Thirteen Super Time Management Tips To Help You Conquer Your Life

Thirteen Super Time Management Tips
Photo – (PD)

If you’re ambitious or even if you’re simply a lover of life, you’ll know only too well how precious time is. I often remember Napoleon’s famous quote “You can have anything except my time”. If you can create more time through effective time management strategies, you might be able to improve numerous other areas of your life – being able to make more money, spend more time in enjoyable activities (thus reducing stress) and so on. Time management is sometimes seen as one of the “master keys” to success, so I’ve hand-picked my favorite time-management tips for you to enjoy and benefit from. A.N.

“Ticking away, the moments that make up a dull day. Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.” — Pink Floyd – “Time”.

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste.” — Henry Ford.

#1 – Waiting Is Wasting

We all spend time every day waiting for things. Whether it is waiting for the bus, for the water to boil, the bath to run, the computer to start up, the rice to cook, waiting for our ride to arrive, on the phone on hold, waiting in line, the train, the plane…….. there are countless minutes or even hours wasted daily… just…. waiting. Imagine what you could do if you could reclaim all this lost time. The good news is – you can.

The trick is to have something prepared and arranged in advance that you can do at such moments. You can always have something useful to jump into while you are waiting. Some read a book, or catch up on phone calls or email. Others have a hobby, art form or ongoing creative task they can pull out at any time. Others do some form of mind training, meditation or other practice. The list is endless. One of my favorite little tactics is to have a kettlebell near my desk and I pick it up and do a few exercises while I am waiting for the computer. Another is to pull out study manuals and increase my knowledge of a certain subject.

You could probably learn a couple of new languages, become an expert in a subject, learn a new skill, write to all your long lost friends or even write a book in the time you normally waste, bored and frustrated, waiting for things. You just have to set it up! If you have an iPhone or similar handheld device, you might be able to download podcasts or do valuable research or study. With time management, organization is one of the keys to success.

Another marvelous thing about having something to do while you are waiting, is that it is a great cure for impatience. The frustration and stress of an enforced wait can be alleviated by having something interesting or profitable to do in the meantime – and anything that lowers stress, has to be good! Have “forces mobilized” – so that if you cannot advance on one front, you can always be advancing on another.

Super-bonus tip: Use your time waiting to set up or devise a system that makes you money while you sleep…. 😉

#2 – Time How Long Things Actually Take, And Budget More Accurately For Time

Most people don’t know, with any reasonable accuracy, how long things actually take. This either wastes their time (for example when they arrive too early and spend minutes or even hours waiting around) or others’ time (when they arrive too late). The cure – use a stopwatch, as a matter of habit, to time how long certain things take. Even an ordinary watch or clock will suffice for this purpose. Time your journeys. Time how long it actually takes to get ready for something. You’ll probably be surprised by some of the results.

If you are timing journeys – such as how long it takes to get to work, you might need to time “a few runs” from door to door to get an average picture – but this is worth doing. When you truly know what time you have to be “out the door”, you can save time.

Precision is one of the true arts of success. Also, it might make your life safer and less stressful. (see no. 4)

#3 – Discover Your “Time Leaks”

Discover where you are wasting time. Track your day and make a note what you are actually doing with your time. This exercise
is invaluable to show us just where we waste time, where our “time leaks” are. Do you work all the time you are at work? Or do you get sidetracked by Facebook or Twitter? Creating a “time-diary” for a few days will show you where the hours go. It can be a shock when you discover the truth here – but you’ll be glad of it.

An interesting, advanced form of this exercise, is the one spoken of by the mysterious “Man of Knowledge” Don Juan in the series of books by Carlos Castaneda. In this exercise, the “warrior” (a.k.a. a person on a “path to higher knowledge”) takes a “strategic inventory” of all the activities that they perform every day, and culls those that are superficial or useless. These activities may take the form of actions that are fruitless or behavioral patterns that no longer serve us.

#4 -Don’t Drive Too Fast

Driving faster is NOT a time-management strategy I recommend. It saves surprisingly tiny amounts of time – but it might endanger your
life, the lives of others, or get you into trouble with the law. It also adds to your stress level – and stress can be a killer.
Think about what you stand to gain versus what you stand to lose… it’s truly not worth it! There are other ways in which you can save much bigger chunks of time, that don’t have the risk of ruining your life that driving too fast has. (see #5 below) As for arriving on time – it is far better to pursue tactic #1 – and budget more accurately for time so that you can drive calmly and more safely. As my Dad said “It’s better to be five minutes late than forty years early.”

