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Time Management Tips

Updated on September 5, 2016

Can you Stop for a Quick Question?

I don't know about you, but time seems to fly whether I'm having fun or not...!

Has anyone ever asked you: "what did you do today"? And you really had to stop and think.

Have you ever looked at the clock and wondered: "where has the day gone"?

Did you know that it takes 5 minutes of Recovery Time to get back on track after a 30 second interruption?

This means losing an average of 2.1 hours per day because of unnecessary interruptions and recovery time!

This can include a call from a telemarketer, a knock on the door from a salesman, even a call / visit you weren't get the idea. And that 2.1 hours seems conservative, to be perfectly honest (LOL)!

What can be done about these interruptions?

I am striving to get better at limiting my availability. I can check my phone message through the day. I do not need to answer my door unless I am expecting someone, which is also a safety consideration.

I'm trying to get better with e-mails and social media. As my work and passions are teaching and writing, the very computer that I work with can also be a source of distraction and interruption.

There is high potential for communication breakdown, especially when working in groups. It can be dizzying when trying to remember if all parties have received the same information, as well as time consuming in the tracking.

Pink Floyd: Time


  • You receive a group e-mail. You do not always have to make a response. Or your response can be a simple: "I completely agree with ____"; "Sounds good".
  • You can plan times of the day that are dedicated make phone calls and respond to e-mails. I find this works especially great with my students. Nurses work all shifts yet those of us who work from home do not have office hours 24/7. I also write one e-mail and answer several shorter e-mails the student may have sent.
  • So much time is wasted in 'verification communication' by follow-up calls or additional e-mails after the first communication. As a current instructor and former administrator, I strive to put responsibility where it belongs.

Let it Go...

Sit back with your eyes closed, no interruptions and listen to the soothing instrumentals and the insightful lyrics of this classic Pink Floyd song: "Time".

Time is a precious and short commodity. Take as much control of your time as you possibly can... one moment at a time.

I am a work in progress. I have the tendency to be a perfectionist, having a difficult time saying 'no'. I am also curious and easily distracted.

According to Audri and Jim Lanford, we can get 3-5 times more done by eliminating interruptions and distractions by focusing on the projects and tasks that are the most important to you -- even for just 15 to 55 minutes.

As such I have started very slowly, with 15 minute time increments of focusing on one task I want to get accomplished at a time. I set a timer and am amazed at how much I can accomplish in such a short time without interruptions! Try it and see for yourself.

Recent studies have shown that standing up and stretching after about 20 to 25 minutes of sitting is healthy for you and helps you be more productive. So, I always get up and put on some music and move after one of my focused tasks.

For me, I strive now to have at least 3 to 5 of these chunks during the day. Time matters.

It's About Time

I have included a sample of sage quotes about time from my collection of quotes, along with some tasty musical selections that are most applicable.

When you have small blocks of time, I hope you'll stop back to check them out:

Be Wise With Time

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.

William Penn

Make use of time, let not advantage slip.
William Shakespeare

Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

Dawes: Give Me Time

Know Your Priorities

If you want to make good use of your time, you’ve got to know what’s most important and then give it all you’ve got.

Lee Iacocca

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?
Henry David Thoreau

Doobie Brothers: Minute by Minute

Moments are Precious

Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.

Lord Chesterfield

You’re writing the story of your life one moment at a time.
Doc Childre and Howard Martin

Aerosmith: I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing

Do What You Are Doing

To do two things at once is to do neither.

Publius Syrus

One cannot manage too many affairs: like pumpkins in the water, one pops up while you try to hold down the other.
Chinese Proverb

Brandon Flowers: The Clock Was Tickin'

Today Matters

Never let yesterday use up today.

Richard H. Nelson

The time for action is now. It’s never too late to do something.
Carl Sandburg

Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.
Art Buchwald

Speaking of 'Time Flying' ...

I received a congratulatory e-mail from HubPages staff for my 3-year anniversary milestone.

