How to Manage Time When You’re in a Hurry

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How to Manage Time When You’re in a HurryDo you want to better manage your time?

Have you ever wondered how you should manage your minutes when you’re in a hurry?

Every now and then, there are times when you need to run off to a last-minute meeting or unexpected appointment.

While you may be in a time crunch, there are a few things you can do to spend your time wisely.

In this post, I offer five ways you can manage time when you’re in a hurry.

Now, keep in mind, it’s not recommend to always live life in the fast lane.

These time management tips are meant for those times when life throws you a curveball and you need to get out the door, and on your way, ASAP.

Looking for step-by-step time management help?

Check out my self-guided time management eWorkbook here. 


Narrow your focus.

When you’re in a hurry to make an appointment, your focus should be on one thing and one thing alone: preparing yourself, your belongings, and getting on your way.

Now is not the time to attend to last-minute household or office tasks, think about your to-do list, or make a dent in that paper decluttering project.

Do everything you can to narrow and streamline your focus. Ask yourself a couple of pointed questions, such as “Which actions must I complete now, so that I can arrive prepared to my appointment?” If you’re having a difficult time keeping tabs on everything, jot down individual tasks on a sheet of paper with a pencil.

For example, if you’re getting ready to leave the house in the morning for work, you might jot down “Pack lunch into purse/bag, pack work ID and house keys, grab a jacket and umbrella.”

Make a list for later.

Just because you’re in a rush now, doesn’t mean you’ll be in a rush later. That’s why it makes a lot of sense to defer non-urgent activities, items, or concerns to a later date or time. This is a good exercise because it takes only a few moments to jot down what’s on your mind. Simply doing so can free up a lot of mental energy.

Take a moment to gather all those little thoughts and ideas buzzing around in your mind. You don’t have to organize everything right now, just write down your thoughts as they come to you, be it on a piece of paper, in a small notebook, or on a digital note app.

With less “stuff” to think about, you can reroute your mental energy towards getting ready and out the door.

Take a smart shortcut.

A few seconds can make a big difference when you’re traveling. All the more reason to take a “smart shortcut” in your travels. Given the day of the week and time of day, which travel route is the fastest or most optimal route to your destination? Chances are, you probably know more than you think you do!

For example, you probably know which subway route is faster during peak hours versus non-peak hours. You most likely know where traffic slowdowns occur on the expressway or highway before and after exists. And you probably know the quickest path to the bus stop on foot.

When in doubt, you could take a few seconds to check real-time traffic and public transportation reports on your computer or smartphone. Who knows, your quick-thinking might just save yourself several minutes’ worth of time!

Spend a little cash.

Sometimes, it pays to literally buy yourself a few minutes’ worth of time by purchasing goods or services. Now, this isn’t to say you should always spend money when in a hurry. You may want to reserve your spending for those times when you are in a true bind, and when your purchase will greatly save you time and energy.

That being said, what small financial transactions would make your life a little less stressful every now and then? Could you grab a sandwich and bottle of water on your way to your appointment instead of sitting down to eat? What about taking a taxi or car service instead of walking or taking public transportation? How about having your hair styled or blown-out at a walk-in salon, or getting your shoes cleaned, buffed, and shined at a shoe repair store?

Let others know you’re in a hurry.

This may sound incredibly simple, but effectively communicating with others is paramount when it comes to managing your time. Remember, people aren’t mind readers. Cut to the chase and politely tell people you are short on time.

For example, you may say something like, “I apologize, but I can’t speak right now. I’m in a hurry to catch my plane/train/bus/meet a colleague/make a doctor’s appointment. Let’s catch up when I return.” At the very least, you’ll have gracefully acknowledged their presence and won’t come across as being rude.

If you want to ensure a future meeting, politely ask the person to send you a meeting request via email or text email, or follow up with you in person or by phone to set up your appointment.

How about you? What are your go-to steps when it comes to managing your time in a hurry? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Looking for step-by-step time management help? Check out my self-guided time management eWorkbook here. 

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.