Effective Time Management Strategies for Daily Success


  Effective Time Management Strategies for Daily Success

I’ll start off by saying that time management does not come naturally to many people. If you're currently under the impression that you’re a natural-born time manager, just take a look at your daily life and see if there are any spots where your time could be managed more efficiently.

In order to be able to manage our time effectively we must understand and master the difference between being efficient and being effective.

There is a big difference between these two words. You can be efficient in something and still not do it well, while you can be effective in something. If someone was trying to train a dog, they would put them up on a set of training wheels because they needed them to ride on that bike with their paws. When you're effective in your time management, you can do what's been asked of you without putting yourself at risk for failure or looking bad in a report or presentation. Both of these situations are very uncomfortable for most people.

Time management is not just about getting things done in a timely manner, but it’s also about giving you the opportunity to be more creative. When you have the time to take a step back and look at the big picture, you’re much more likely to find unique solutions. Many people spend their time so focused on the task at hand that they don't have time to think outside of it. There are many instances where taking a little bit of time every day and looking over your schedule and task list from the big picture can lead to some unforeseen solutions.

Be sure you know your time management goals. It could be important for you to be able to respond quickly to emails or text messages, or it could be that you just want to get everything done in the morning so that you can spend the rest of your day on other things. Whatever it is, make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable.

I did a presentation recently where I was presenting about time management and I started off by saying, "Before I launch into this topic let me start off by telling my audience what they shouldn't do with their time." One of the audience members asked me what they should do and I said "Focus on learning how to become a better manager of their time. They should not waste their time trying to manage other people's time." We've all been there. Someone has asked you to do something and during your refusal you see the look on their face as they realize you’ve just come up with another excuse.

Time management is about getting the things done that are important to you without having to rush or losing focus. In order to maintain an effective time schedule, I've found that it works best if I have a planner or calendar where I can overlay my goals with my daily task list.

Being organized is one of the most important components in any time management plan. If you're not organized, it's going to be very difficult for you to stay motivated and focused on your daily tasks.

For me, I have a small calendar on the wall where I write my goals as well as the various tasks that will help me accomplish those goals. At first this can be overwhelming because it can feel like there are just so many things that you need to be getting done every day. However, once you get into a rhythm, your daily list will start to shrink and you’ll find yourself able to focus more on quality over quantity.

Being organized isn’t just about having a list of things that need to get done each day. By being organized, you’ll be able to make better decisions about how to get your tasks done. For example, if you're supposed to do a presentation for Monday and it's going to be next Thursday then you’re less likely to get frustrated if the presentation is still sitting in your calendar from last month.

I remember one time I sent an email over the weekend saying I would be in my office Thursday afternoon at 4pm and a couple of minutes later the person replied back asking what time I would be arriving. Hmmm…we've been talking on the phone all week and this was not something that we had previously discussed. I immediately got frustrated because I felt like they should have been able to read my calendar or look at my daily task list in order to figure out when I would be meeting with them that day.

Be sure that you’re being consistent with your time management plan. When you have everything organized and your tasks are scheduled in a consistent way, it’s going to save you a lot of stress and anxiety.

While you're learning how to become an effective time manager, make sure that you take some time out of each day to reward yourself for everything that is getting done on your daily list. If you're one of the people who likes to check things off on a list, then do it! For me personally, I like to leave some time in each day just for me. Instead of checking something off my list, I’ll take that time and go enjoy a cup of coffee or take a walk around the block.

You also need to be sure that you're taking care of yourself while you're trying to get everything done during the day. I suggest that everyone reading this article go pin The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People it's a great read for getting your mind on track with managing your time efficiently and effectively.

At this stage in my life, I have found that I like to organize my time the most when I'm able to spend at least 15 minutes each day doing something specific. However, if you'd prefer not to be organized or plan your schedule each day, then at least make sure that you’re getting something done every day. If you leave the house without some task planned out for that day, then chances are you’ll spend much of the rest of your day frustrated and unhappy.


There are many ways to become an effective time manager. Follow the tips in this article and you'll find yourself able to be more productive and happier during the day. While people often give me a "but you don't do it", my response is simple: "Who am I to tell other people how they should live their lives?" As long as there are other people out there that find this information useful, then I guess it doesn't really matter if my method of time management is more effective than the one they use.

Photo Credit: How to Use Planner on Pinterest via Compfight cc

About Aaron Burns Aaron is a time management consultant based in Seattle Washington.

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