In turn, I couldn't let another moment pass without thanking each of you who have become my friends and colleagues along this wonderful journey. I continue to learn something each and every day. I feel valued and respected in this community where we have so many differences, yet in many ways we are the same.

It seems fitting that I write a piece on time management at this time! I thank each and every one of you who take the time to support my writing, whether on HubPages or my website. I will try my best to read your work as well. Now I believe it's about time for Spring!

Reference: Audri and Jim Lanford's Newsletter

© Maria Jordan (March, 2014)


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    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      So good to see you here, Kamalesh50...thanks for your visit and the shares as well.

    • Kamalesh050 profile image

      Kamalesh Chakraverty 

      5 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

      A Brilliant piece of work ! Thanks for sharing. Voted Up & Awesome.

      Have a good day! Best Wishes, Kamalesh

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Thanks for taking the TIME...Have a peaceful weekend, dear Car51.

    • Car51 profile image


      5 years ago

      I MIGHT now be caught up on your Hubs! Difficult to keep up!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Hi John,

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out this 'timely' piece... so happy you enjoyed the music as well.

      Thanks for the votes. Have a great week. Hugs, Maria

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Love this hub Maria. I can totally relate to time flying and all the examples you give. It seems we are always seeing something on the news that happened say 10 years ago and saying it couldn't be so, it seems like only yesterday. You give sound advice and your choice of songs .. perfect.

      Voted up. Bless you.

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Nice that you stopped by, Tolovaj. Your comments are insightful with a delightful humor. I will join you in that 30 hour/ day ... sounds like just the ticket for clearing the inbox!

      I will make the time to visit your writing. Have a great day, Maria

    • Tolovaj profile image


      6 years ago

      Our time is limited and nobody knows when the end will come and yet we spend it with even less responsibility than money ... I didn't know about 5 minutes of recovery for 30 seconds of interruptions. This means I need at least 30 hours a day just for recovery?


      Thanks for some good tips. I'm sure my time was used well!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Please forgive the lateness of my response, my friends.

      Genna, Your comment is lovely and you (obviously) never need to apologize for being late.

      Thanks, Rebecca, nice to see you here.

      eddy, We all have so much on our plate that it is a treat whenever you stop by.

      Linda, Great to see you and thanks for the votes and comments.

      Hoping you all have a peaceful weekend. Hugs, Maria

    • kerlund74 profile image


      6 years ago from Sweden

      How well I regognize myself... I am "good" at doing a lot of stuff in the same time, and get very few of them done. This is a great hub, voted up and beautiful!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Well Maria I don't know how but I seem to have lost track of you on here. However nice to be here now and thank you for this very interesting and useful hub.

      Voted up for sure and wishing you a great weekend.


    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Awesome thoughts! Time and priorities hand in hand!

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      (My apologies for being so late…I was away for a bit.)

      “This will only take a minute.” Very clever!

      This is such a timely hub (no pun intended) for me. I went away for a few days and upon my return, faced a landslide of work, phone calls, a hundred details to take care of, etc., etc., etc. (I love that word, etcetera…it’s another time saver. )

      Maria, I don’t know how you manage with everything on your plate. You are AMAZING, my friend. :-)

      “Recent studies have shown that standing up and stretching after about 20 to 25 minutes of sitting is healthy for you and helps you be more productive. So, I always get up and put on some music and move after one of my focused tasks.” I have begun to do this as well…it’s been much too cold for my usual walks.

      I love the wonderful quotations and videos you have included in this insightful article.

      Congratulations on your 3-year anniversary! You are one of those special people that make the hubville experience something to treasure -- just by being you. Hugs. (Voted Up and sharing.)

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Pamela,

      I always smile when I see a visit from you. Thanks for your meaningful and thoughtful remarks. We have much in common and I treasure our friendship. Have a lovely week.

