Effective Time Management Behaviours

We all use a range of Time Management Tools in our everyday work, but is it the tools that actually help us to manage time or is it something else?

If you think about it, the term Time Management is a misnomer – we can’t actually manage time, but can manage ourselves around the time we have available to us.

How many times have you heard, or used the cry ‘I wish there was more hours in the day’? More than once I bet. But, we immerse ourselves in tools to try and manage time but still sometimes we get nowhere. Which of these do you use or tried:

  • Outlook Calendar
  • Diary
  • To-Do Lists
  • Plans
  • Using filters on your mailbox
  • Covey’s Urgent Important Matrix

There are to name but a few.

But, the key to successful time management is two fold. Yes there are the tools, but equally if not more important is the attitude we show towards time.

If we take a negative view of it, it instantly begins to mess up our plans. The more negative we feel, the less demotivated we are which leads to procrastination and a real lack of drive to get things done.

So, aside from the lengthy to do lists and packed diaries, what else should we do to manage time more effectively?

We need to re-frame thinking towards time.

For example, you may find yourself sat in a car during working hours and you call it ‘A waste of time’. Because we think like this, sitting in the car becomes a negative thing. But, what if you called it ‘Me Time’, or what about ‘Thinking Time’?

Just by changing the name of something re-frames how we think about time. So, calling it me time or thinking time changes the way we view it and makes us feel different about that time – hopefully better.

Same goes for saying ‘I never have enough time’. Say it enough and you will believe it. Once that belief sets in, it becomes very de-motivational. Thinking ‘I have lot’s to do, what am I going to do to make the time available’ puts you in a different mindset, one of which you are beginning to commit to making time.

Making more time seems an impossible task, when actually it can be quite easy. When was the last time you sat down and looked at how much time you were wasting, or how much of your time other people are taking.

We can quite easily get sucked into saying ‘yes’ to everything or taking on too much responsibility. Because yes is so much easier than saying no, we tend to say it more.

Saying no shouldn’t be a hard thing to do – if you know how. Just ensure that when you do say no, you have a reason or evidence to back up your reason for saying no.

So, don’t just focus on Time Management Tools and hope they will fix all of your problems. Take a step back and consider your attitude towards time. If your attitude is all wrong, then what’s the point in using the tools in the first place?

Want to find out more about time management? You could attend a time management course. Look no further that our training and development partner Revolution Learning and Development.

Their Time Management Workshop focuses on all of the points above – The Tools, Attitude, Dealing with people stealing your time and How to Say No. Take a look at their Time Management Training Course details here.

Related Articles


Skip to content