What's Your Time Management Secret?

Posted by: Jena McGregor on July 28, 2008

Over at another blog I’ve been managing recently on the topic of time management, we’ve had a host of guest bloggers contribute great suggestions on being more productive, staying more organized, and better managing our time and attention. Julie Morgenstern, a widely followed author, reminded us never to check email in the morning. Linda Stone, a former executive at Apple and Microsoft who speaks often on managing our attention so we don’t get too distracted, suggested taking more time for reflection. And David Allen, who has his own cult following of productivity junkies, reminded us not to get too attached to technology. Those are just some of the many helpful hints they’ve offered up. If you haven’t been following the blog, it’s worth checking out.

Now that the experts have spoken, it’s our turn. I spoke with someone the other day that gave me a tip I’m going to try to implement myself: Create a stop-doing list, along with a to-do list. Make a list of the things you’re going to try to stop doing, and check that as often as the list of things you have to do. It’s just as important to not getting overloaded with tasks that are unimportant, that others could be doing, or that just shouldn’t be taking up your time.

Now, I’m asking you: What are the time management secrets you put to use every day? How do you manage the email deluge? What are the ideas you implement to get from your coffee-fueled commute and back home again to the people you really care about? Please leave your ideas here. We’ll print the best ones in a reader-generated list of time management tips in BusinessWeek Magazine.

Reader Comments

Katey M

July 29, 2008 9:03 AM

Hi Jena, Good tips. I don't have any breakthrough ideas, but ever since I started working part-time I've started watching the clock like a hawk. It's amazing what you can get done when you know you literally only have an hour (and not one minute more). Sometimes I'll even set a timer to make it a game. I also try to use non-desk time for brainstorming (in the shower, on a walk, in the car). My best ideas come when I'm most relaxed and not under the gun.

Carlos Ugalde Sr

August 5, 2008 12:06 AM

Hi Jena
I recently read an article about how knowledge workers have the attention span of a sparrow. I discussed this with several employees at the internet marketing company WebMetro that I manage and surprisingly all agreed. Recently we have come up with a strategy to better manage our time by separating our work day into two tracks. "The vital few" and the "Miscellaneus many" which really seems to be working great.

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How can you manage smarter? Bloomberg Businessweek contributors synthesize insights from the brightest business thinkers, critique the latest management trends, and comment on leaders in the news.

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