      Hugs, Maria

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Congrats on your 3 year anniversary. I really loved your hub on time management. I am a perfectionist also and get numerous interruptions during the day. I am going to follow some of those guidelines you laid out so well. You are always an inspiration to me. Awesome hub!

    • marcoujor profile imageAUTHOR

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Happy and peaceful, Sunday, my friends,

      Peg, The word "inbox" triggers a thought now every time I hear it. Something like: "no matter how diligent we are, when we die...our inbox will still likely be full". So that word reminds me to take time to smell the our case, enjoy the music and good friends!

      Sha, You cannot help but bring me a smile today. I am picturing you relaxing with your book in 79-degree temps and feeling warm at the very thought...simply time/ oops, mind over matter as we brace for 12-inches of snow...'again'!! Would have been here sooner but we lost electricity awhile...for no apparent reason... I know, I know, Mother Earth is very very angry... :( We are catching up to the west coast now with steady rains now.

      Faith, No alarm clock for you this morning, sweet friend and bless you for being such a multi-tasker. You do remind me in so many ways of a nurse with your caring and sharing heart. So happy you found this on your journey this morning and enjoyed some of the tunes as well. You cannot help but bring on a smile.

      Oh dear Bill, I was 'this/close' to including that classic Chicago song but I was feeling like a jukebox as it was. And, darlin, if I were on HubPages for the money, I would need a good Psychiatrist!! I truly love the community as you do.

      Indeed and true, Mike. I agree the management of our time is our business. The older I get, the firmer I get on 'at least' that issue...(LOL). I appreciate your analogy and your visit so much.

      Now, Miss Becky, I did not even enter the zone of the "caregiver" or the "nurse", where interruptions are the norm more than the exception. Mom had an apt expression: "it's a wonder I can hear myself think" that comes to mind for folks like us, sweetheart...! I am beyond excited about your move...the climate will be wonderful for you and hubby. I wish you much positive energy and love on this next leg of your life journey.

      Hi Ruby, Hope you enjoyed that stretch and am not at all surprised we have the same loves with our tunes. Oh I would love to read of your nursing adventures in Florida as you can fit it in your schedule. Hope you enjoyed a beautiful birthday, girlfriend.

      Ah, Car51, what a beautiful passage, one that I will need to put in my special book of quotes. The thought of Mother Theresa brings peace to me. Good to see you today.

      Thank you for stopping back, dear Faith. I always read you loud and clear, my friend! Love you...

      Jackie, Happy "Big 3" to you as well! It is unbelievable really, isn't it? Always so lovely to see you and yes, I agree that PF is not everyone's cup of tea (LOL)!

      Martie, We are true soul sisters and do a good job reminding each other to stay on track (well, kinda anyway...LOL!) Thanks for your visit and kindest words!

      Hugs to you all, Maria

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      Managing time in order to achieve all goals is one of the 15 laws of success, according to Napoleon Hill. We learn with age how to determine priorities in a matter of seconds, but to avoid interruptions seems to become more difficult with age, therefore we have to stick to our resolutions. Ignoring my personal emails and notifications of online activities while I am at work, or while I am writing an article, is a big challenge for me. But meeting it eliminates those feelings of guilt we experience when we realize at the end of a day that we haven't achieved all our daily goals according to priority.

      Mar, I honestly think you are a successful time manager. May the next year in Hubpages be filled with many pleasant surprises :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      I have been here three years too, just lately. Love your advice, and don't know that I would choose Pink Floyd as my relaxation music, but I get your drift and I am forever asking where time goes because the day is over and nothing accomplished! lol ^+

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, I meant to add CONGRATS on the three years, and time truly flies! Sorry about the typo on "church" as this phone is so sensitive : )

      Love you,

      Faith Reaper

    • Car51 profile image


      6 years ago


      Take time to think – It is the source of all power

      Take time to read – It is the foundation of all wisdom

      Take time to play-It is the source of perpetual youth

      Take time to be quiet-It is the opportunity to seek God

      Take time to be aware-It is the opportunity to help others

      Take time to love and be loved-It is God’s greatest gift

      Take time to laugh-It is the music of the soul

      Take time to be friendly-It is the road to happiness

      Take time to dream-It is what the future is made of

      Take time to pray-It is the greatest power on earth

      Take time to give-It is too short a day to be selfish

      Take time to work-It is the price of success

      Author Unknown

      (This was very special to Mother Theresa!)

