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5 Best Time Management Tips

I’ll be the first to say my life isn’t perfect, but I really don’t have much to complain about. I have a great family (including my furry babies), good friends, work that I love and am reasonably healthy for my age.

Sure, there are some things I’d like to have, but most of my needs are pretty well met. But there’s one thing I’d consistently love to have more of – time. If I could figure out how to cram another couple of hours in my day I’d be a happy camper. (Ok, a million dollars would be nice too!).

Since I haven’t figured out how to magically stretch my days out, I’ve had to settle for learning to effectively manage the time I do have. Here are some of my favorite tips for doing that.

1 – Become organized – I’ll admit, I’m an organizational nerd. I love a good system and I always have a couple of lists going. In my home, office and car everything has a place – and for the most part, it stays there. For me that’s really just being lazy. I hate to waste time frantically searching for something. It’s much easier to be able to put my hands quickly on whatever it is I want.

Another part of organization is using my down time well. If I’m waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, or sitting in traffic I’m probably:

  • Reading

  • Checking email

  • Calling someone

  • Checking or sending texts

It’s surprising how much can get done in a couple of 3-5 minutes chunks of otherwise unproductive time.

2 – Learn to delegate – too many of us try to do everything ourselves. Can you say control issues? The truth is that none of us can do everything and do it well.

Figure out what your strengths are and focus on those. Look for help on the things you’re weak on. I recently spend several frustrating hours trying to figure out how to use the newsletter templates on my website. I finally decided it would be wiser and cheaper to get my VA to do that for me. She’ll do it quicker, easier and much better – it’s worth every penny.

3 – Say no. This is something I figured out how to do back in college (no, I won’t say how many years ago that was). So I’m always amazed at how many people struggle with this.

If this is tough for you try the following:

  • Practice what you need to say out loud – role play with someone if that’s possible.

  • Just say no pleasantly – you don’t need to justify your reason. If you’re pressed, say one of these:

  • I’m so sorry but we already have other plans.

  • I’d love to but I just have too much on my plate right now.

  • It sounds great but I already a commitment on that night.

  • Remind yourself that you only have so much time and energy – for every activity you pick up, another one needs to go.

4 – Keep yourself healthy and in good shape. By that I mean:

  • Eat right

  • Exercise regularly

  • Get enough sleep

  • Have fun

I realize the above is easy to say. When we’re in a time crunch and rushing from place to place, those priorities can go right out the window. But I’ve discovered that, even if I’m feeling completely overwhelmed (actually when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed), I function and think better when I take good care of myself. It’s worth the extra time.

5 – Be aware of time wasters and try to limit them. There are lots of them lurking around – for me the biggest are:

  • Checking email

  • Getting online

  • Seeing what’s going on in Facebook

  • Watching TV

  • Gaming isn't a problem for me but it is for a lot of other people

There’s nothing wrong with doing those things – but they can really eat up your day ,so set limits as to how long you’ll spend on them.

Hopefully these tips will help you manage your time better. And by the way, if any of you DO figure out how to magically add some hours to your day, please let me know.

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