10 Time Management Tips in 3 Words

Time Management TipsUsually, I strive to fill this blog with eloquent, helpful commentary that addresses a specific need in the time management world. This week, I came across an awesome blog called Do It Marketing that gave great advice in only three words. “This is genius!” I thought. If there is any subject that should be distilled down to three words or less, it’s certainly time management. After all, who has time for more than that? So, here are 10 time management tips in three words. Quick to read, easy to remember. No room for excuses!

1. Don’t say “later”

2. Write it down

3. Schedule your Desserts

4. Productive not busy

5. Banish Time Killers

6. Focused work always

7. Delegate when possible

8. Stop making excuses

9. Plan in advance

10. Do it now

Got some more 3-word advice? Leave a comment!

Connect with The Time Diet for more time management tips


Is Poor Communication Harming Your Time Management?

Time Management CommunicationTell me if this sounds familiar: Someone asks you for a “tiny” favor that ends up taking three hours of your time. You change your whole schedule around and bend over backwards to finish the task, only to be told later that it wasn’t really that important. This leaves you feeling angry, unappreciated, and overwhelmed with the tasks that are now still left on your plate. Improving your time management communication can help avoid the wasted time and resentment that occur as a result of these misunderstandings. Try these three tips to strengthen your communication:

1. Don’t “Cry Wolf”

If you frequently ask people for help and then forget about the task and lose interest, when the time comes that you truly do need assistance with something important, you’ll find that there is no trusting person left to help you. When you delegate a task or agree to help someone, make sure you are both on the same page with the task’s level of importance. Is this an urgent priority? Is it more of an idea than a directive? Taking the time to communicate these details lessens the chance of someone feeling taken advantage of.

2. Take a Look at Someone Else’s To-Do List

Just as you gain perspective by “walking a mile in someone’s shoes,” you also learn a lot about the responsibilities on their plate by looking at a month from their calendar. When people are great at their job, they may make it all look easy. We might try to heap more tasks on their plate because we don’t realize how much work they already do. Look at other people’s to-do lists. Talk to them about what they do and what their struggles are. It’s important to understand the unique pressures of our friends’, family members’, and coworkers’ lives so we don’t expect an unreasonable amount of work from them.

3. Practice Good Time Management Karma

Treat other people’s time the way you would want your time to be treated. Do not make a habit of showing up late. If you must be late, apologize. Make time in your day to complete tasks that will help people reach their number one priority, even if it’s not also your first priority. When we make an effort to respect other people’s time, they are also likely to respect ours and everyone ends up more productive and more appreciated.

Time management is not always a solo endeavor. We rely on others to help us out, cheer us on, and hold us accountable. Clearly communicating our schedules and priorities is essential to making sure everyone is on the same productivity page.

Connect with The Time Diet for even more time management tips

The Dos and Don’ts of Productivity in the Car

Time Management in the carWhen we have a long commute each day, we spend a good deal of our time behind the wheel of a car. Since this time is neither spent being productive nor doing something relaxing, it can end up feeling like truly wasted time. We long to use that time for something other than grumbling about the traffic, or listening to the same cheesy morning show.  However, there is a fine line between a productive driver and a distracted driver. Follow these Dos and Don’ts to be productive without being a road hazard.

Do… Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are a great alternative to the radio. If you’re bored of radio’s morning programming, why not use that time to learn something that can help you with your job or hobby? There are podcasts for nearly every industry or interest imaginable. Also, because podcasts are shorter than audio books,  you can vary your listening selections from day to day.

Do… Use Your Hands Free Phone

We could all be better at keeping in touch with friends and family. Our lives get busy and we never find time to chat with the people who are important to us, but with a hands free device for your phone, you can use that idle time in the car to keep those connections alive. I’ve also used the time to make lengthy customer service phone calls. For example, you know you’ll be on hold forever if you have to call and ask your cable company a question. Why not make that call when you literally have nothing better to do?

