10 traits of people who are great at managing their time

We sometimes find ourselves swamped with work and unfinished chores while having so little time. Everything seems to be fast-paced, and we’re running out of breath.

Meanwhile, the people who are great at managing their time seem to have everything under control, beating deadline after deadline with extra time to spare for themselves and their loved ones.

People who have mastered the art of time management possess traits allowing them to be productive and remain composed in tough situations.

If you want to learn how to manage your time, you might want to check out some of these traits:

1) They Know Their Priorities

People who are great at managing their time usually know their priorities well – this is an important trait for keeping all your responsibilities in check while avoiding serious burnout.

They work hard by breaking up their daily tasks and defining the urgent and important ones.

Knowing their priorities allows them to stay focused despite having lots of work to finish.

I know that all of us work pretty hard to achieve our goals.

But sometimes, giving your all on many things all at once does more harm than good – in our attempt to do everything at once, we sometimes end up finishing nothing at all, taking a toll on our physical and mental health.

People with excellent time management skills think doing this is actually impractical, if not completely unrealistic.

2) They’re Usually Great at Compartmentalizing Their Days and Fulfilling Responsibilities

I always admired how people who manage their time well can organize their schedules efficiently, compartmentalizing their days according to their goals and capabilities.

This helps them stay focused on their priorities and less anxious about loads of work and deadlines to clear.

Planning out your day may keep you productive, avoiding tasks from bleeding into each other.

I know some people aren’t the type to list their tasks and organize schedules or create calendars. But if you want to manage your time better, you might want to start practicing this.

3) They Don’t Usually Give in to Unhealthy Habits

Another trait I always wanted to practice because of people with great time management skills is their discipline in avoiding unhealthy habits.

I know having a spontaneous night out with friends or binge-watching your favorite TV show on a workday can be pretty tempting.

These might not seem harmful at first, but they might snowball into a series of reactions that disrupt your overall routine.

People who manage their time well do their best to stick to healthy routines and avoid activities that disrupt their flow – they always allot the right time if they want to indulge themselves.

They also avoid habits that are bad for their mental and physical health.

Personally, I think that my anxiety is the reason why I procrastinate, especially when dealing with a big project.

I learned this the hard way when I realized I was slowly losing focus, making me more anxious about fulfilling my tasks.

Because of this, I found myself procrastinating until I was left with loads of work to do with deadlines coming near.

That’s when I decided to change my routine into a healthier one, ditching unhealthy habits like staying up late or scrolling aimlessly on social media.

Practicing this over time made me calmer and more composed in fulfilling my responsibilities.

4) They Don’t Overwork Themselves

As people who manage their time well also know their priorities, they don’t usually overwork themselves.

They don’t set unrealistic goals and strain themselves. Because of their self-awareness, they listen to their bodies and trust their own pace.

But this doesn’t mean that people with great time management skills get too lenient with the things they do – this only means they work smart.

They know when a task is taking too long to finish with impractical methods.

Instead of sticking with old practices, they research and try out different techniques that can possibly optimize their task.

5) They Know When to Step Back and Reassess the Situation

I’ve mentioned earlier that people who manage their time well don’t usually overwork themselves.

I noticed that it’s because they know when to step back for a while and reassess the situation instead of straining themselves.

I realized that doing this is also important to stay productive and stick to your schedule.

I noticed that people who manage their time efficiently stay productive because they don’t do tasks on autopilot.

When working on something, they’re focused enough to know which practices work and which don’t.

This allows them to know when to pause and recalibrate when things might not be working out as planned.

Knowing when to step back allows you to see the bigger picture and come up with new ideas to improve your work.

6) They Proactively Learn New Ways to Optimize Their Tasks

Most people who manage their time effectively tend to look always for new ways to optimize their tasks.

They do things wholeheartedly, so they’re also usually passionate about improving their routines, eventually elevating their quality of life.

Aside from their passion, they also know that the times are changing and responsibilities are piling up.

Sticking to old ways may not be efficient in the long run. They love learning and trying out new things that will help them become more productive.

That’s why most people I know who can manage their time effectively are usually updated on many trends and discoveries.

7) They Value Relaxation and Recreation in the Same Way as Work

I noticed that people who manage their time well also take relaxation seriously. I used to think productivity means working hard all the time, but this isn’t entirely true after all.

I realized that for anyone to be able to work hard, they must also get enough rest – this allows them to be in an optimal state to finish their tasks with excellent results.

Truly productive people ensure squeezing relaxation and recreation into their time.

They believe that if you want to push yourself to your limits, you must first be kind to yourself by listening to your body and fulfilling its needs.

That’s why they value quality time with themselves and loved ones the same way they do with work.

I used to work even on weekends and believed resting is only for when you don’t have anything to do, not a necessity.

But then I noticed over time that I started getting unmotivated and less creative – I’d rather stay in bed, scrolling on my phone.

Soon I realized that I burned out from working continuously and failing to have some quality time for myself.

And so I started to slow down and appreciate things in life I didn’t notice before.

8) They Remain Composed in Stressful Situations

An important trait people with great time management skills have is their ability to remain calm in stressful situations.

Like many people, I also used to panic or get anxious when things didn’t go as planned.

That’s why I also tend to act without thinking things through, usually causing more unwanted situations to disrupt my routine.

I’m sure they also experience anxiety and indecision and deal with unhealthy thoughts like most, if not all, of us.

But I’ve noticed that they practice healthy ways to cope when facing stressful situations.

They pause, take deep breaths, and ground themselves in the reality that these things are only temporary and everything is going to be okay.

I know this is easier said than done because the truth is that it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process, and everyone is a work in progress.

9) They Can Quickly Get Their Points Across

People who manage their time usually maintain their routine by keeping themselves productive, ensuring they achieve the best possible results in the shortest time.

And this isn’t exclusive to finishing workloads or improving their lifestyle – it also includes communicating with others and building healthy relationships.

One of the things I noticed with people with great time management skills is that they always go straight to the point without being disrespectful or insensitive.

They don’t usually like mind games or beating around the bush because they want to make the most of every moment.

They believe if you have something to say, you should say it.

10) They’re Often Focused on A Clear Goal

Another important trait I’ve noticed in people who can manage their time effectively is their ability to focus on a clear goal.

They know exactly what they want, so they don’t usually get sidetracked by other things.

They’re also dedicated to reaching their goals. Because of this, you won’t expect them to give up easily.

I think anyone can do things they’re not used to, including managing their time more efficiently, if they have a clear goal in mind.

I’m not saying that things will get easier. But you’ll be surprised that you’re even more capable than you think yourself.

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Lachlan Brown

Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the editor of Ideapod and founder of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 6 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. If you to want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter or Facebook.

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