Getting Things Done without Time Travel: Five Ways to Manage Your Time

You can’t make time stretch, but here are five tips for spending your time well.

GET THINGS DONE: 1. Focus on results, 2. Set priorities, 3. Write everything down, 4. Break up projects, 5. Simplify.

Image by Christy Eck

If you’re like me, you often get things done at the last minute and you fear falling short of your potential because you haven’t learned to manage your time. You might even wish to travel back in time to reclaim a few ill-spent hours.

In the article “Personal Time Management: One Key to a Leader’s Effectiveness,” Rex W. Allred teaches, “We don’t really manage time but rather we manage ourselves in the amount of time we have. So we are really addressing the subject of self-management.” Here are five of the many ideas Allred gives for self-management:

  1. Focus on getting results, not on being busy. Otherwise, we may “race at high speeds all day only to discover that we have been doing things rather than getting things done.”
  2. Set priorities. We can keep a numbered to-do list or simply ask ourselves, “What is the best use of my time right now?”
  3. Write everything down. Writing down tasks and commitments will free up our minds for more important things while making sure nothing is missed.
  4. Break up projects. We might not have time to complete a project all at once, but we can find 15 minutes here and 30 minutes there to chip away at it until we finish.
  5. Simplify. “Almost every responsibility we have can be simplified,” Allred promises. We should ask ourselves how a task can be done “better, or quicker, or with less cost.”

These techniques are meant to free us to accomplish what is most important to us and the Lord, not to help us do unimportant things faster. Allred closes with the promise that upon practicing self-management, “we will be able to strengthen our contribution to the Lord’s work . . . and our faithfulness in managing carefully one of the most important resources given to us by the Lord in this mortal life—time.”

Read Rex W. Allred’s full article, “Personal Time Management: One Key to a Leader’s Effectiveness,” to learn the rest of his time-management techniques.


—Christy Eck, Mormon Insights

feature image by ahmad ossayli

Find more insights

See what the scriptures have to say about how to spend time well: Ecclesiastes 3:1–8D&C 60:13D&C 101:16.

Check out “Tossing Away Your Time,” by David Dickson, to discover how to become who you want to be while completing daily tasks.

To learn about focusing on the essentials, reach Ardeth G. Kapp’s devotional address, “What Will You Make Room for in Your Wagon?

Read the New Era article “Managing Time and Staying Balanced” to learn how to remain calm while being productive.

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