10 Ideas How to Manage Your Time Better

It Happens to All of Us…

You wake up planning to meet all your deadlines, but also hit the gym and make a healthy home-cooked meal, too.

Then life happens. You leave late, you hit traffic, meetings stretch without an end in sight… Every day… Seconds, minutes and hours disappear into a black hole, and unfortunately… each minute is gone forever.

There are only four ways to manage your time: invest it, save it, spend it, or waste it.

Here are ten ideas how to manage your time better:

1. Focus on the 80/20 Principle

When you realize that a small number of your actions leads to the majority of your results – time management becomes easier. Always start with the tasks that will make the biggest difference, and even within these tasks – push hard to do the crucial bits first..

2. Prioritize Wisely

As you organize your to-do list, prioritization is key. Eliminate tasks you shouldn’t be doing. Identify the three or four most important tasks and do those first – this way, you make sure you finish the essentials.

3. Eliminate Distractions

Soft-core version: Identify your top two distractions and minimize those for two weeks.
Hardcore version: Block social media, text messages and instant messaging, minimize web browsing to only work-related, and leave your personal phone calls for lunch.

4. Schedule Time for Interruptions

Plan time to be pulled away from what you’re doing. Shut your door to colleagues, spouses and kids, except for designated “office hours”.

5. Use Technology to Save Time

There’s an automated tool or app for almost any repetitive task you’re doing.
Use ‘TextExpander’ or ‘Help Scout’ to have frequently used texts appear at a click of a couple of buttons. Use ‘Pomodoro Timer’ to create blocks of uninterrupted working time. Use ‘Calendly’ or ‘10to8’ to let your clients schedule their meetings in your agenda…

6. Create a Daily Schedule – and Stick With It

Take the first minutes of every day to plan your day. Or better yet, make the plan the night before. Do NOT start your day until you have a complete time plan.

7. Create a Routine

Even if your daily schedule is different each day, there are still parts of a regular routine that can help you feel on track by optimizing your time. Starting the day with a workout, healthy breakfast, journaling or meditation will trigger your brain into productivity mode. Likewise, creating a wind-down routine by cooking a nice dinner or taking a long bath can also become part of your daily schedule that signals the end of the day.

8. Hire a Virtual Assistant

Your job is to focus on developing and delivering your product / service AND marketing / sales. Everything else you should delegate to a virtual assistant. Realize your time is more valuable than spending it on setting up meetings, bookkeeping, proofreading material or answering client questions. 

9. Work in Blocks vs Multitasking

The most powerful time management strategy is to focus on the task at hand and block out all distractions. It can be tempting to multitask, but you’re just shooting yourself in the foot when you attempt to do so. You lose time, decrease productivity, and make mistakes when switching from one task to another.

10. Learn to Say “No”

You’ll never learn how to manage your time if you don’t learn how to say no. If someone needs your attention, when your attention is needed on an important task, say “NO”. If you take on a project that is going nowhere, don’t be afraid to let it go.

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what can you do to manage your time better?

Let's Brainstorm

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Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Let's Brainstorm

00:
Days
00:
Hrs
00:
Mins
00
Secs
.000
00:00:00:00

Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. Delegate as far as possible.
    Sleep on time.
    Ask yourself ' Do I need to do this now?' And then place the accent on 'I', 'This' and 'Now' in turn.
    Answer emails once a day.
    Don't play solitaire (like I'm doing now).

  2. Nothing to add here, only to learn and implement I'm afraid 😉

    Grateful for the ideas from:
    - Marie-Louise for: "ice cold showers"
    - Melanie for: "I have an online program for clients to look for the information. This saves a lot of time answering their questions
    on a daily basis"
    - Franck for" Eisenhower matrix".
    - Chris for: "prioritise jobs that will give money - leave nice to have actions for later" and: "connect the dots - jobs / tasks that are connected and it makes sense to do them together"
    - Naomi for: "Plan your month, week and day more in detail ahead"
    - Tineke for: "Find the flow"
    - Dunja for: "Every fortnight I have a working together afternoon with a friend."
    - Gerdy for: "What would be the one thing that I should do to make tomorrow a success? That helps giving focus."
    - Aramik for: "Creating a very strong ideal client Strategy and FOCUS on ONLY 1 target Audience and giving them a lots a value."

  3. Ten Idea's in general.

    What really works for me is to try to come up with 10 idea's every time.
    The reason is that I train my thinking mussle, so to speak.
    I have to admit, it is not easy. Especially, after seeing all those great Idea's of other people it is hard to think of
    something new.
    However, if I really can't think of anything new, I try to at least mention the things I already do and make it personal, so that it does not
    look like I copy pasted Idea's.

