Do you want to improve your time management skills?
Looking for a few time management ideas to test out in your daily routine?
Sometimes, it helps to have a list of bare-bones basics staring you right in the face.
When you’re looking at things in black and white, you can’t help but realize things need to change in your time management habits…and fast!
In this post, I offer a list of seventy-five time management ideas to try out today.
You’ll find nine helpful categories to get you started on your way.
Not sure where to start?
Select a single idea that appeals to you the most.
Then, all that’s left to do is to take targeted action, each and every day.
Practice taking much-needed breaks
Do you give yourself adequate time to rest and relax during the day? Even if you think you might be an A+ break-taker, there may be some room for improvement.
Check out any of these practical break ideas:
- Take your full lunch break at work
- Take a fifteen minute study break at school
- Keep at least one weekend morning or afternoon completely free
- Take your full vacation allotment for the year
- End answering work emails during the weekend
- Allow yourself to be bored on the weekend and just relax!
- Schedule your vacation time into your work and personal calendars
- Avoid working during your vacation
[Also take a look at: How to Schedule Your Vacation Time]
Practice punctuality on a regular basis
Punctuality is a skill that everyone should learn. The good news is that the skill can be incredibly contagious. Once you realize you do have the ability to arrive on time to meetings and appointments, why, the sky’s the limit!
How about working on these time management skills:
- Avoid working on a non-urgent task before leaving for an appointment
- Leave your home on time during the weekday
- Arrive on time to work or school
- Arrive 10 minutes early to a staff meeting and get settled in
- Arrive fifteen minutes early to a doctor’s appointment
- Arrive ten minutes early to a date with a friend
- Be the first to arrive at a meeting or event
- Leave work at a reasonable hour
[Also take a look at: How to Arrive on Time to Those Nearby Appointments]
Make your meetings more effective
There will always be meetings, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be effective. Whether you’re running or attending a meeting, you can take steps to make sure everything runs smoothly…and on time.
Try any of these meeting-related time management tips:
- Create an agenda for an upcoming meeting
- Set an alarm to remind you of an upcoming meeting
- Silence or turn off your cellphone or digital devices before entering a meeting
- Start a meeting exactly on time
- Purposely end a meeting five minutes early without letting participants know ahead of time
- Schedule breaks between each of your appointments or meetings
[Also take a look at: Stop Wasting Time at Work: Avoid Holding These 7 Meetings]
Pay close attention to time
You may want to better manage your time…but are you really paying attention to time as it passes you by, each and every day? You have multiple chances of taking control of your calendar on a daily basis. All you have to do is open your eyes!
Place your attention on these helpful tips:
- Reschedule a double-booked appointment as soon as you notice it in your calendar
- Check your calendar before scheduling an appointment
- Begin work on a project or assignment the day you receive it
- Check your email only a few times during the day
- Wear a watch or fitness tracker on your wrist
- Set your desktop computer or laptop to announce the time on the hour
- Focus on slowing down your work pace three times each day
- Work on one thing at a time
- Place a wall analog clock in a busy area of your home or office
- Track how you spend your time for an entire day
- Say “no” to attending an optional meeting
- Delegate tasks to other people
- Use an Eisenhower Matrix to evaluate the urgency and importance of tasks
- Reschedule an appointment or meeting for a more convenient time
- Set a timer for 45 minutes and work straight through
[Also take a look at: How to Make Better Decisions with the Eisenhower Box]
Spend quality time with those you care about
Who doesn’t love hanging out with loved ones? Whether you’re chatting with friends, or having a meal with your family, there’s lots of different ways to ensure you set aside time for the special people in your life.
Check out these practical tips:
- Block out busy or do not disturb time in your office or work calendar
- Have a device-free dinner with family or friends
- Add family and friend birthdays as recurring yearly events in your digital calendar
- Send your RSVP to a party, event, or function within a week of receiving the invitation
- Mark a special date into your calendar or planner as soon as you learn about it
- Choose just one television show or program to watch each day
[Also take a look at: 19 Fun Things to Put on a Calendar]
Be a thoughtful person
We all have to get along with one another, so why not be a thoughtful individual? Caring about others is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the crowd.
Make yourself stand out from other people with these pointers:
- Refrain from volunteering other people’s time
- Let someone know you are pressed for time
- Give people your undivided attention when meeting or speaking with them
- Call or email to confirm a meeting or appointment
- Work on an assigned task without wasting time complaining or cringing about it
[Also take a look at: 6 Time Management Lies You Need to Stop Telling Yourself]
Set yourself up for success
If you really want to take your time management skills to the next level, you have to get back to basics. Managing your time can be a whole lot easier when you focus on setting solid daily foundations for yourself.
Take a look at these helpful tips:
- Select a brand-new paper calendar or planner that is suitable for your needs
- Wake up on time in the morning
- Schedule exercise and/or gym time into your calendar
- Review your calendar for tomorrow at the end of every day
- Pack your bag, purse, or briefcase the night before
- Ask yourself a series of questions before you start the day
- Go to sleep on time in the evening
- Go shopping earlier in the day to beat the traffic and crowds
- Create a checklist for work or home routines
- Pay a bill or invoice two weeks before the due date
- Set a recurring monthly reminder in your digital calendar
- Reduce your time spent on social media applications by thirty minutes each day
[Also take a look at: 27 Posts to Improve Your Time Management Skills]
Put yourself first every day
There’s no one better to take care of your needs than yourself. Take care to put yourself first every day…and see how it feels to take care of Number #1!
How about trying out any one of these pointers:
- Give yourself at least 30 minutes to decompress after a long day of work or school
- Schedule a fun personal to-do or task into your day
- Remove events, activities, and functions you have no intention of attending from your calendar
- Cut back your daily to-do list to only 3-5 items
- Schedule daily personal or “me” time into your calendar
- Decline an optional last-minute social invitation
- Give yourself more time to complete a new or challenging task
- Instead of filling last-minute schedule cancellations, take that time for yourself
- Offer potential meeting dates and times that are convenient for you
[Also take a look at: Why You Should Schedule Nothing in Your Calendar]
Take care to travel well
Instant time-travel hasn’t been invented just yet. All the more reason to get serious and honest about how long it takes to travel from one place to another on this great big planet.
Here are some traveling ideas to try out:
- Make note of how long it takes you to travel from home to work/school under normal conditions
- Arrive five minutes early to a bus stop, train station, ferry terminal, or carpool area
- Arrive at least one hour before your flight is scheduled to leave at the airport
- Take a bus, train, plane, ferry, subway at a specific time during your daily commute
- Find the shortest travel route to work or school
- Add travel time to an upcoming item on your schedule
[Also take a look at: 3 Reasons Why You Should Add Travel Time to Your Calendar]
How about you? Which of these ideas pique your interest? How are you going to incorporate these tips into your schedule? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!
Looking for step-by-step time management help so you can better manage your minutes and hours? Click here to learn more about my self-guided eBook, The Order Expert’s Guide to Time Management.