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Control Your Time

UnknownNot having control over your time is problematic. It can cause you to feel overloaded, pressured and tense. Time management is the act of planning and exercising control over time spent on activities. It is important to have enough time to complete tasks and also time for yourself to re-charge. It takes time and self-discipline to develop skills to be a better time manager. Time management can be achieved by implementing skills and techniques which can make you have personal pride and achieve life long success. The rewards are great and it takes hard work to break habits of poor time management.

Here are tips to help you be a better time manager.

1) Create a To-Do List: This is a great way to set goals for the day. Create one before you go to bed. This will help you see how your next day will be like. Do not set too may goals because you can get overwhelmed and important items may never get done.  Keep the list small.

2) Prioritize and use colors: Think about which items need to get done first and then use highlighters to color code them. You can use red or green for the most important items on your list or the ones that need to be done first and yellow or blue for the items that need to be done later in the day. You can also use colored pencils if you want to be creative or different color pens.

3) Make sure you have enough time: Make sure when you start a task you have enough time to finish it. Remind yourself how proud you will feel if you accomplish your task. You can also reward yourself for getting the task done in time. Also, be clear that you need to finish a task before a certain time. This helps you to create deadlines for yourself and prevents other activities from taking the time away from what you are working on.

4) Break tasks into smaller achievable tasks: Having a big project to do can seem overwhelming. Think about what needs to get done and break that task into smaller achievable ones to reach the desired goal. images-2

5) Rely on Reminders of Time: Put many clocks around you so you can see the time. Also, have a clock vibrate or go off every 15-20 minutes to remind you that time is passing. This will give you an opportunity to see where you are and what needs to get done.

6) Use Technology: Use an automatic reminder or electronic calendar on your phone that will beep or vibrate in your pocket. Make sure the sound goes off constantly so you can’t ignore it and forces you to look at what needs to get done.

7) Recharge: Take a break but be sure to use a timer to alert you when your break is over and need to start on your next task.

8) Learn to say “No”. Don’t take on too many things. Know what you can handle and stick to one thing at a time. Taking on too many responsibilities can take you away from the important items that need to get done.

9) Don’t multitask: Try to focus your attention on one thing at a time. If you do more than one thing at once, you will have many unfinished items and you will not accomplish the desired deadline.

10) Block out Distractions: Put earplugs if you are in a noisy environment to block off distractions. Close distractions such as any applications on your phone, turn off your phone, television, computers (if you are not using it for work), etc. Focus on what you are doing. This will help you to accomplish your goal and manage your time.


11) Know when your deadlines are: Mark the deadlines on a calendar but work on the project each day so you don’t leave it for the night before.

12) Set reminders to be early: If you have to be in school or at a meeting, set the time to 2o minutes before so you will leave early and be on time.

13) Take work with you: If you are on the train or waiting for an appointment, you can get some of your work done and will leave you with time to do another activity.

What are some tips you use to be a better time manager?




Images taken from,
Control Your Time

Helen Nieves

Helen Nieves is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Attention Deficit Consultant Specialist. She teaches ADHD on line and is on the Advisory Board at The American Institute of Health Care Professionals. She also received advanced training in Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy and in Grief Counseling.

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APA Reference
Nieves, H. (2015). Control Your Time. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 14, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2015
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