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Improving Your Time Management

This is something I’m working on right now, to be honest (you might have noticed that my blog posts have been spaced further apart.) So this is for me as much as for any of you.

Here are some tips if you find yourself chronically running behind.1) Set time aside to sit down and really think.

As in, think specifically about when and why your life seems to be slipping out of your grasp. Is it from when you wake up in the morning? Or does it happen during the course of the day? At work, or at home, or with your family, or is it in all situations and settings?

Often we can tell that we’re off-kilter but we don’t feel like we have the time to think about it and address it. But setting aside reflective time is the best way to start to make a change.

2) Recognize how you work best.

Are you someone who does well with more structure/scheduling, or more spontaneity? Are you using a calendar, a to-do list, reminders on your phone, etc.?

3) Take the time to get organized.

If your space is messy, your mind may well be, too. Figure out your organizational system and stick to it.

Again, you may think you don’t have the time, but that’s part of why things are not operating as they should. Instead of getting out in front of things, you’re just chasing after them.

4) Determine whether your time is spent on the right things (i.e. in accordance with what you really value.)

Look at the past week as an example. What took up the bulk of your time? Are you operating as efficiently as you  could? Could some tasks be stacked together, rather than spread throughout the week? Are you prioritizing the activities that feed you (like exercise, relaxation, time with friends and family) or are you engaging in depleting activities? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating well?

All these things impact how efficiently you’re able to operate.

5) Allocate more time for everything.

Often people underestimate how long things take. It’s a form of wishful thinking. But it leads to you feeling more stressed than you need to. Think of it this way: If you budget too much time to get ready or to get somewhere, if you wake up a half hour early, the worst thing that will happen is that you’ll arrive somewhere early (not in a tizzy, not breathing hard.) That is a pretty pleasant worst case scenario.

Woman running late photo available from Shutterstock

Improving Your Time Management

Holly Brown, LMFT

Holly Brown is a marriage and family therapist in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a private practice in Alameda ( ). She is also a novelist ( Her latest is HOW FAR SHE'S COME, a workplace thriller which received a starred review from Publisher's Weekly: "This provocative tale will resonate with many in the era of the #MeToo movement."

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APA Reference
Brown, H. (2015). Improving Your Time Management. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 26, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Jun 2015
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