Do…Record Your Ideas

Sometimes we come up with brilliant ideas while we’re alone with our thoughts in the car. Don’t let those ideas go to waste! Use a voice recorder on your cell phone to capture those brilliant thoughts before they leave your head. I’m sure many grand ideas have been lost when I promise myself I’ll write something down as soon as I get to my destination…and then forget.

Don’t… Check Your Email

It starts off innocently enough. We say we’ll just glance at our inbox at a red light. Then the light turns green and we’re still reading. The roads aren’t too crowded so we say we’ll just finish this one paragraph and put the phone down. Remember, when we keep our eyes on the road, it’s less about seeing the things we expect, and more about being prepared for the things we don’t expect — the car in front of us slamming on their breaks, a child running into the road, a ladder falling off the truck in front you, etc… Taking your eyes off the road to check your email is not worth the risk of an accident. Just don’t do it.

Don’t…Put On Makeup

Ladies, ladies. I know we want to look good, but really, putting on mascara takes only a moment. Just do it at home. It’s bad enough when we’re stuck being people who didn’t see the light turn green while they were powdering their nose. It’s worse when people try to do this while actually driving. If you woke up late, throw your “beauty tools” in your bag and take care of your primping when you get to your destination.

Don’t…Eat Food That Needs Two Hands

It’s one thing to sip coffee or a smoothie on your morning or afternoon commute. It’s another thing to try to eat a three-course meal. I’ve seen people eat everything from yogurt, to cereal to salads while behind the wheel. If 9 of your fingers are being used to hold your food and 1 of your fingers is being used to steer, this is not OK.

Finally, in our busy society of constant distractions, we often complain that we never have any time to just…be. Rather than trying to squeeze an extra few drops of productivity out of your commute, you may find it better to just roll down your window, turn off the radio, and breathe once in a while. It certainly wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world!

Connect with The Time Diet for even more time management tips!

7 Ways to Make Flight Time Fly By

Time Management AirplaneIf you travel frequently, you lose hours of valuable time sitting in a cramped airplane seat dreading the pile of work awaiting you at home. It can be difficult to either sleep or be productive with the limited room and resources available, especially if you didn’t think about how long the flight would be until you buckled your seat belt (2 hours sounds like a much shorter time when you are surrounded by all the comforts of home.) Try these 7 tips to make the most of your flying time. You’ll be on the ground before you know it.

1. Sketch It Out

Use your air time as an excuse to unplug and put pen to paper to outline a new project. When we’re surrounded by technology at home, it can be difficult to take our eyes off of our screens. Sometimes the freedom of a pen and a blank piece of paper can get your creative ideas flowing.

2. Charge It Up

If you do want to use your laptop or tablet while inflight, there is nothing worse than getting on the plane and realizing you forgot to charge it. Don’t forget to charge your devices, and then turn off WiFi and dim the screen to save battery.

3. Pre-write Emails

Rather than lamenting the fact that you don’t have WiFi on your plane, why not use the time to craft a few lengthy emails you’ve been putting off? Then all you’ll have to do when you land is copy, paste, and push send.

4. Read

You no doubt already have a book in your bag or on your Kindle, but what about those proposals and trade journals in a heap on your desk? Everyone has that office pile of things we want to read, but never get around to. Throw a few in your bag before you leave and finally cross them off your list.

5. Organize Your Desktop

You might not be able to clean your physical desk while in-flight, but you can certainly clean your digital one! Use your flight as an excuse to delete old downloads, clean up your files, and remove old programs you no longer use.

6. Thank You Notes

An old-fashioned, hand-written Thank You Note will never go out of style. Expressing our gratitude takes only a few minutes, but somehow we don’t get around to this small task as often as we should. Next time you need to fly, grab a few note cards before you leave and write a few letters to those who have helped you recently.

7. Network

Planes are a great place to talk to people you might not otherwise have occasion to meet. Ask the person next to you where they are headed and what they do. You’d be surprised who you might end up talking to!

Connect with The Time Diet and receive weekly blog and event updates


Photo credit: Freedigitalphotos.net