  4. 1) get up at 5 am
    2) start your day with the Miracle morning . In this way you will have meditated, done your affirmations, read a book, visualized, done your exercises and written your journal way before your working day begins. It energizes your brain and gives a boost of energy.
    3) coming from Denmark we start the day with a dive in the sea. Where I live at the moment I settle for an ice cold shower. It ensures that your tiredness leaves the body, your brown suger gets burned and you are fit to face anything the day will bring
    4) plan your day during the Miracle morning session. I’m this way you’ll know exactly what to do when with little time wasted.
    5) Begin with the end in mind: visualize how you wish to feel by the end of the day. That helps you to stay focused throughout the day
    6) write all your to do’s on a white bord and categorize them into to do, doing, done. Celebrate when activities transfers to done. Group the to do’s and prioritize the activities
    7) when you need to stayed focused: set a timer for certain interval and don’t allow anything to distract you during this period. It works amazing.
    8) thing big, start small: break your work down to manageable pieces. If you cannot complete it within the time you’ve set doe it, the activity is to big and need to
    Be broken down in a smaller piece.
    9)….

  5. 1. For me outsource my bookkeeping saved time
    2. Starting with a todo list.
    3. Using a simple (HEMA) notebook. Puting dates on every page simplefies may dayly routine
    4. I use now Supersaas for meeting. Make sure it is synchronized well. And that you blocked all the time
    even breaks or family time.
    5. Make sure your clients put and get the information needed for the meeting. Otherwise you still have to email back and forth
    6. Sport or movement is not my thing. So blocking time for it is not a good idea.
    Have ever, during 5 minutes breaks I have 15 minutes of valuable workouts.
    7. I have an online program for clients to look for the information. This saves a lot of time answering their questions
    on a dayly bases.
    8. I have a note book at my desk. I put ideas their. This saves me time when ever I need them for a block
    9. Make sure you have a cheap way of outsoursing your social media or website. Now I can just send my blog with video to my website
    profiders. They do everything for me. This saves a lot of time and frustration.
    10. Schoolprofessionals tend to have a lot of time for meetings about children. And none productive
    Now I have a list with topics we both can fill in and we need only 5 minutes per month to share only valuable information.

    My Mantra: Time never ever returns. Money does! (Besides, we just listed ideas to save money as well0

  6. 1. You have several apps that help you keeping focus. Take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes. Do not wander around but do some stretching exercises
    2. Set deadlines. If you can keep the deadlines for your clients/customers you should be able to keep them for yourself and your business (I must say to myself practice what you preach)
    3. Stick to what you are good at. You think you are saving money when you do your own bookkeeping of marketing or anything else you don't particularly like or care for. Truth is you are saving money (and time) when only doing the things you like and are good at.
    4. Set specific times for checking your email. E.g. around lunchtime and at the end of the day.

  7. I strongly believe in the "Eisenhower matrix". It was good enough to win a war. When people prioritize using this matrix they differentiate between Important, Not-Important, Urgent and Not-Urgent. Actions are Do NOW, PLAN, DELEGATE and DO NOT.

    The biggest mistake people make is using the wrong definition of "What is important". This risks too many actions eventually ending up in the DO NOW or PLAN section.

    My definition of important: "Does this action contribute to achieving my revenue goal?" If the answer is NO it will eiher be DELEGATED if the action is urgent (think about tax/admin) or not done at all.

  8. 1. Do all the ´hard´ things when you are at your best. I am an early riser and I am very productive early in the morning. I do all my writing, strategies, then. All the things that take less effort I do when my energy is lower.
    2. I use Onenote (but any other system will do of course) to register my notes for meetings, actions, ideas, etc. Seems simple but I can look things up if I am looking for a certain item. When I am writing on paper I cannot.
    3. If things are hard, fe focus on writing, I just start. If I am not inspired or don't have inspiration I just write stuff down. This starts your thinking process and you do not waste time on rethinking, putting it away, start again. When you read what you have written it usually isn’t too bad.
    4. Schedule time to think. Go for a walk for 30 minutes, it refreshes your mind. If you stay behind your computer or laptop it takes more time, and you get easily distracted.

  9. 1. use agile tools. something like asana to plan your days and repeating tasks like blog posts.
    2. allocate 5 hours of work and allow 2 for extras
    3. plan ahead
    4. keep notes
    5. prioritise jobs that will give money - leave nice to have actions for later
    6. connect the dots - jobs / tasks that are connected and it makes sense to do them together
    7. use canva or hootsuite to plan your month - if possible - for social media
    8. prepare early for seasons - christmas, valentine's etc.

