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8 Time Management Secrets Nobody Told You

Some of the most impactful secrets of time management you can learn.

Where does the time go? Most of us find ourselves asking this question on a regular basis, as we watch the minutes and hours slip through our fingers.

But time management really isn’t that hard, especially when you have the right strategies and tools on your side. The trouble is, most people don’t provide you with these strategies and tools. They pretty much tell you to “get good” at time management and leave you to it.

That changes today.

Time Management Secrets Nobody Told You

These are some of the most impactful secrets of time management you can learn:

1. There is no “one-size-fits-all” strategy. Contrary to what you might have read in the last time management hacks article you encountered, there’s no such thing as a time management strategy that works perfectly for everyone in all situations. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Different people have different ways of thinking and working. Different working conditions and circumstances require different approaches. And there are probably dozens of different variables influencing how you manage time in any given situation. Accordingly, you need to remain open minded and adaptable – and avoid getting frustrated when one supposedly awesome strategy doesn’t work for you.

2. Physical calendars are indispensable. In today’s modern world, it seems absurd to suggest that a printed, handwritten tool is more effective than a mobile optimized, automated, digital one. But the truth is printing your own calendar and marking it up with all your appointments, priorities, and deadlines can be extremely valuable both practically and psychologically. If you keep it somewhere you can easily glance at it, it will serve as a constant reminder of what you have coming up.

3. Time leaks are real. Have you ever suddenly realized that an hour has gone by without your notice? That’s probably because you spent a lot of time without realizing it. These time leaks range from mild and inconsequential to devastating for your productivity. If you want to improve your time management, you need to learn how to identify and address these sneaky culprits. Time tracking software and greater presence of mind can both help you.

4. Everything is a matter of priority. One of the best secrets to time management is understanding that everything is simply a matter of priority. There are only 24 hours in the day, and there’s no possible way for you to do everything you want to do. Accordingly, you need to focus on what you need to do and what you want to do most. Once you establish better priorities for yourself, deciding what to do with those 24 hours becomes much easier.

5. Routines make time management a literal no-brainer. Once you’ve incorporated something as a consistent routine, you’ll do it automatically. If you practice good time management habits and you have a set routine you follow every day, you won’t have to think actively about your time management, nor will you waste much time. Start creating new patterns for yourself and follow them as consistently as possible; even if you struggle to adapt to new routines, enough repetition can make it easy for you.

6. Busy isn’t the same as productive. Too many people are focused on staying busy, rather than being productive. Busy and productive aren’t synonyms. It’s possible to be overwhelmed with tasks and feel like you have too much to do, when in reality, you aren’t getting any closer to achieving your goals. When evaluating potential tasks to take on, you need to consider not only how much time they take, but whether they actively lead you to your ideal destination.

7. There’s no such thing as “too much to do.” Stop making excuses that you have too much to do. If there’s too much on your plate, it’s probably because you’re not effectively dealing with your priorities and responsibilities. Take accountability for this and start delegating, saying no, and redistributing your resources so you can have a more manageable task list.

8. You need to set realistic expectations. Finally, set realistic expectations for yourself. Nobody is perfect at time management. All of us waste time sometimes. Instead of beating yourself up for being normal, celebrate each and every step you take toward better overall time management.

Mastering the Art of Time Management

Here’s one bonus tip for you: mastering the art of time management isn’t something you do in one day. It’s also not something you can do after skimming through a list of time management secrets and strategies. It’s something that requires consistent practice and commitment if you want to be successful. 

The sooner you start committing to better ongoing practices and management habits, the sooner you can start making progress; just remain patient with yourself as you make iterative improvements.

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