Time Management – I Need Help!

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

We’ve all heard quotes about time:

“Hey, all you people who use emojis, what are you doing with the time you’ve saved?”

“The problem with saving time is that as soon as we get it, we spend it.”

“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils.” Hector Louis Berlioz

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler

If we’re disciplined and scheduled people, time management is part of our normal mode of operation. It falls in line with the way our brain works. We’re on time with all we do, and we’re quick to tackle the next project.

But if we struggle with procrastination and lack the ability to stay productive, then we need tools . . . sharp ones. Our families are disappointed because we’re always late. Our employers are frustrated because we can’t meet deadlines. And we’re frustrated with ourselves for upsetting others.

Here are 9 ways to increase productivity:

  1. Organize and calendar tasks
    Investing in a calendar allows us to record tasks, appointments, due dates, and whatever else stalking us. I suggest an online calendar in which the user can request an audible alarm. For those who prefer a hard-copy calendar, we must examine it throughout the day.
  2. Establish goals
    We need goals to keep us moving in the right direction. They need to be attainable with measurable steps. Goals can be fun and rewarding as well as work oriented.
  3. Commit to the work
    Unless we are determined to learn how to manage our time, no amount of reading helpful blogs, books, or investing in tools will prove successful.
  4. Enlist an accountability partner
    Changing habits is hard, and sometimes we need those whom we respect to keep us on task. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  5. Make a list
    Write down each item that needs to be done in the order of due date and most difficult. Then cross through what has been accomplished.
  6. Sleep 8 hours each night
    No one is productive, creative, or able to apply new habits unless the person is alert and well-rested.
  7. Learn to say “No” to time-zappers
    Each one of us has a time-zapper. Mine may not be yours. Perhaps it’s social media, TV, other people, or unhealthy activities stopping us from managing our time. Saying “No” is difficult but we can master the art of priorities.
  8. Eliminate multi-tasking
    I’m most guilty of this . . . doing several things at once and not quite finishing one before starting another. We call it multi-tasking yet research shows we aren’t doing any of the tasks at our best. Finish what we start, then move on to the next item.
  9. Practice healthy nutrition and exercise
    This is a biggie for me. The more we devote to taking care of our bodies, the more our bodies reward us with strength and energy. Neurons snap to attention when we decide to eat nutritionally sound and move our bodies. Here’s a great article from the Mayo clinic about exercise: http://mayocl.in/2nNGcB7
  10. Celebrate
    Mark your successes with a festive occasion. It doesn’t have to be a party, but then again why not? Adding time management to our lives adds value and important self-esteem.

Breaking from old habits and establishing new ones isn’t easy, but with the right tools, it can be done.

What is your favorite tip for managing time?

DiAnn Mills



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Comments 21

  1. Rebecca McLafferty

    Hi DiAnn,
    Such good tips here! You’re right about keeping focused. I need a list, even vague, of priorities for the day or week. I am easily distracted onto those bunny trails. But then one list becomes two or three…any tips on a good solution? I was contemplating a whiteboard…Blessings to you, Rebecca

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  2. Jackie Layton

    Starting my day with God helps me.

    The biggest time saver to me is to stay off social media. I think I’m only going to check out one post or tweet and before I know it I’ve lost fifteen minutes.

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  3. Robin E. Mason

    I’ve learned to follow my body clock – I have the [dubious] luxury of being on Disability and therefore at home all day. I am most definitely not a morning person so I get the more mindless tasks done while I have my coffee.
    The biggest thing I did was to create an Excel spreadsheet which is primarily my calendar – main thing is my blog and scheduling, but includes other commitments and appts. I have a tab for WC to track my daily productivity.
    The other thing is all.the.folders for each story, and for my blog. As long as I stay on top of it and ahead of the game, i’m doing good!
    and ps, i LOVE to go for walks and am working to build my stamina back to 2 and 3 miles and more!!
    thanks for a super post!

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  4. Joy I

    I try to handle items once and put away. Instead of picking up an item, and laying it down someplace else, I use and put it away in its place. I try to save steps and movements that way. Also, I try to map out what i am gong to do -if I run errands, I plan my route and do all on the same day.
    If I am going to clean my kitchen, I make a list of the major things I need to get done, and then try to do those first. Then if I think it warrants the time, I do somme of the minor jobs. Multi tasking is the way to go.

    After I save my time, I sit down and read.

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  5. Frances Wilson

    Thanks for the timely post, DiAnn. I waste time worrying about situations which may not occur, and grieving over what I cannot fix, in a thousand years of worrying. That’s a sleep, and time thief! This is challenging me to practice faith some more.

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  6. Patti Jo Moore

    Excellent post and suggestions, DiAnn – – thank you! 🙂
    Since I’m a “home-body” the majority of the time (not complaining—I love being home with all my kitties, LOL) I have found that for some reason I always accomplish more when I’ve got a handwritten To-Do List on my desk beside my computer. It’ s amazing really – – but I’ve decided I just need that visual reminder to keep me on track. I also enjoy crossing off each task as it’s done. I guess it really *is* the little things in life that make us happy! 😉
    Thanks again for sharing!

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  7. Jann Butts

    Not sleeping properly is a biggie for me. I require medication to sleep — no meds, no sleep. Last night I got so involved reading a book I forgot to take my medication. When did I get to sleep? This morning at 9AM, then woke up 2 hours later. I’m exhausted today. I have no one to blame but myself. I know better. I also know beating myself up about it does me no good.

    We all say we’re going to “catch up on sleep.” That’s physically impossible. We cannot turn the clock backward to relive those hours we missed. The older I’ve become the longer it takes me to recover from not getting the sleep my body requires. Apparently, there are occasions wisdom doesn’t come with age!

    I have an on-the-wall calendar and I use my cell phone’s calendar. I don’t always have Internet service so I can’t rely on the computer to assist me, but that’s an excellent idea: something that alarms is always good.

    Thank you sooo much for these tips! I’m definitely going to refer back to this blog to remind me of your “pearls.”


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