  10. For me technic can take a lot of time. So there are situations in which it helps me to source it out or do it without.
    Only do what I have to do (what no-one else can do for me.
    stress and relaxe (keep it in a healthy balance

  11. Get up earlier. Focus on what is important. Your time is your time. If you don't want to be interrupted for work, set your mobile on silence.
    Take some time off (in between time). (5 minute meditation) . It clears your mind, to gon on more relaxed and focused.

    1. It is as simple as that. To get up earlier.
      I read you also meditate and that it realy works for you how do you meditate?

  12. Procrastinating often takes more time than doing it on time. Instead of procrastinating, try to figure out what's underneath you're procrastinating. Often the resistance is not because of the content, but that you don't see what's underneath, fear that it will fail or not be good enough or that it will become a conflict.
    Do the difficult things in the morning and the routine things in the afternoon.
    Chop assignments into pieces and plan them so that you better distribute your energy.

    1. So true Marcel… I recognize it. Thanks for the reminder. What I found out what also works, is give myself only a certain amount of time to work on something. If I then don’t finish it, then so be it…

      Tomorrow is a new day.

    2. Small tasks can look like a mountain if you leave them and keep procrastinating. So you are so right Marcel, chop assignments into pieces. Even if they are small. And if I start with the things I do not particularly like, the things that I do like feel like a bonus. Thanks for the reminder.

  13. Plan your month, week and day more in detail ahead.
    Plan time for me-time and don't feel sorry that you do that. More energy and creativity will follow.
    Plan your social media time to check and interact.
    Empty your download folder and the rest of your computer regularly (often you find also amazing stuff to reuse, which saves you time as well)

    1. Ahaha my download folder!! What a good idea. I’m pretty sure there are right now about 5000 different things in it- and the reason why I download them there is because I don’t need them anymore afterwards. I bet it saves resources from my laptop but also it’s decluttering!

  14. 1 plan blocks of uninterupted work
    2 wake up at the same time every day to maintain a better rhythm
    3 try not to have meetings with larger groups
    4 have a clear overview of your (soft and hard) deadlines
    5 evaluate things that take more time than expected and see if you can improve them in the future
    6 think about what you will so the most important aspects will be done
    7 make sure you like what you do
    8 outsource things you are not good at and you don't intend to master

    1. Hi Rik,
      Since I am self imployed, I do not have a lot of large meetings. I like the Idea not to have them. They do not only suck the time but also energy out of you.

  15. I have a few improvements I found lately and I want to share them.
    1. Find the flow. Like I have with making a painting or another creative activitiy, or reading a book, I will come in a flow where distraction is simply not noticed. I can have this as well when working on my brand, logo, photo's for my website or my messages. Anything that appeals to my creativity, gives the opportunity to become lost in it. It is not always nice for my boyfriend, but it gives a lot of satisfaction to spend quality time like this.
    2. Make a short list of things 'to do' on paper, and determine if they are urgent, short term, or long term. Evaluate each Friday, update the list for next week, and do not forget to celebrate.
    3. Appointments should be in the calendar, and a reminder should be in my mobile phone as well. When things can be scheduled, preferably they are held at the same time and the same day each week.
    4. I expect much from distinguishing my work and my private life by having separate phones, email-addresses etc.

    Good luck and have fun, Tineke

  16. Time management is probably my weakest point.
    Every fortnight I have a working together afternoon with a friend. We do it online and work at our own projects. It helps focussing.
    At the moment I am developing new services and put them into the world with a kinesiologist and we work every week 2 hours on it.
    Besides posting for my business on Facebook I only take once or twice a week time to dwell on Facebook.
    Check my e-mail once or twice a day.
    I have a good morning and evening routine to wake up and get ready for the night.
    Even though I try to plan my activities, sometimes I lack the creativity to do a certain task. Then it is better to leave it be and pick it up on a slightly later moment and then it goes smoothly.
    I usually have a rough idea what I want to do on certain days, especially Sunday. And then my son tells me he is coming over a couple of days before. (he is not coming that often (once in every 2 or 3 months), so I make time for it and change my routine.

