Here are 100 ways to be a better time manager. Practise them all and you’ll discover that you’ll get more done, improve the quality of your time with others, and have a better balance between all the demands on your work and life.
1. Value your time.
2. Treat time as a resource to be managed.
3. Measure your time.
4. Assess how much time you have to manage.
5. Negotiate more control over your working time.
6. Decide the best work pattern for yourself.
7. Get control of your tasks.
8. Have the freedom to balance your tasks.
9. Work at an even pace.
10. Plan ahead.
11. Balance the demands on your time.
12. Don’t work more than you need.
13. Be a pearl diver: look for the gifts that time brings.
14. Use time to get results not just fulfil duties.
15. Do something productive and enjoyable each day.
16. Ask “what is the best use of my time now?” questions.
17. Identify your time robbers.
18. Have a purpose to your life.
19. Be effective…
20. …and then efficient.
21. Don’t rush or overwork.
22. Inject variety into your daily tasks.
23. Spend up to a quarter of your day on routine tasks.
24. Do routine tasks in the shortest time possible.
25. Develop good time habits.
26. Experiment with different methods for doing routine tasks.
27. Use the Shoe-shine principle of doubling-up routine tasks.
28. Make the most of shortcuts.
29. Prepare your materials in advance.
30. Tidy up as you go.
31. Question every bit of paper you use.
33. Identify bottle-necks and eliminate them.
34. Create easy work flows.
35. Use just-in-time systems to minimize clutter.
36. Bunch similar tasks together.
37. Identify the quickest work methods and then train everyone.
38. Know which jobs can be speeded up and which can’t.
39. Have a regular time slot for chores.
40. Put aside time for maintenance tasks.
41. Don’t encourage unnecessary paperwork.
42. Organise your filing systems.
43. Back up your computer records at fixed times.
44. Clear your files out regularly.
45. Keep your desk clear.
46. Handle every piece of paper just once.
47. Eliminate junk mail and spam.
48. Phone rather than write.
49. Don’t photocopy anything unless it is essential.
50. Send replies on the same piece of paper.
51. Keep your communications sweet and short.
52. Manage your projects with time, cost and quality estimates.
53. Run projects with detailed time plans.
54. Add on 20% to your initial project plans.
55. Have detailed lists of your project tasks.
56. Create a series of deadlines for your projects.
57. Look for weak links in your project and have back-up plans.
58. Streamline low-priority project tasks.
59. Keep on top of what’s going on in your project.
60. Track and monitor your project progress.
61. Spend up to a quarter of your day on progress work.
62. Have a clear vision of your goals.
63. Align your goals with your values.
64. Be certain of achieving all your goals.
65. Write down your goals.
66. Plan your key result areas.
67. Set SMART goals for short-term tasks.
68. Identify jobs you hate and delegate them.
69. Break down big jobs into smaller chunks.
70. Prioritise your tasks according to their importance.
71. When you’re overwhelmed, write out to-do lists and prioritise.
72. Leave loose ends so you can come back easily.
73. Use little scraps of unused time for itsy-bitsy jobs.
74. Plan 60% of your day; leave the rest for what comes up.
75. Put big jobs in your diary first, then the little ones.
76. Celebrate reaching your goals.
77. Spend up to a quarter of your day on non-doing tasks.
78. Take time out to sit and think.
79. Look after your health.
80. Get a sense of the times.
81. Take time to enjoy and appreciate.
82. Use the energy of the moment.
83. Occasionally just do what you want to do.
84. Take breaks at least every 90 minutes.
85. Review your day or week.
86. Spend up to a quarter of your day with others.
87. Always turn up to meetings on time.
88. Be courteous and brisk with others.
89. Only hold meetings that have a clear purpose.
90. Let people know when you’re not free.
91. Minimise unnecessary interruptions.
92. Learn to say No to jobs that aren’t yours.
93. Avoid time-wasters.
94. Control your phone.
95. Screen all incoming calls.
96. Devise a team time policy.
97. Keep a clock on the wall.
98. Know your time manager personality.
99. Check whether you have a tendency to overwork or underwork and adjust.
100. Enjoy your time.