The Fundamental Rules of Time Management

Time management is difficult for most people to learn. Almost everyone wishes they had more time to spend doing what they want, but people who don’t follow the rules of effective time management almost always find themselves without enough time to do the things they have to do and no time to do the things they want to do.


You probably don’t have enough time to do everything you want to do each day, so it is vitally important to prioritize your time so that all of the most important items on your to-do list get completed, even if some things on the bottom of the list are postponed until you have more time.


Before planning how you will spend tomorrow, it is important to recognize how you spend your time today. Most people don’t complete exactly the same tasks each day, but they do follow a basic schedule. Ask yourself if the way you are spending your time today is the most productive use of the time you have and what you can do tomorrow to be more productive than you are today.


Productive people understand that they can’t do everything themselves. Some people eat out because cooking is not a priority to them, while others hire a cleaning service or have their laundry done by someone else so that they have more time to focus on things that are important to them. It is best to delegate chores that you don’t enjoy so that you have more time to do the tasks that make you happy.

Slow Down

Many people spend all their time focusing on the tasks that they haven’t completed yet instead of focusing on what they are doing right now. It is easy to make mistakes when you are rushing through something and not really paying attention to what you are doing. Setting an online timer is a good idea because it gives you a certain amount of time to focus on the task you are completing right now without taking time away from the other important items on your list.


Whether you are cleaning a room or going through your email inbox, getting rid of clutter means that you won’t be sorting through the same unwanted items over and over. It is easy to get lost in a sea of clutter and forget which items are important to you. Try to only handle each piece of paper once or twice. File bills, toss junk mail and put important papers in their designated places as soon as you receive them so that nothing gets lost and your kitchen counter or dining table doesn’t become a catch-all for papers that you don’t have any use for.

Use Your Calendar

When planning out your day, it is very important to know about any important events that are going on for every member of the family. Keeping a family calendar is the easiest way to see what other people have planned. Some families give each member a different color pen to write their events in so that it is easy to see who has a dentist appointment or late meeting. Write everything on the calendar as soon as you know the date and time and refer to it each night to remind yourself of anything that is planned for the following day.

Plan Your Day

Every night before you go to bed, sit down and create a list of tasks to be completed the next day. Some people put their most important tasks at the top of the list, while others put their tasks in order of when they will be completed. It may take some experimentation for you to discover which type of lists helps you be most productive.

It is also smart to do as much as you can before you go to bed to prepare for the next morning. Choosing your clothes, setting out meat to thaw for dinner and packing lunches are all things you can do the night before to make your morning easier. It is also a good idea to make sure the house is clean before bed because waking up to a clean house starts your day off right.

Be Flexible

As much as you can plan your day, there are unforeseen events that can change the course of your day with no warning. Stick to your schedule and plan of events as much as you can, but be willing to throw out your schedule and do what you have to do in the event of an emergency.

Take Time Off

Sticking to a schedule is very comforting for most people, but it is important to take a day off to rest and do something that you enjoy. Many people work more than one job and some people work while going to school and taking care of children. Taking one day off each week to relax and get away from your schedule gives to time to recharge and think about what is important to you.

Write Down Your Goals

Posting a list of your long-term goals in a place you will see it often is good because it will help you remember what you are working toward when you are stressed about the details of your life. Putting things into perspective and looking at the big picture helps you focus and keep going when things get tough.

About the Author are the developers of the world’s original online alarm clock website, which also offers many different time management tools that you can use directly in your web browser. All of Online Clock’s time tools are free for everyone, and require nothing to download and no user registration.


  1. I think the main problem in managing our time is our self discipline. Most of us have no problem in creating our schedule for the day or planning our week long activities. Our problem is on how we discipline ourselves to do what we have written down. It is important that before we write down what we are planning to do, we ensure in ourselves that we will really do it.

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