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What are Some Time Management Tips?

Time management includes knowing how long it takes to complete regular activities, such as balancing a checkbook.
It may help to consult a professional organizer who guides people in more efficiently managing their time and personal energies.
Article Details
  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are lots of time management tips that can help you make better use of time. Some people organize whole systems and write books or give seminars on how to better use time and stay organized. Others simply point to a few things you can do which helps to complete activities in a timely fashion and without feeling overwhelmed.

Most time management tips work off of people constructing lists, either on paper or with organizing software or electronic organizers. There are a number of different organizers you can buy, though emphasis with these has shifted toward creating organizer/cell phone systems. You can also use calendars at a computer, though again, you also can simply use some time management tips with pencil and paper.

When you’ve created a to do list of things you normally need to get done, you need to figure out the priority of these things. You can organize this in several different ways. In some literature on time management tips, writers recommend having an urgent list, a soon list and a list of things that aren’t time sensitive. You’ll have to determine what things on your list demand urgency, must be done within a few weeks, and those things that are wish list to do items or can be done whenever there is extra time.

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Some people define urgent and soon-by days. Urgent tasks are those that need to be done in one day, and soon tasks need to be completed within a week. You can adjust this to suit your needs. It also helps to understand how much time it tends to take to complete certain basic tasks. If you must water the garden every other day, exactly how much time does that take? How much time does it take to attend a board meeting or to balance a checkbook?

It helps to give yourself reasonable expectations for when you will actually be able to complete something. If you have more urgent things than can fit in the space of a day, it’s hard to get them all done. Another of the time management tips that can be helpful is to evaluate if anything on the list can be omitted or given to someone else to do. If you must water the garden, attend a board meeting, head to the doctor’s office, interview for a job and balance your checkbook, there may not be time enough in the day to do all of these things. Can someone else water the garden or can your reschedule a doctor’s visit. Omit what you can and restructure time accordingly.

Essentially, most time management tips focus on what you need to do and how you can do it most efficiently. There are plenty of other tips that will help you satisfy these two basic needs. No system works unless you can implement it and be realistic about your time constraints. Failure to keep to a system that isn’t suited to you may quickly have you wasting time again or not making judicious use of the time you have.

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