Optimizing Your Time: 8 Articles to Help

By Valarie Swayze, Senior Editor

“You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. The enemy of the “best” is often the “good.” -Stephen Covey

Optimizing Your Time: 8 Articles to Help

valarie_swayzeThis quote from Stephen Covey sums up many of my challenges when forced to choose how to spend my time. I have already narrowed much of my activity to important and useful tasks, and most days require a bit of creativity to fit everything into the schedule. The following articles are worth investing your valuable time in reading, and you will learn tips how to save time for the best things mentioned by Covey.

7 Daily Habits for Balance in Your Life  (Carlo Cruz) – In this article, Cruz introduces seven basic habits that can have a profound impact on being more balanced and successful in life. He discusses the common disparity between work success and other facets of life such as family, health, and spiritual growth and provides realistic ideas for achieving a more balanced life.

How to Manage Time With 10 Tips That Work (Joe Mathews, Don Debolt, and Deb Percival) The authors introduce the concept of clock time versus the perception of how long something takes to occur. It is noted that the time we are managing is relative, and consists of only three possible events: actions, thoughts, and conversations. The ten tips for managing time may seem radical, such as refusing to answer a ringing phone; however, they can help you understand where your productive time is going and how to take control of it.

How 15 Minutes Can Fix Your Time Management (Jason Womack, Inc Staff) In this 90-second  video, Jason Womack introduces a unique approach to time management: He breaks the 24-hour day into 96 different 15-minute blocks in order get things done more efficiently. This concept involves carving out simple tasks that can be completed in under 15 minutes, so that these items can be easily completed when unexpected or planned free time is available. This approach can help better visualize how time is being spent.

Time Management: Beat Work Overload. Be More Effective. Achieve More (Mind Tools)  – Mind Tools presents a collection of resources to help manage time across a variety of topics.  Tools range from a general introduction to the topic to items such as prioritization and goal setting.

How I Managed My Time – The Covey Way (Leigh Gallagher) In this article, the author describes her personal experience in attending a Franklin Covey training program known as “Focus: Achieving Your Highest Priorities”. In addition to her reflection on the course, Gallagher shares examples and techniques that have impacted her approach to time management. She also notes a few popular “Coveyisms” that may transform the way you view time management and setting priorities.

The Four Quadrants of Time Management (Alex Czartoryski) Highly popularized by Steven Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, the Four Quadrants of Time Management presents a terrific visual aid for understanding the value of the activities that consume time. Czartoryski describes this system of time management and how you can apply it to your schedule.

10 Time Management Mistakes Most People Fall Into (Shawn Lim) This article highlights common pitfalls for time management. Lim shares what to do by contrasting what not to do regarding items such as planning, vision, and how to start the day.

What is Time Management? (Mind Tools) – Strives to define time management through examples of what one can expect to achieve when managing time effectively. The author also explains why spending time to understand how to be more productive is such a valuable investment.