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Mar, I have often wondered how you do so much, now i know. I can learn from your suggestions. Sometimes i feel overwhelmed, so much to keep up with. You have listed two of my favorite singers, Michael Mcdonald and Jim Croce. Right now i am going to take the ' time ' and listen. Later i hope to write about my time spent in Leesburg Fl. I used to go there every winter and return home every March. I worked at Healthsouth Hospital when i did this, i did this for eight years. Healthsouth was so good to let me go then work the summer months for them. I enjoyed reading this, now i must stand up and

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      6 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Wonderful thoughts and explanations. Now I know why I never get anything done. By the time I am recovering from being interrupted, I have been interrupted 2-4 more times. I guess that is what you get when you are a caregiver.

      I am getting ready to move again. This time, across the country. We have gotten an opportunity to buy a house in AZ. We will all be so happy to get out of this rainy, cold area. Now I have to get someone else to intercept my interruptions so I can go through things and get sorted and packed.

      Happy Anniversary.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      6 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      When I was a young man, time flew by as if I were at the controls of a jet. Work all day and school late into the evening. Then as I began to age, the jet became a propeller driven craft. Now I am in a glider. The management of my time is one thing I should have never left to others.

      Interesting Hub; it is filled with great ideas. Hopefully some young eyes find the time to read it. Listening to the music as time allows.

      Happy Anniversary.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Three Year Anniversary dear friend. I know for a fact that I would not still be here at HP if it were not for people like you. My friends are my friends, and no offer of "more money" will take me away from my friends. Let others cuss HP for a variety of reasons. I know I am a lucky man because of HP and the friends I have found.

      Time....does anybody really know what time it is? :) Have a lovely day and, as always,



    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      You are very wise my sweetest friend, Maria! I am enjoying my ride to church this morning, and I heard something pop in. I checked what it was, and it was an email notifying me that my dear friend had published a hub. I thought, oh, I will enjoy reading her pearls of wisdom as I ride along and, of course, I did! Our churhc is three cities up the Interstate. This is so ironic, as someone just asked me how did I do all that I do and work full-time, and in my response back I did not think to tell her how important time management is until after I had already commented back. I am a multi-tasker, and get up at the crack up dawn and do so much even before many people are awake or do in half a day. I will take your great advice about getting up from my desk and stretching and taking those two breaks a day I am given! It is so important in all of our multi-tasking to do it to the best of our abilities and not to do it halfway and half done! In other words, still do things as if you had all the time in the world ... good quality.

      I just love this well-written, thought-provoking piece. Your choices of great music is perfect and I just love them all and enjoying them as I ride.

      Your quotes about time are awesome. I will share one with you that is hanging on my wall at work in a print, "What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it." I believe it is an anonymous quote.

      I am always filled with joy to take out time in my day to enjoy my friends ... and their work!

      Have a great day and I know you will be spending it wisely.

      Up and more and sharing

      Hugs and much love,

      Faith Reaper

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      Maria, I can't believe how time flies. It isn't until I see how much older my son, niece and friends children are that I realize I've gotten older too. How did that happen? Time is something we seem to never have enough of yet it passes without our awareness. All the more reason to grab each moment with gusto.

      Congrats on your three year anniversary. My, how time flies! LOL.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      6 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      Time management is something we can all use a little help doing. Your suggestions for setting aside certain times to do email and return phone calls are great. I remember the old "in boxes" where we attended to work as prioritized rather than simply because of its receipt. Up and useful. And I loved your choices of music to go along with your ideas.


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