Are you struggling to meet your deadlines, arrive at appointments or meet-ups on time, or even get out of bed without hitting the snooze button five times?
At the same time, your friend or colleague makes these look almost effortless.
Let me tell you – I feel you!
So, let’s see together what traits masters of time management have and how we can do better, too.
1) They know how to prioritize
If there’s one thing that people with excellent time management skills do better than the rest of us, it’s that they know how to prioritize.
Have you ever heard of the phrase “Eat the frog?”
It’s a famous Mark Twain quote that actually goes like this:
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”
He said this a long time ago, and since then, it’s become a metaphor for effective time management.
The idea is that you recognize your daily frog or the single most challenging task of the day and complete it first thing in the morning.
That way, you’ll have more time for arguably the most time-consuming duty. All the other chores or errands will get less time, which is precisely how much they deserve.
2) They aren’t afraid to say no
Do you struggle to say NO to other people? What about saying no to spending time on doom-scrolling, watching Friends for the millionth time, or watching TikTok videos?
Although there’s nothing wrong with entertainment, if it’s getting in the way of your day-to-day life, you’ll have to cut down on it.
Masters of time management certainly don’t have difficulties in this regard, and they can resist Ross and Rachel’s shenanigans. They can also say no to pointless meetings at work or stand up for themselves if it’s getting in the way of their lifestyle.
3) They have a keen sense of time
People with excellent time management skills also have excellent time awareness skills. This helps them quickly recognize how much time they need for each task, making it very easy to plan their day and manage their time more effectively.
I worked with colleagues who had no clue how much a task should take. They were a mess to work with, and they didn’t last long in the workplace.
This brings us to scheduling.
4) They’re highly-organized
Do you have an active calendar where you keep track of your tasks, deadlines, and schedules? If not, you should start scheduling everything into a calendar asap.
Not only will this help you not forget someone’s birthday, dance recital, or an important business meeting, but you will be more punctual and professional.
You will also be regarded as a caring and passionate person by your loved ones.
I don’t have to tell you what happens if you forget your Nana’s or, God forbid, your Momma’s birthday.
I did it once, almost 20 years ago, and I still get reminded of it by my WHOLE family from time to time.
Although I’m not a master of time management myself (yet), keeping track of tasks helped me become a very organized person.
5) They have the discipline
OK, now that we have a calendar filled out and we acquired time awareness skills, we need the discipline to keep up with it and keep showing up to scheduled events.
A master of time management has all the discipline in the world to get up early, do their thing, and move on to the next.
They also have the discipline to stay motivated, but also to go to bed early and not pass out on the couch every evening.
They understand that procrastination only leads to more stress and less productivity. This leads us to my next point.
6) They stay focused
Are you disciplined for a short time but lacking the focus to continue? For instance, you, I, and millions of others join the gym in January, only to stop going by March and stop paying by July (if you’re lucky).
This is an apparent need for more focus on the goals we set for ourselves. We start out high, only to bow our heads in shame a few weeks later.
That’s not how athletes or even businesses work. They have a plan and a clear path of where they’re going and how to achieve it.
Masters of time management know their WHY. If you don’t know why you’re:
- Getting up in the morning,
- Going to the gym,
- Raising your kids,
- Working at that job,
- Eating healthy
you’ll struggle to be focused and motivated on all those important things.
7) They have a strong sense of self-awareness
Until five years ago, I had almost no sense of self-worth or self-awareness. I had no clear direction in my life, and you know why? I didn’t know my own strengths, weaknesses, or even tendencies.
I was all over the place, stuck in a rut and without self-esteem. Once I started journaling and putting my thoughts on a piece of paper each morning, I finally recognized what was holding me down and what I needed to do to change my life around.
Do you know how much you’re worth? What skills do you have, if any? What skills do you want to learn? Are you getting paid enough for your time?
If not, start writing stuff down. Put important things on the wall so you can see them each day and not forget about them in times of self-doubt. Start focusing on yourself.
8) They know when to delegate
When you know what you’re good at and in which areas you suck, you will want to delegate some tasks to other people.
Here’s an example.
Just the other day, my wife asked me to fix an issue we had with our toilet water tank. Namely, the button to flush the water fell through, and we couldn’t flush anymore.
Long story short, three hours, two trips to the supply store, and a broken fingernail later, the toilet was fixed. I also lost that time for work, so I had to work late.
I probably could have called a plumber to do this in half an hour, and it would have been dealt with.
9) They have a positive attitude
Being positive is a rare quality in today’s world. That’s why meeting a genuinely positive person exuding optimism and confidence is so refreshing.
Time management experts typically have a positive attitude and see time management as an opportunity to achieve their goals and improve their productivity. They don’t see it as a burden or a chore.
Try to see more things in life in a positive light, and see how doing stuff gets easier and easier.
10) They have a can-do attitude
Having a positive attitude and a can-do attitude is not the same. You can have a positive outlook about things and still be bound to your couch, thinking, “Everything will work out okay.”
Having a can-do attitude will get you off the couch and doing things, some of which you don’t like doing at all.
You’ll need to have both of these mindsets to have good time management skills. This brings me to the next point.
11) They’re not afraid to try new techniques or strategies
Learning about new time management strategies and being willing to implement them in your daily life is another trait of time management masters.
Although some like the “don’t fix it if it ain’t broke” attitude, it’s that same attitude that will keep you behind the times.
For instance, not keeping an eye on new AI tools that came out recently and keep rapidly developing means you aren’t utilizing your potential to the fullest.
The Notion AI tool can help you summarize your messy notes into what’s important and actionable. It can also help you translate, make something shorter or longer, or explain the technical jargon, to mention just a couple of features.
There are already dozens of AI tools that can help make you a productivity machine.
12) They are adaptable
People sometimes tell me I’m too rigid. That once I set my mind to something, I don’t like to leer off until I get there. I call that determination and attribute it to being a Taurus.
However, even I recognize the fact that something that worked yesterday might not work today, and I try to adapt to the new reality.
In my quest to become a master of time management, I’ll have to be even more adaptable and adjust my time management strategy as I go.
Because being able to do so is one of the characteristics of highly successful people.
Are you ready to adopt at least 8 to 10 of these traits? If you are, you’ll soon become time management extraordinaire, and someone people will definitely look up to.
If you’re also looking to become more confident, learn what attributes naturally confident people possess.