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Published date: January 10, 2018
Last modified: January 10, 2018

Time’s up on time management?

Chances are at some point in your career, you’ve felt like there just weren’t enough hours in the day. You are not alone! The clock moves faster than we had realised and we’re stuck frantically putting the final pieces together.

With busy lifestyles becoming the norm and professionals pushing the limits, time management has become a hot topic on everyone’s blogroll and newsfeed.

Over the last couple years, we may have been led to believe that time is something we can control. Seriously consider though, what does time management even mean?

Time is a constant, so can it be managed? The entire concept of time management seems backwards and leads people to suggest that they need more time in a day. In reality, we all have the same amount of time in a day as everyone else, the same as say Bill Gates or Richard Branson. The thing that is distinctive is what we’ve decided to do with our time and what we’ll do with it moving forward.

So, should it really be called self-management? We can manage our own actions, prioritise and allocate our attention. Once we do this, we can begin achieving more in a day and take the appropriate steps to being more productive.

Here are some ways to improve productivity by managing yourself instead of attempting to manage your time:

Control Your Thoughts

Managing your brain is the most challenging but most aspect of self-management. That voice in your head that encourages procrastination needs an off switch. “I’ll do that tomorrow” or “I’ll get to that later” are thoughts to be ignored. Focus on the tasks at hand and turn off the Wi-Fi so you’re not distracted by the flashing inbox or Skype message.

Prioritise Your Work

Planning your workday and prioritising projects provides structure and gives you visual prompts of the tasks to be tackled. Prioritising involves listing what you need to do and rating them in order of importance. For example, you can label your items as ‘important and urgent’, ‘important but not urgent’ or ‘not important and not urgent’.

Be Accountable

Allocate time increments to each item on your priority list. For instance, from 9-10 respond to emails, 10-11 execute task x, 11-11:15 coffee break, 11:15-12:30 build proposal, the cycle continues. Own your accountability by attaching time to action items and cross them off your list when done. Your work should be managed just as you manage your meetings.

Get off email

Email can be the biggest distraction from accomplishing project work. Schedule your email time into your day and close your email to focus on other items. Go the extra step and turn off your email notifications to prevent distraction.

Use Your Calendar

Entering items into a calendar and using it are two different things. Alongside scheduled meetings, add deadlines and personal commitments. Use your calendar to steer your day, track your output and keep you on target regarding productivity. Start each day by looking at your calendar to get a perspective on your day and the rest of the week. Visit your calendar every day and edit it as new projects come in and tasks are completed. Read more at

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