Four Simple Steps To Mastering Time Management


This is a guest post from Todd Goldfarb of We The Change. Wednesday is Productivity Day at

In today’s fast-pace, high energy and ever-changing world it is absolutely imperative for each of us to cultivate effective time management skills. Without useful planning mechanisms in place, many people go through their entire day only to wonder “what happened” at the end.

Furthermore, the clutter we experience in our daily lives causes us to become more reactionary instead of proactive. The purpose of this article is to walk through a few valuable practices for managing your time, and to help you maintain a positive and proactive lifestyle:

1. Generate a Daily Schedule

Every night before you go to bed, write out a detailed schedule for your next day. It is crucial to not only include the “usual” tasks but purposefully add the more creative endeavors you seemingly never get to. How many of us have wonderful ideas that fall to the wayside because we don’t have the time to focus on them? A great way to combat this, and make the time, is to physically schedule in the new project. Additionally, generating a daily schedule helps you get more accomplished, as working under a timetable subconsciously helps you put more attention to each task. The most important thing is once you make the schedule that makes sense for you, stick to it!

2. Carry a notepad or audio recorder at all times

Inspiration can come at the strangest of times, and for this reason it is great practice to carry a notepad or audio voice recorder so you can capture your new ideas right away. If you are in a meeting and something just comes to you, whip out your notepad and start writing. Later on you can think more about the concept, but it’s critical to get it on paper (or on digital) right away. Luckily, now that you are scheduling yourself for the next day you are certain to have time to work on the new idea.

3. Schedule in Relaxation

Most people, once they begin scheduling themselves, forget to add in times of relaxation. Whatever your method of relaxing, it is imperative to add recreational time in your daily schedule. Whether you take a walk after lunch, get a massage, go see your chiropractor, or talk/email with your friends make sure you not only leave time for it but actually do it!

4. Be Spontaneous

I am well aware that being spontaneous goes against the efficient lessons of the rest of this article, but maintaining a spontaneous attitude is so important that I had to mention it. It can be so fulfilling and healthy to do something unplanned; as long as you don’t make a habit of consistently “being spontaneous” (like not going to work and shirking other responsibilities) then doing things on a whim can do wonders for your life.

(And when you decide to be spontaneous, make a deal with yourself that you won’t spend one second feeling bad about it)!

In conclusion, the explosion of technology and communication has rendered people in a constant state of information bombardment, and in order to be successful and proactive (let alone maintain a level of sanity) it is great practice to habituate the acts of 1) creating a daily schedule; 2) carrying a notepad; 3) scheduling relaxation and 4) being spontaneous at the right times. Try it out, and see how it goes!

—-Todd Goldfarb is a business consultant and entrepreneur located in Manhattan, New York. His passion for nutrition, alternative healing and spiritual practices lead him back to school (in his spare time) where he became a certified holistic health counselor. He founded We The Change as a platform for sharing his unique and diverse perspective on how to be successful both in business and in personal life.

Posted by in Personal Development, Productivity, Time Management | September 26, 2007 | Digg | | Stumble | Print | 8 comments

  • Anna Kravtsov

    u kno i NEVER thought about scheduling in the fun! that is a completely new concept.. i’m going to have to try it..

  • Todd Goldfarb

    Thanks Anna– I’m glad you learned something new! Try it out and see if it works for you…

  • Ev Nucci

    Excellent article. Sometimes we need a reminder how to do the simple things in order to achieve great things. Thanks Todd!

  • Francis Wade

    Cool — his one of the few articles that advocates scheduling activities into the day, and not just adding them to a list.

    At the moment, the GTD approach is the one that gets the most attention, but the truth is that anyone with Outlook or Google Calendar can do what is suggested here, which was not available when GTD was first written and conceived (I don’t think!)

  • Alex Shalman

    There are many resources that have updated GTD to go with current technology. You might want to look into those as well. However, I think it’s much better to just keep it simple!

  • Antonio Thornton

    Thanks for your 4 important steps for time management.

    Be Good!

  • Tina Su – Think Simple. Be Decisive.

    I would also add in: Know your outcome and prioritization.

  • AlelayJaw

    Thanks for the post