When you’re stressed out, nothing brings you back to center like a great quote. When it’s a crazy Calendar day or a herculean task that’s gotten under your skin, the right quote can help.
Some of the world’s greatest minds have weighed in on time management. You can use their wise words to inspire you to be more efficient, work harder, and achieve more.
For maximal effect, quotes should be used as mantras. Post the ones that resonate with you somewhere visible, and repeat them to yourself when you need that extra little push. Chew on these seven quotes on time management — plus advice on how and when to apply them.
A plan is, a schedule is when. It takes both a plan and a schedule to get things done. — Peter Turla
Plans are easy to come by. Most people have goals and aspirations. What sets the successful apart from the rest is that they take those plans and put them into action.
Scheduling your plan is critical. Break your plan into pieces, and put each one on the calendar with a sub-series of action steps.
Small tasks are much less intimidating. And as you knock them out, you’ll build momentum to keep going.
A year from now you will wish you had started today. — Karen Lamb
One of the biggest threats to your time management is procrastination. Ignoring problems only makes them larger later. If you let a year pass by without accomplishing anything, you’ll have to work even harder to catch up.
Even if it’s just a few minutes each day, commit to doing something on your projects. Use your online calendar to hold yourself accountable. When the next year passes, you can look back gratefully on what you’ve accomplished instead of wishing you had the courage even to try.
Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much can be done if we are always doing. — Thomas Jefferson
Have you ever complained that there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it? Well, there’s plenty of time in the day. The question is, how are you using it? Consciously choosing to be productive unlocks the full day, enabling you to accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Try time blocking. In your online calendar, decide how you’ll spend every hour of your day. Move on when you get a notification about your next time block. At the end of the day, look back at just how much you’ve managed to accomplish.
The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time. — Mozart
Many people like to claim they’re great at multitasking. The truth is, multitasking can be an inefficient use of your time. By completing two tasks at once, your pace or quality of work won’t be as high as they would if you just took on one task at a time. This may require you to revisit both tasks later, costing you even more time.
When you schedule a task in your online calendar, focus all of your efforts on it. Once the job is done, turn your attention to the next. Doing so will help you perform better and feel less frazzled.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. — Abraham Lincoln
Honest Abe teaches a valuable lesson about preparation: Time isn’t only for action; it should also be for preparation.
In Lincoln’s example, spending most of his time sharpening the axe allows him to chop down the tree much more quickly than if he’d simply started hacking at the tree right away.
Don’t neglect prep time with your own tasks. Before a meeting, for instance, take a half-hour or so to put together an agenda. That way, you’ll get more value out of the time you spend meeting.
Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days. — Zig Ziglar
The great equalizer in this world is time. What you do with that time is up to you. Think through your priorities, and break down your days accordingly.
In some cases, this means saying “no” to things that don’t belong in your day. It’s up to you to find your direction in life. If you don’t choose your own direction, someone else will select it for you.
Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. — Marthe Troly-Curtin
Rest is just as important as productivity. If you don’t take any time for yourself, you’ll burn yourself out pretty quickly.
Realize that resting and relaxing are OK. What’s important is being deliberate. Don’t let your R&R time rule your life, and you’ll enjoy it that much time.
Use your online calendar to make sure you get the downtime you need without overdoing it. Particularly important is your sleep cycle. A good night’s sleep is essential for a productive day.
Managing your time well is no walk in the park. Choose one of these quotes, put it in a prominent place, and remind yourself just how efficient you can be with your time.