In surveys done across many job categories, including construction, service industries like hotels and restaurants, small business owners and corporate moguls, a large percentage of those surveyed said that they felt they needed to improve their time management skills so that they didn’t need to spend as much time at work.

Many wanted to reduce the time they had to spend reworking tasks they had already performed because they had done it wrong the first time.

You will find a few simple tips below, to get your time under control.

If you do these things, you will find that, even in the most stressful and time-consuming jobs, you can reduce the hours you spend at work, and arrive home in a less stressed, more family-friendly frame of mind!

Make a ‘To Do’ List – Then put these items in order, starting with the most critical. If you could only get one thing done today, what would be the most important? Cross the items off the list as you complete them, and don’t be distracted. Stay focused!

Since we all have interruptions, be sure that, if you don’t accomplish the items toward the bottom of you list on that day, you add them to your list the next day so you don’t drop them. Use a daily planner if that makes things easier.

Don’t Waste Time – Use your spare minutes well. Take the train to work instead of driving and use that time to read critical reports you may have to review, or read your new equipment training manual on the bus on the way home.

If you are going to take a break during the day and there is someone you have to see, stop by their office and grab them to go for coffee, then talk about the issue and resolve it while you are walking out in the sunshine and enjoying your java.

You’ll feel like you took a break AND got something accomplished at the same time.

Just Say ‘No’ - If your boss wants you to work late and you have a family engagement, but you could work late the next night or come early in the morning, suggest alternatives and see if those will work.

Don’t be so quick to accept the command without probing to find out if there is another way to handle it.

If a co-worker asks you to lunch and you MUST finish a report by 3:00, politely decline the invitation and suggest dinner or coffee later instead, and get the report done.

That way you don’t have to give up the pleasurable experience, but you won’t be stressed out and working until 9:00 p.m. with your boss standing over your shoulder bemoaning the delay.

If the project your boss dumps on your desk is a ‘rush’ but she already gave you something that must be completed today, ask for clarification on priorities and give your boss a reasonable projection of how long it will take to do both projects and whether you can do both.

Don’t just take the project on and then not finish the other task she gave you, or you will both be unhappy. Speak up!

Know Your Brain – Do you know what the Circadian Clock is? It’s that little clock in your brain that controls when you feel the most wide awake and when you want to go to sleep.

If you are a morning person, attack the most difficult problems in the morning when your brain is the sharpest. That way you won’t have to rework the problem the next day when you discover that the ‘afternoon you’ made the wrong decision about the budget.

Get Enough Sleep – Your brain can operate on a short nap for a day, but if you are not sleeping enough, you will not think well or process information and you’ll make mistakes and end up staying late to fix them.

Advertise Your Schedule - If you hate getting phone calls first thing in the morning, before you get your day organized and have your first cup of coffee, then let your calls go to voicemail until you feel ready to take the calls.

You will be more focused and get more accomplished, instead of having to say, “I’ll have to get back to you on that” after hearing a ten minute explanation of the latest crisis.

Be Your Own Master – Sit down with a pencil and paper or a calendar and figure out how much free time you have.

Schedule and plan your activities at work and get your personal and family obligations on the calendar. Treat these personal obligations with the same respect you would treat a business meeting.

Don’t cancel personal appointments unless it is a real work emergency and, in the case where you MUST cancel, reschedule immediately and apologize to your friend or family member.

Explain what is happening so they don’t think they are unimportant to you. And be sure to keep the appointment you make with them the next time!

Adebola Oni

Author's Bio: 

Article written by Adebola A. Oni. You can visit his website, for more of his life-changing articles. His blog at is also worth visiting.