  17. * Get up early/earlier than the rest of the family
    (Maybe ask for this Challenge to be sent 30 mins earlier...see if it helps)
    * Make my to do list SMALL(er). If only 3 items fit in a day, I make it 3. Or 2. It will give me a better feeling when I finished just a few things than having finished "almost 6".
    * Only add to my shortlist once finished something, or remove something else. And accept that fact.
    * DON'T multitask. Don't.
    * Important stuff in the morning. Administrative tasks and such in the afternoon.
    * Shorten my meetings. What can be done in an hour meeting, can also be done in 50 or 45 minutes. It really can. (Ref: Parkinson's law)
    * As said already, plan my work / day.
    * And for a person like me,... don't be a perfectionist. I cannot hold this one myself 😉, but ask myself, when is good 'good enough'... (Minimum viable product)
    * I try (and fail) to touch email only once
    * The last one is a bit contradictory: sometimes I know I have to put my work away and leave it.... To pick it up later or tomorrow to finish it more powerful (instead of spending too much inefficient time on it, not making it better...

    1. One more:
      I try to avoid back-to-back meetings as much as possible. This way I can "check out" of the past meeting and start new things with a clear head. Also it gives me time to administrate stuff from that meeting, so that work is not piling up at the end of the day. I have trouble keeping to this rule, due to (lame excuse) other peoples agenda's and emergency issues...

  18. Sit at my desk - feels more serious and I do more than sitting at the living room table.

    Use focusmate.com to spend an hour or more 'working' online with someone else (both on your own stuff).

    Don't touch Facebook during working hours.

    Consider which business processes could be made more automated/organized.

    Organize tasks by type (financial stuff, emails, double checking work by freelancers, etc.) and spend a hour (or more) on each type of work rather than mixing it all up.

    Don't let the issues of the day take over from my original plans for the day/week.

  19. 1. !! Make sure you get enough sleep and respect your biological clock !! Your recovery sleep is between 23:00 and 6:00 and you can't catch up by sleeping longer in the morning. I am an evening person and refused to believe going to bed early, increases your energy and focus during daytime (and even in the morning). But finally I tried and... it really works. I am a believer now 😇
    2. Plan you social life
    3. Make a long term balance planning. After working your ass of for a deadline, you must plan wind-down days.
    4. Set a timer for your work-time blocks. It saves you time and focus checking the time
    5. Plan more time on the time you planned. Multiply the hours by 1,5 (in my case this is very important, because designing and working out stuff often brings unpleasant surprises).

  20. Do the essential (20/80) and with the right energy:
    First supercharge yourself, so you can undertake inspired action.
    How to supercharge: coherent breathing, inspirational questions, focusing on gratitude,… Whatever that uplifts and brings you in a higher frequency!

  21. My game changers:

    1. Plan my day before I start. I do this in two steps: 1 is the evening before. Then in the morning I start with my mails and other messages and plan those too if I can’t handle them immediately.
    2. I used to have 3 mail blocks a day but lately I switched to dedicated times for my tasks and in between I handle my mail. With 3 blocks I became too overwhelmed.
    3. If I plan 45 mins for a task, I HAVE to stop after the 45 mins is over. I noticed that if I do this, I get used to finishing on time and it forces me to start working hard immediately.
    4. My all time favorite: swallow the frog. Put the toughest challenge of the day first. Otherwise I’ll postpone it and do all the other things on my list first- often ending by not doing it.
    5. Take breaks. I need the breaks. I have 5 mins breaks for toilets and mails, but bigger breaks 3x a day where I have coffee without distraction, lunch, or a walk. No working there and for sure not reactive work.
    6. I love working for others- so if something comes in from someone else, my pattern is to do this immediately without noticing my own plans. I changed this- I plan it in my schedule and I tell the person when I will do it. Works so much better…
    7. Plan my personal life too
    8. In the evening I think: what would be the one thing that I should do to make tomorrow a success? That helps giving focus
    9. Prepare before I start, and end it well too. So prepare: make sure my laptop is charged, pot of tea ready and off I can go. Otherwise I keep on breaking my own focus block for this kind of bullshit.
    10. And after I’m done - clean everything so it doesn’t disturb me anymore later in the day.

    1. Thanks @gerdy for these wonderful ideas.

      I LOVE your #8 - going to adopt it for myself - what would be the ONE thing that I should do to make tomorrow a success... That's an AWESOME one

  22. 1) Time blocking, this works the best for me, I divide my time into blocks for a specific task.
    2) checking social media only at a specific time.
    3) using my most productive time (morning) for the most important and challenging tasks

  23. One I really live by is this: put all the 'must do'-thoughts in a list and then choose one at the time to do AND finish. Keeping your to do list in your head is a guarantee to loose precious time.

