life has a way of surprising you. Don’t let the unexpected derail your important tasks. Always do your most important items first thing in the day. That way, no matter how hectic your day gets, you have already completed your top priorities.
  6. Don’t Answer the PhoneDon’t answer your phone if you are busy. It’s that simple. Your phone is there for your convenience, not the other person’s. Own your phone, not the other way around.
  7. Turn Off the Notifications – We rely on our technology more than ever, but we also let it interrupt our lives too often. If I went to your house and rang your doorbell constantly you would be upset. Yet, you are fine with your phone constantly ringing, chiming, and vibrating all day long. Turn off those notifications so that you can focus.
  8. Start and End Meetings on Time – This one takes discipline. Start the meeting on time and end it on time. Once you start doing this, you will set expectations with others. Be respectful of everyone’s time in the meeting.
  9. Make Decisions and Live with Them – This one may sound philosophical, but we have conditioned ourselves not to make decisions. The irony is that life is all about choice. Make your decisions and enjoy the journey. A good decision now, always beats a perfect one later.
  10. Have Goals and Pursue Them Daily – There has been much buzz in recent years from the “No Goals” camp. Yet, almost anything worth accomplishing requires long and dedicated effort. Set your goals and pursue them with discipline every single day.

Boost Your Productivity

What personal time management tips would you add to this list? Please share your best ones in the comments below.

In the mean time, I think I will keep this list in Evernote for the next time I get asked for a “quick time management tip.”

Question: What is your best quick time management tip? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

13 thoughts on “10 Quick Tips to Improve Your Time Management

  1. It’s all about finding what works for you and these are great tips. Number 6 is so true and something I will try. And number 1 is a must! If you have gone to the effort of planning your day I’d definitely recommend taking 5 mins to reflect on what you have achieved at the end of the day . Heyupdate.com is perfect for this. Definitely worth a try!

  2. I don’t like giving out quick tips, because Productivity in genenral is not a quick fix, it’s deeply ingrained habit that needs to be nurtured in order to bring the lasting change. But the long term effects are completely worth it.

  3. Use a time tracking software- it’s surprising to find out what you are spending your time on and especially how much! I found this one: primaerp.com, which also lets you decide if the time was beneficial at all. After some time, it helps you prioritize your time and also can show the client how much time you are really spending for them (and maybe make those meetings shorter) 🙂

  4. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. These are excellent points. I especially needed #2 and #6. My schedule is entirely decided by others. Sometimes it can’t be avoided but sometimes it can. Now I have to apply #4 and say no sometimes.

    I would add that you should plan realistically. Don’t plan to accomplish 15 things if you’re in meetings all day. Or don’t plan only 2 things if you’re going to be free all day.

  5. I tend not to do #5 because I focus on planning activities around my energy level rather than trying to eat that frog.

  6. When I’m at work I do not answer the the calls of which I do not recognise. I’ve made tests for long time for that about the numbers which are not in my existing contacts. Best is not to answer. A time saver activity

  7. About planning my day, or rather days – I think it’s very important to determine fixed hours and durations of breaks. People often take a break to postpone hard tasks. I set myslef 10-minutes breaks every 2 hours, so I have no excuse to stop my work before.

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