12 Time Management Strategies of Highly Effective People

It is possible to manage your time and live an effective and productive life!

Have you ever thought of a time in your life when you don’t have to worry about all the work you have to do under “annoyingly short 24 hours?”

Well, it is possible.

I remember when I first started my time management journey. I would calculate how many hours I needed to complete the tasks on my todo list, minus the hours I’d sleep, and minus the hours I needed to do house chores around the house, and by the time I was done, I would have just a little time to complete the tasks I needed to achieve my goal.

It always made me unhappy. But not anymore.

Because I now understand what it means to be a highly effective person and I also know the time management strategies I need to have an effective day.

woman using macbook sitting on white couch
Time Management Strategies of Highly Effective People Pexels.com

You too can learn these strategies in this article.

After reading this article, you will come to understand why you always feel like there’s not enough time.

You will also come to know how to effectively manage your time so that you can even add leisures and fun to your to-do list.

Related post: How to achieve the most in 24 hours

I was thinking back to my week and how I had been able to complete 2 interesting novels in half a month and I was wondering how I managed to do that with a full schedule of work.

I realized it was because of my effective time management strategies which I will be disclosing in this article.

But first, let’s take a look at who a highly effective person is and what makes them highly effective.

Who are Highly Effective People?

person smartphone desk laptop
Highly effective people Pexels.com

Highly effective people are people who seem to have it all figured out.

They don’t struggle with productivity. They get work done as soon as they are given.

They meet deadlines and they are praised for their ability to focus on a task and get it done almost flawlessly.

Highly effective people are not just goal-oriented, they are goal-getters.

They are not just idealists, they are executioners.

They don’t procrastinate and when they read a self-help book, they don’t put it back on the shelf and forget what they’ve read. They put what they’ve learned into action and they’re highly praised for their effectiveness and results.

Does this define you or does it define someone you want to be?

Hold that thought. Let’s take a look at a comparison you should see.

The Difference Between Highly Effective People and Highly Ineffective People.

Highly Effective People: They only set goals they can handle at a time.

Highly Ineffective People: They set too many goals

HEP: They focus on one task at a time

HIP: They multitask

HEP: They get work done as soon as possible

HIP: They put off work till later because they believe there will always be time.

HEP: Everyone wants to work with them because they always deliver qualitatively.

HIP: No one likes to work with them because they never deliver on time.

HEP: They don’t give excuses and they handle responsibilities well.

HIP: They can’t be entrusted with responsibilities because they have a history of giving excuses to flunk the task.

HEP: They never worry about lack of time. They are in control of their time.

HIP: They never have enough time to get anything done.

Highly Effective PeopleHighly Ineffective People
They only set goals they can handle at a time.They set too many goals
They focus on one task at a timeThey multitask
They get work done as soon as possibleThey put off work till later because they believe there will always be time.
Everyone wants to work with them because they always deliver qualitatively.No one likes to work with them because they never deliver on time.
They don’t give excuses and they handle responsibilities well.They can’t be entrusted with responsibilities because they have a history of giving excuses to flunk the task.
They never worry about lack of time. They are in control of their time.They never have enough time to get anything done.

Highly effective people don’t have it all together like you probably assume, they have just learned some things highly ineffective people have not been able to learn.

Do you desire to manage your time effectively like a highly effective person?

Would you like to know some of the not-so-secretive secret time management strategies of highly effective people?

Here are 12 of them.

12 Time Management Strategies of Highly Effective People

round gold colored analog watch with pink leather strap on pink notebook
12 Time Management Strategies of Highly Effective People Pexels.com

Understand your schedule

To manage your time effectively, you need to know your schedule.

It’s as simple as knowing what you plan to do in a day.

 Even if you don’t have an exact knowledge of what you plan to do for the day.

Ensure you have an outline and you can visualize how your day will go.

There are times you might have some thoughts in your head about how you want your day to go but you’re not yet sure.

Write them down. Write down your thoughts and what you think you should do.

By the time you start writing, it will all start coming together.

Write down the chores you need to do, where you plan to go, the work you need to complete and so on

It doesn’t have to be perfect or thoroughly understandable. It’s just a way to empty your mind into writing.

If you need an effective activity dump printable planner to manage your time, you should get the goal-getter weekly printable planner bundle 

Create a thorough plan (set priorities)

After writing down a draft of your daily schedule, arrange them into a plan.

It is important to do this because the draft you wrote was just a dump of what you have to do but you cannot manage your time this way.

Creating a thorough, simple, and easy-to-navigate plan will help you know what to do throughout your day.

Now, fix a time for your plans.

For example,

6:00 am – 7:00 am ✓ Wake up, take a walk, and prepare for the day

7:00 am – 7:30 am ✓ Read a book

When you do this, you will realize how easy it is to navigate your time.

Note that this plan is different from the traditional to-do list where all you do is write out your plans. 

This time, your plans are timely and you can easily know what you plan to do and when.

If you prefer a traditional to-do list, read on.

Also, don’t just create a plan. Set priorities.

What are those things you should do first? The important and urgent things. Put them first and get them done.

Know when you’re most productive

Many don’t know when they’re most productive and this can affect you more than anything else.

If you plan your time in the morning but you’re most productive at night, you might end up not doing as much as you should do.

If you plan your time for the night but you’re most productive during the day, you might end up not doing anything at all.

This is why it’s important for you to know when you’re most productive.

If you’re a night person but would like to become a morning person so you can get more done during the daytime, then you should read this post

Here are ways you can know when you’re most productive:

  • It’s the time you feel more energetic.
  • You have a track record of getting more work done during that time.
  • You don’t feel sleepy during that time.
  • You’re able to assimilate or understand more during that time
  • It is the time you are less distracted.

