I love the subject of time management. I’m always trying to manage my time better – not so I can be super woman but so I can go to sleep at night feeling satisfied with how I spent my day and knowing my ducks are in a row.
Every now and then I come across time management quotes that help me along in my journey toward better time management. Here are five of my favorites and how they’ve impacted my life.
1. If it won’t fit on one page, it won’t fit in one day.
Have you ever made an unrealistic plan for the day? I know I have – all the time! I came across this quote recently (unfortunately I can’t remember what book it was from) and thought it was a great reminder that we need to make realistic plans for our days.
There’s only so much time and certain things have to be done. If we want to ensure that we accomplish the important things, we have to plan realistically. Otherwise we’ll end up spending our time on things that are easy or fun or urgent instead of the things that really matter.
And that brings me to my next favorite . . .
2. “It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busyness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” Stephen Covey
If we spend all our time checking items off our to-do list but then realize at the end of the day that none of those things mattered, what have we really gained? Nothing. Our time needs to be spent on what’s important. “Important” doesn’t necessarily mean big or impressive or awesome. It means “important” – the things that matter in our life. It might be something big like attaining a doctorate degree or it might be something small like sitting with a child for an extra 15 minutes at bedtime because they’re scared. We know what’s most important in our lives (most of the time) – we just don’t always choose to do it.
3. “I want to live my life on purpose, not by default.” Suzanne Saunders.
My long time and very dear friend, Suzanne, said this to me several years ago. I don’t think she knows that I wrote this quote in the front of my planner and I refer to it often.
Living your life by default means letting life, circumstances and others decide how you will spend your time. It means going with the flow. Unfortunately, that isn’t a great approach.
Living life on purpose means having a plan and priorities and living your life in accordance with that plan and priorities. It’s harder than going with the flow but it yields much greater rewards.
4. The more you want to accomplish, the more precise you have to be with scheduling on your calendar.
I’m not sure where I got this quote. I wrote it down a while back because I thought it was one of those obvious but brilliant statements. It doesn’t really need an explanation.
5. “Don’t Go Off List – When you find yourself starting a task, stop and make sure that it is on your list. If not, go back to your list. Stick to the tasks that you know you should be doing.” Time Management Ninja
This is my new favorite and one I’m working on. Obviously we have to use common sense. If we suddenly remember we need to pay our water bill but that task isn’t on our list, we should probably do it anyway. What I’m talking about are the random things we suddenly decide we want to do – like cleaning out the closet or running to Wal-mart for something we don’t have to have right now.
A couple of days ago I was working on my list and out of the blue decided I should transfer all my printed financial information to my computer. That was probably a good idea. But then I decided to do it RIGHT THEN! That was a bad idea. I had a lot to do that day and transferring financial information to the compter wasn’t on the list and I didn’t have time to do it!
Two hours later I realized my mistake. Because of that dumb detour, I would not be able to complete my list and several important things were left undone.
I would love to hear some of your favorite time management quotes and how they changed your life.