6 Time Management Skills and Tips to Increase Productivity

Applying the correct time management skills and tips can help you get more organized and increase productivity. The more of these tools you learn to use, the more that you will get done each day.

Here are my 6 best tips to improve your time management skills:

#1: Prepare in Advance

First, prepare your work list for the following day the evening or night before.

The best exercise is for you to plan your entire next day as the last thing you do before coming home from work. When you plan your day the night before, your subconscious then goes to work on your plans and goals while you are asleep. Very often you will wake up in the morning with ideas and insights that apply to the work of the day.

A major benefit of preparing your daily list the night before is that this exercise lets you sleep more soundly. A major reason for insomnia is your lying awake trying not to forget to remember everything that you have to do the following day.

Once you have written down everything you have to do on your list, it clears your mind and enables you to sleep deeply. This will help you increase productivity throughout the next work day. Although it may seem simple, a to-do list is one of the most powerful time management tools available.

#2: Schedule Your Time

Scheduling your time reduces stress and releases energy.

The very act of using your organizational skills to plan your day, week, and month gives you a greater feeling of control and will help increase productivity throughout your day. You’ll feel in charge of your life. It actually increases your self-esteem and improves your sense of personal power.

#3: Start Early

To increase productivity, start your day early. The more time you take to sit, think, and plan, the better organized you will be in every area of your life.

In the biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women, almost all of them have one thing in common. They developed great organizational skills and the habit of going to bed at a reasonable hour and rising early.

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Many successful people arise at 5:00 A.M. or 5:30 A.M. so that they can have enough time to think and plan for the coming day. As a result, they are always more effective than those who sleep in until the last possible moment.

A few minutes of quiet reflection before you begin any undertaking can save you many hours executing the task. When you get up early and plan your day in advance, you tend to be more calm, clear-headed, and creative throughout the day.

#4: Fine-tune Your Organizational Skills

Resolve to improve your organizational skills and use a filing system both at home and at work.

As much as 30 percent of working time today is spent looking for misplaced items. These are things that are lost because they have not been filed correctly. Does this sound familiar to you? There are few activities so frustrating as spending your valuable time looking for misplaced materials because no thought was given to a filing and retrieval system.

The best and simplest of all filing systems is an alphabetical system. In conjunction with a filing system, you should have a master list or record of all your files in a single place. This master list gives you the title of each file and tells you where the file is located.

#5: Increase Productivity With Prime Time

Organize your life so that you are doing creative work during your internal ‘‘prime time.’’

Your internal prime time is the time of day, according to your body clock, when you are the most alert and productive. For most people, this is in the morning. For some people, however, it is in the evening. Occasionally, a writer, an artist, or an entertainer may find that her prime time is in the early hours of the morning

It is important that you be aware of your internal prime time so that you can schedule your most important projects accordingly to increase productivity. Your most important work usually requires that you be at your very best, rested, alert, and creative. What time of the day do you most feel this way?

You must also be aware of external prime time. This is the time when your customers or clients are most readily available. Each person should give some thought to structuring their day for both their external and internal prime times.

#6: Air Travel Productivity

An important area where organizational skills are important is travel, especially air travel.

Some years ago, Hughes AirWest, a regional airline that once served the western U.S., hired a consulting firm to compare the efficiency of flying first-class with flying economy-class, and with working in a normal office.

What they found was that one hour of uninterrupted work time in an airplane yielded the equivalent of three hours of work in a normal work environment. The keyword was ‘‘uninterrupted.’’ If you plan ahead and organize your work before you leave for the airport, you can increase productivity by accomplishing an enormous amount while you are in the air.

I hope you enjoyed this article on increasing productivity through better organizational skills. If you have any other time management tips, please feel free to share it below.

To learn more about maintaining a product lifestyle, visit my time management resource page for a wealth of resources and training material!

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6 Time Management Skills For A Productive Life
Article Name
6 Time Management Skills For A Productive Life
Brian Tracy provides 6 time management tips to help increase productivity throughout the day and improve organizational skills for a more efficient lifestyle.
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Brian Tracy International
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

  • Nic Magnuson

    Yes! I agree. My girlfriend always wonders why I use Microsoft Word instead of an online word processing application like Google docs, but I find that it really helps me focus.

  • We love the no. 2 tip the most! Starting your day early gives you more time to prepare, plan and organize your thoughts, schedule, activities, etc. We’ve actually included it in our blog, Mr. Tracy, hope you’ll check it out.


  • Colvin Warner

    Thanks for the tips. Tip #7 seems to be useful, haven’t tried it. Preparing a to-do list in the morning or day before helps a lot to increase productivity. I prepare my list with the help of proofhub. Are you using any tool for this?

  • Taroka Reziak

    This is great Brian! This is a very helpful post for us. That’s true, we really have to manage our time for us to do our jobs efficiently, and this is applicable for sales professionals because if we manage our time perfectly we can be more productive and organized as a professional salesperson. Time management has to be a part of our routine. We all know that time is gold; we should not waste it. This blog perfectly fits with http://www.invisume.com/, a platform that connects sales professionals with the best leading companies and it provides 100 percent privacy because with Invisume you can apply for new job without your current company knowing that you are searching. It gives me the chance to find more opportunities. Do post more helpful blogs Brian! Thanks!

  • Time management is a very difficult process for many people to intake. We tend to multi-task so often that we fail to complete our most important tasks. I like the tips that you gave out above, but what usually helps me is using a bullet journal. It’s pretty much writing down all your task you have to complete either that month or week in a journal and crossing out whatever you completed.

  • Michael Gregory II

    Great article! I’m currently working on my time management skills as well. So far, I have a few useful strategies that usually helps me out if you’d like to check them out: http://www.michaelgregoryii.com/2014/10/15/developing-time-management-skills/ However, lately I’ve been working on a new type of organizing journal. It’s basically called the Bullet Journal, which allows you to write all your goals for that month in a journal and you cross them out on a daily calendar depending on which one you complete.

  • Adil Hussain

    A befitting article worthy of applause. Your points are properly focused on the main areas where we tend to let things fall apart. Great insight and advice. I wish I found this sooner. I didn’t know this until today. Awesome!

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