100 Practical Time Management Tips

This is The Time Diet’s 100th Post! Usually, I try to keep my time management blogs brief. However, this momentous occasion deserves a celebration! Presenting my list of 100 practical time management tips. Read them, skim them, or forward them to a friend. Even if you only pick five and apply them to your work day tomorrow, you’ll notice a gain in your productivity. Enjoy!

100 Time Management Tips

1. Set your own deadlines earlier than the “real” ones

2.  Close your email for an hour

3.  Get up earlier

4. Start a difficult task today

5.  Keep a list for daily tasks and consult it frequently

6. Lower your stress

7.  Write down your goals and post them prominently

8.  Keep a calendar

9. Set a start date for a dreaded task

10. Talk to a trusted friend or co-worker to gain another time management perspective

11. Schedule a Dessert into your day

12. Focus

13. Remove a Time Killer

14. Break up a larger task into smaller chunks

15.  Change your scenery by doing work in a different place

16.  Delegate something you’ve been holding on to unnecessarily

17.  Finish a small Vegetable task you’ve been putting off

18. Start something non-urgent to get ahead

19.  Time how long a dreaded task takes

20.  Talk to someone you admire

21.  Learn how to use new and efficient technology that will make work easier

22. Visualize completion to stay motivated

23. Ditch your excuses

24. “Unplug” for an hour and do your work away from your computer for a change

25. Spend time rather than “filling” it

26. If it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now

27. Stop worrying and start doing

28. Ask for help

29. Don’t confuse busy with productive

30. Use social media as a tool not a distraction

31. Define your home workspace

32. Ignore your cell phone once in a while

33. Match your most difficult task with the time of day your energy level is highest

34. Don’t reinvent the wheel, seek resources from others

35. Re-evaluate your tasks. Are your processes working? Or is there a faster way.

36.  Make time to say “thank you” frequently

37. Return that email you’ve been avoiding.

38. Don’t waste your time with things that don’t produce results

39. Don’t go into meetings assuming they will waste your time. Look for the benefits.

40. Give tasks your full effort. Anything less is a waste of your time

41. Anticipate your busy times and prepare for them

42. Keep a Slow Day List

43. Pick your most important Meat, Vegetable, and Dessert for the day and schedule those tasks first.

44. No task will ever be “perfect.” At some point, it just has to be done

45. If a time management application doesn’t work for you, ditch it.

46. Practice good Time Management Karma

47. If you have the money to pay someone else to do a task that will free up your time for more important things, do it.

48. Clear your workspace

49. Take care of small problems before they become big problems

50. Don’t strive to be the last car in the parking lot

51. Stay positive. Attitude truly is everything

52. Fun Desserts only count if you’re not thinking about work

53. Maintaining relationships takes time. Make the time. They are important.

54. Make sure “time-savers” actually save you time.

55. If an idea isn’t coming to you, stop and do something else.

56. If working from home is distracting, go somewhere else!

57. If you don’t want to be available 24/7, don’t answer email at 2am. You train people what to expect from you.

58.  Celebrate your accomplishments

59. Set a designated time for people to “interrupt” you. Then they’ll be less likely to do it while you’re working.

60. Working sloppily and working quickly aren’t the same thing

61. Be proactive, not reactive

62. Become skilled at ending phone calls politely and quickly

63. Measure your productivity in quality not quantity

64. When juggling multiple projects simultaneously, focus on one at a time.

65. Keep a cool head on a hectic day

66. Stop procrastinating

67. Actively search for inspiration

68. Schedule at least a little bit of physical activity every day

69. You may wear many different hats during the day (multiple jobs, family, mentor, etc.) Don’t try to wear two at the same time.

70. Do not say “yes” to obligations you can’t keep

71. Do not say “no” to potentially beneficial obligations just because you’re scared of them.

72. Focus on one thing rather than haphazardly moving from one task to the next

73. Start in the middle if you’re stuck at the beginning

74. Be flexible

75. Don’t avoid setting goals just because you’re afraid they’ll change

76. Never be caught with an idea and no means to write it down

77. Think of your day as being divided into 30-60 minute chunks. That’s less overwhelming than trying to schedule 24 hours at a time.

78. Tune out your inner-time waster

79. Guard your personal time fiercely

80. Make sure the time you put into a task is worth the benefit you get out of it

81. Read with a pen to stay engaged and maximize swift comprehension

82. Don’t work where you sleep

83. Use cell phone alarms for appointments if you are forgetful

84. If it takes longer to make your to-do list than accomplish something on it, you’re spending too much time organizing

85. Don’t be afraid of failure

86. Don’t just set a paper on your desk. Either act on it, file it, or pitch it.

87. Resist the temptation to carefully script out each minute of your day. That just invites unexpected emergencies.

88. Be well-versed in your priorities

89. Find time to volunteer

90. A calendar and a list are useless if you don’t keep them with you

91. Don’t allow yourself a week for a task that takes one day. (Work expands to fill the time available)

92.  Coffee is great, but it’s a temporary, not permanent, substitute for sleep

93. If a task becomes a waste of your time, stop, even if you’ve already sunk a few hours into it.

94. Smile while you work

95. Set a timer rather than watching the clock

96. You can’t afford to be “too busy” to stop reading and learning

97. Frequently ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right this second moving me closer to a goal?”

98. Don’t begin a long task haphazardly without a plan

99. Spend your time in a manner consistent with your goals, not in a manner you think is consistent with other’s expectations.

100. Remember, you can do more than you think you’re capable of!

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Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

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3 Responses to 100 Practical Time Management Tips

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  2. Pingback: time management tips – Mommyfriend | Better Time Management

  3. Daniel B. says:

    Great time management tips, thanks for sharing. In my personal experience since I also manage time in order to stay productive and get things done at work. The key to manage time is with self discipline. Having a to do list can help you a lot to get things done without wasting too much time. I also organize tasks depends on priority level. I actually automate it with a time tracking tool called Time Doctor and set an estimated amount of time when working on each task. With self discipline I can effectively follow scheduled tasks and finish it on time.

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