Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills

Be a List Maker

In order to be efficient and make sure you aren’t missing anything, it’s important to make a list of all of your tasks. Having to-do list is the most simple way of keeping track of what you have to do. If you prefer to use a smartphone or other device, there are plenty of list apps and other organizational types of software to use. Some are quite simple and just let you list the tasks. Others are more sophisticated and allow you to set the priority, the date by which you want to complete it, and even alerts to remind you. Keeping track of everything is critical to making sure you complete all you need to do in the right time schedule.

Set Goals

It is important to set goals so that you know where you want to be in six months, one year, five years, ten years, or any time period that you want to use. If you do set a goal you will be able to decide how to spend your time the most effectively, and what not to spend time on. Having clear-cut goals will also help you understand why you should keep distractions to a minimum. Goals will help you see what purpose your daily tasks have for you.

Avoid Distractions

Distractions interfere with us accomplishing our goals in the time frame we would like. When you are in the zone, you are completely focused on what you are doing and you can get quite a lot accomplished. When there are distractions, such as the phone ringing, a child asking a question, a client call, or any number of things, we are interrupted and have to regain our focus. As much as possible, it is a good idea to keep distractions to a minimum. If you can turn off the phone until you are finished, that is a good step. Or decide to only check your email once an hour or once every two hours. Try to use the time you have efficiently as possible.


In order to get the most out of your to-do list, it is important to prioritize your task list. Focus on no more than the top three items on your list and then go from there. By knocking off the most important tasks of the day you can rest assured that you’ve spent your time wisely. Over time, you will notice how much more productive you have been and how much more you will have accomplished.

Don’t Take On Too Much

You may be eager to get as much done as possible, but if you add on too much to your to-do list, you may just end up overwhelmed and getting even less done. Instead, limit yourself to just the items that will help you most get to your long-term goals. If you need to finish a work project, clean the house, go grocery shopping and also return a phone call from a friend, decide which is most important for that day. If your goal is to impress the boss because bonus time is coming up, you may want to focus on finishing your work project and nix the phone call until the next day. You don’t have to do everything all at once. It’s a juggling act for sure, but if you can limit yourself to just the things you need to get done, you are less likely to miss reaching your ultimate goals.

Till Next Time

Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner is ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management specialists being regularly featured in articles in the small business sections of both The Times and Guardian newspapers. He is an author, speaker and mentor. He enables you to prioritize your activities, so that you can be incredibly productive, whilst still having time for the things that matter most in your life. He is an avid fan of Aston Villa, a Dad of Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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3 thoughts on “Top 5 Tips to Improve Your Time Management Skills

  1. Good article, Time Doc! I have a “problem” wirth no.5. I always take on… a lot. I am not sure if too much, because it was proved that I can handle this. But sometimes I am wondering… why am I doing this to me? No one is forcing me to take all on. I will study this some more. Thanks for writing the article.

  2. Solid info, Mike! Setting goals is super important. Without that, you are just rambling around and dreaming. The biggest one for me, though, is not taking on too much. I have a hard time saying , “No” and sometimes I get overwhelmed with projects. Some of the tips you have for that are great – I need to take heed!
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