#5 – Kill Your Television

If you stare at the television for an average of hour a day throughout your lifetime, that’s an incredible total of THREE ENTIRE YEARS
of a seventy-two year lifespan. Just think what wonders you could do, if someone gave you three bonus years – or 8 hours per day for nine years – as a gift!
You could do something really incredible – imagine the possibilities – a great achievement, fulfilment of a lifelong personal ambition, the creation of something of lasting value in the world, retire three years earlier, or do something amazing to help others. If you have been watching an hour (or more) of television every day, you can now start to give yourself this gift….

#6 – Prioritize

If we were to add up the amount of time we spent doing things that were either truly enjoyable, truly profitable or truly valuable in some way, we’d be amazed at how little of each day gets used in this way – to its full potential.

Much of our time is actually frittered away doing things that are unimportant.

The best way to prioritize is to have self discipline. You need to be able to make yourself get on with the important tasks, instead of procrastinating or doing irrelevant things with lesser reward. The ability to make very strong choices about how you use your time, is one of the hallmarks of the time management superstar.

#7 – Take Superb Care Of Your Health

I’m not a qualified healthcare expert, therefore I cannot counsel you on specific methods – but it’s pretty well known that by taking good care of yourself, you might have several more glorious years than you would have had otherwise. Looking after your health is a fantastic time management strategy. A famous example: Anthony Robbins once wrote “You want to eat a lot? Eat a little. Then you’ll be around long enough to eat a lot.”

#8 – Create A Fixed Schedule For Tasks

It’s easy, especially if you are self employed or working on a project with no fixed deadline, to meander and to fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way. The simple act of allocating a certain limited time to each task, forces you to forge ahead. I’ve achieved great success by setting good time limits and actual times to begin and end tasks – with no gaps in between! Note that it’s also important to set goals that are achievable.

#9 – Create The Next Day’s To Do List The Night Before

One of the biggest time wasters for me, is to start the day without a fixed plan of what I am going to achieve that day. Under such circumstances, I sometimes find myself drifting, not fully awake yet and thus not thinking clearly about what to do, aimlessly wasting time. However, if I draw up my list the night before, and leave
it front center on my desk, I wake up full of purpose, clarity and “hit the ground running”. A lot more gets done. It’s even good to start the next
day’s list earlier in the day before and keep it to hand – that way, you can add items to it the moment you think of them, instead of sitting there trying to think of them all at the end of the evening. Having clearly defined goals and objectives can help keep you on course.

#10 – Consolidate Your Errands

Instead of going shopping every day, create good lists and invest a few minutes thinking ahead, so as to make less trips. Hit up all the places
you need to go, on the same run, if possible. Buy certain non-perishable items that you will always have need of, in bulk.

You might save hours every week this way. Another good tip is to create a relationship with friends, office-mates or housemates where you take it
in turns to do runs into town, or ask each other if there’s anything they need from town. A good relationship of this kind, with the kind of person who
is good at getting things right, can save you much time – and you can help them out when you were “going there anyway”.

#11 – Have A Home For Things, Where They Always Live

Being organized is one of the keys to success. You would be amazed (or perhaps you wouldn’t) at how disorganized chaos cuts into productivity – making you think that you are doing a lot, when you are
not in fact getting results. One of my friends is always looking for her car keys. It’s an ongoing saga. It drives her, and everyone else, crazy. She puts the keys down and
forgets where. Altogether, she must have wasted days of her life in this frustrated way. Looking for stuff.

If something has a ‘home” where it always lives, you save time every time you don’t have to waste time looking for it. For keys, it’s simple.
A small hook or dish in a safe place in the hallway. Not so close to the door that someone could reach it through the letterbox with a wire, but close enough so that you don’t put the keys down somewhere else first……

#12 – Outsource

Use an agency such as to delegate simple tasks that clog up your schedule. Outsourcing can be a very cost-effective solution enabling you to get more done than otherwise possible.

#13 – Audiobooks

You probably spend a colossal amount of hours per week sitting in your car. You could use your brain during that time…

The average person drives somewhere around 10,000 miles per year.

At an average speed of 33 miles per hour, that’s 300 hours.

300 hours! That’s the equivalent of almost two months of full time work EVERY YEAR.

You could learn a new language or a new skill in that time – or accumulate a vast amount of knowledge in any given topic.

Search online for free downloadable trainings in whatever it is you want to learn. There are probably tons out there. If you can’t find it? – well, that’s another business tip for you, you could make it yourself and sell it!

Final note:

Time management is all about investment, strategy and organization. A little organization, prior planning and effort put in will keep paying you back.
Can you think of anything right now that would take you a few minutes to do, but would soon “pay for itself” in terms of the time it saves?

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© AN for, 2018

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13 Super Time Management Tips
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