7 Counterintuitive Time Management Tips That Really Work

When you think of a successful CEO, you probably liken that person to Superman. It feels like a distant reality that someone can run a company, spend time with family, exercise every day, and somehow manage to write a book too. You know the kind of person we’re talking about because there are loads of these successful people out there. You can be like that, too. Here are six time management hacks from the world’s most successful people.

Develop a Daily Routine

It’s nice to have some level of structure before a busy day. If you can come up with a morning routine that you stick to, you’ll be ready to take on whatever comes your way throughout the rest of your day.

Stop Wasting Time

This sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much time is wasted unnecessarily. If you’re waiting in line, check off some of your to-do items. Or when you’re driving, listen to a podcast or audiobook that will teach you something new to implement into your life. To put it simply, train your brain always to be productive.

Make To-Do Lists that you Actually Do

How many loose papers with untouched to-do items have you accumulated over the years? Set aside a few minutes at the beginning of your day, every day, to make a to-do list that you will knock out. Make that promise to yourself, and don’t break it.

Reinvent Meetings

Take it from American businessman and billionaire, Mark Cuban: "The only way you're going to get me for a meeting is if you're writing me a check.” Plenty of successful people avoid meetings like the plague. Why? They are almost always a waste of time. If you really need to schedule a meeting, have a streamlined agenda and a time limit for the meeting. Otherwise, migrate your meetings to an email chain or work chat platform like Slack.

Reduce the Number of Decisions You Have to Make

Steve Jobs wore the same outfit every day so that he didn’t have to mull over a bunch of wardrobe options every morning. Barack Obama limits his outfits to gray or blue suits. Nick Taranto used to only wear shoes without laces, so he didn’t have to tie them. You may think that trivial decisions only take seconds away from your time, but those are seconds you’ll never get back.

Turn Your Tasks into Games

Get competitive with yourself. Instead of thinking, “Ugh, I have to get this done by noon,” say, “I bet I can get this done before noon!” If you want to ratchet it up a notch, try using a gamifying to-do list app. Have fun with it!