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Learn a Skill Wednesday: How to Manage Your Time Better

“A man who dares to waste one hour of his life has not yet discovered the value of life.” Wise words from American scientist, Charles Darwin, which still hold significant weight centuries after they were pronounced.

Managing our time efficiently will always be an essential ingredient for living a successful life, both professionally and personally. It’s what separates the organised from the disheveled, and how many are able to balance the perfect work-life balance without breaking a sweat. However, only 40% of professionals are able to achieve efficient time management in the workplace according to a Microsoft study done in 2005, the others being productive only three out of five working days as a result. This definitely raises some cause for concern.

Read on to find out how you can personally manage your time better while working:

1. Plan, plan and plan: Every day must start out with a somewhat detailed plan of the tasks to be done, along with set times of when to do them. There is something about the clarity this brings that helps to ward off distractions, (a bit on that soon), and keep you focused throughout the day. With this in place, you are guaranteed to achieve more in less time than you would have without a plan.

2. Keep meetings short: Or if possible, avoid them altogether. Many of you will concur with us on how much of a time waster they are, particularly when nothing productive is gained eventually. Our advice includes the following – find out if you can be replaced by someone else, do all in your power to make sure the meeting starts and ends on time, and work hard to prevent unnecessary debates from occurring during the meeting.

3. Avoid procrastination: Procrastination has to be the worst enemy of time if it ever had one. It’s like self-sabotage almost, because that one task we try to put off ends up coming back to haunt us, draining us of precious time in the process. If it has to be done now, get it done with no delays.

Read also: 5 Powerful Secrets to Killing the Habit of Procrastination

4. Learn how to say “No”: Not possibly, or maybe. No. Saying no can you spare you from loading your already hectic workload with even more tasks from a colleague, friend or family member. Learn to say no, and explain the answer behind your response if appropriate. Hopefully, he or she would understand.

5. Fight off distractions: This step is an obvious one ingrained in most of our minds already, but yet, it’s tough to ignore that inviting blinking light on our phones or check through our emails every waking minute, particularly when the task at hand is very boring or challenging. A solution for this is to set playtime out to have fun with all the distractions, maybe during your lunch hour.

We hope these help!


Read also:

Learn a Skill Wednesday: 5 People Skills That Will Help You Succeed

7 Ways to Build Your Personal Network




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Ify Halim is a Writer and media enthusiast based in Lagos. She enjoys writing self-help/inspirational articles with published work in UYD Magazine, Edufrica, Our Stories Inc. and The Keele Concourse. She currently works at, Nigeria’s Information Portal. Follow her on Twitter @MissHalim or visit her online space at

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