    Find out what your biorhythm is. What part of the day do you have the most energy? What part do you have the most focus? On which part do you want to finish simple jobs? What hours of the day are you most creative? Organizing your day accordingly will bring a lot of effectiveness and fun.

    Delegate the tasks you are not good at as much as possible.

  24. Time management is always a struggle for me as I wear so many "hats" - author, scriptwriter, editor, teacher, entrepreneur and then of course the other part of life - mother, wife, daughter and friend... How do you juggle all these and stay sane.

    So here are a few of my tips of what works for me:
    1. Work in blocks of time - it can be 30 -45-60 minutes but not more - I do this mostly with the creative parts - when I am doing the actual writing of a new novel or a script.

    2. Find what are the BEST times for you of when you are most creative/productive - For me it's early morning (5:30am) my friend is more of an owl so for her it's after she put the kids to bed, so anytime after 21:00 is her most creative times - plan your most important task to that period of time

    3. I work mostly from home, but when I have a deadline and I want to make sure that there will be no interruptions from anyone (kids, hubby, mum etc...) I go somewhere (preferably a place WITHOUT internet) and I "forget" my phone at home!!!

    4. I divide my day into sections - writing (my novels/scripts), rewriting, editing and preparing new material to teach. Once a week a dedicate a whole day for writing all my blog posts for the month ahead and once a week I take time to work ON my business, which for me is contacting agents, producers and followup and marketing strategy.

    5. Though I work from home there were times I used Coworking spaces and though it was handy it was tough not to be disturbed, so we came up with a system whereby we had a small flag and when someone did not want to be disturbed they would put that flag up and everyone knew that no matter what the case is that person shouldn't be disturbed (unless there was a fire...))

    1. yes @Bina! Love your #2 tips! Absolutly! and great one on #3 ! hahaha! And love the #5 with the flag. I used to do that in the university. Worked really great! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Ships... This subject has been a long time of my least great skills and I am still working to get better every single day.

    So i am just going to share what right now is working for me:

    1. Having 1 day off (in my case Sunday) to Strategize, evaluate, think, visualize, check my results has been a great Game changer. So every sunday i go at 06:00 to the office and evaluate all my results, tracking all my sales en marketing & taking time to come up with better or simpler ideas.

    2. Working with blocks. Blocks like Sales, follow-Up, Education, Blogging, Networking. (Right now I have created another block of 30 min of day to be present here in the blog and share my idea's with you!)

    3. Getting a "Sticky Flip Over" (you can buy it at Office Centre) and fill my office walls with it with 2 plannings: 1 Short term (90 days max) and long term (the year planning). This keeps me FOCUS every day and when I look at it, I feel in "Control".

    4. Creating a DreamTeam for : Graphic Designer (promos, books), Online Learning (Membership + Online Courses), Video Marketing AND a VA to do all my Follow-up templates of LinkedIn & Podcasting.

    5. Creating a very strong ideal client Strategy and FOCUS on ONLY 1 target Audience and giving them a lots a value

    6. Simplifying my Strategies: 1 free Product per month, 1 offer per month, 1 Challenge per month. That's it.

    I am sorry I don't have many more. I KNOW many more tips or tricks but I am not living them, so I will leave them for when I do and then I'll come back and share it with you guys!

    1. That is so honest @aramik and I love how you take the time of to think and strategize!

      You have kids too right? How do you manage to give your family time in such a busy schedule? I am very good in planning my time when my kids are not with me, but when They’re here, all gets messed up so often… I sometimes think that I’d better not plan anything. 😣

      1. Thanks @Gerdy for your kind words.

        Honestly? I am struggled a lot with it in the first years of being a Daddy Cool. What I learned:
        It's not how MUCH time I have with them, but how INTENSE I am present with them. So Quality first. That cleared alot for me and us.

        So I negotiated with Chantal (my lovely wife) and the kids (as they were very little but we did engaged them into the process) . And we came up with a deal 🙂

        Every day Me and Chantal will bring the kids to their school.
        Every night (from 17:00) I will be home and nowhere else.
        (This was a hard one because Now I gave up all the freedom to go to networking events, trainings after 17:00!).
        Everyday except Monday night, as Monday Night is my Blog night and I will then be working on the blog after 20:00.

        And Every Saturday we have our "Family Days". We all do FUN and Outdoor things together, the whole day.

        What I got in return:
        My Lovely Holy Sundays to go to office as soon as possible (06:00) until 16:00.

        My little advice to you: Talk to the guys and come up with an Compromis and blocks to fill in. Let THEM go first and GIVE them everything 🙂

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