Block distractions

The problem sometimes is not lack of time, it is usually distractions.

There are times when you’ve made plans and you’re ready to do all you need to do but one thing or the other distracts you so much that by the time you are ready to continue working, the time has gone and you’re wondering how much time you’ve wasted.

The problem is not the time. It’s what you’ve allowed to distract you.

It could be your phone, social media, fun and pleasurable engagements, etc.

Anything could be a distractor. Find them out and restrict them from distracting you.

One thing I always do is to stay conscious of what I have to do and not get carried away by other things.

They may seem harmless or seem like something that won’t take your time, but by the time you realize, you have wasted so much time.

Use a reminder tool

I personally advocate that you use your phone alarm system.

I wrote a whole post about all you could use your phone alarm system to do here.

There’s so much your phone alarm system can do for you and you should start making use of it now.

You might think you’ve got your plans covered by writing it down and setting priorities, but when you start working, you will realize you can’t remember some of the tasks you have to do.

And sometimes you feel reluctant to check your book or planner for what to do next.

This is where a reminder tool comes in.

Your phone alarm system is a great tool for that.

Just set alarms to remind you to check your planner/note at specific times of the day or just rewrite your plans in your alarm.

Learn how to do all these in this post: Things You Never Knew Your Phone Alarm System Could Do

If you prefer an easier tool. An app where you could create your plan and still get reminders to do them,  you should try Todoist

With Todoist, you don’t have to worry about not getting your tasks done or forgetting to get them done.

Try time-blocking

Time-blocking is another time management strategy that will help you get more done in less time.

All you need to do is group the same tasks and get them done at a go instead of doing the same task at different times in a day.

For example,

You plan to write a blog post by 2 pm, edit the post by 4 pm, and publish it by 8 pm and then by 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm, you plan to do tons of other things.

Instead of scattering out your tasks like that, why not put all blog-related tasks in the same time frame and get them done at once?

Do something like this: Blog: Write, edit, publish (2 pm – 5 pm)

That way you can get it all done at once. 

This makes work easier for you and you can easily move to another set of tasks after completing the first set.

Read more about time-blocking here

See time as a tool

So many creatives see time as a kind of boss that has a mind of its own and can make or mar them.

Well, wrong! Time is a tool and you should see it as one.

It is a tool for you to measure your activities and measure your inputs in a day.

Without time, you wouldn’t know if you’ve used your day well or not.

Without time, you wouldn’t know how close the night is to the day.

So, instead of seeing time as your boss, see it as a tool that you can use for your benefit.

With time, you can plan your day, plan your goals, you can measure how much work you’re putting into your goals, and so on.

Choose focus over multitasking

You’ve probably heard that multitasking is a superpower everyone should possess, but is it really one?

Instead of multitasking, the focus is an ever better superpower you should have.

It takes a lot to be focused. In a world where many things vie for our attention, it’s easier to do so much at once than to focus on one thing at a time.

But if you want to give your best to a cause, you must learn the art of focus.

Have a focus and get it done before moving to another.

Do a daily review of your goals

One of the time management strategies you should do every day is to review your goals at end of each day.

How many times have you sat with your goals at the end of your day and reviewed what you got done and what you didn’t?

Well, this is why you’re not motivated to do better next time.

A review will help you understand yourself, your time, and your activities better.

When you do a review, you can tell where you did well and where you went wrong in your plans.

And this can help you plan better the next day.

Review how many goals and tasks you were able to achieve and what you could have done better.

Take note of the circumstances of your day that made you do less than you would have done.

What distracted you? What motivated you? What drove you to finish that important task? And so on.

Create a to-do list

You can give it any name you like: A focus list, an important list, my urgent list, etc.

Just ensure this list comprises the tasks you need to get done to achieve your goal/goals for the day.

Write out this list and ensure you tick them as you get them done.

It will help you keep tabs on what you have to do and what you are yet to do.

Remember you are in control

Many people don’t know they are in control of their time.

I was watching a YouTube video by Ali Abdaal and he spoke about being in control of your time.

Whether you believe it or not, you are in control of your time.

You’re the only one who can decide what to do with your time.

You might say your boss sent you on an errand or your parents are always encroaching on your time but think about it, if you decide not to do these things and choose to do something else, you actually can.

When you choose to watch movies rather than edit that video for your work, it was your choice.

You might eventually blame time for being too short or for passing on quickly.

But the fact is that time didn’t change, you made your choice.

Knowing this should help you make better decisions with your time.

What are those things you’d do right now that will help you feel like you’ve wasted time an hour later? Know them and choose not to do them.

Make a decision to do the right things with your time.

You are in control.

Try automation

Automating activities can make life easier for you and also help you manage your time effectively.

Nowadays, there’s basically nothing you cannot automate.

You can automate your emails, your social media posts, your text messages, chats, etc.

Automation is a way to do a lot of tasks when you have the time and schedule those tasks to different times of the day when you’d be unavailable or you’d be busy with other tasks.

Learn the art of automation now because it will save you a lot of stress later.

Imagine you want to send an email right now because you’re less busy but the email should go out in 2 hours’ time.

But in 2 hours’ time, you will be busy with house chores or walking your dog.

If you don’t automate, your plans will clash and you’ll end up multitasking or leaving one task for the other.

Which is not productive. Instead of stressing yourself, try automation.

flat lay photography of unfold book beside macbook
Which of these time management strategies are you trying? Pexels.com

From the time management strategies above, you can tell that your time is in your hands and you’re the only one who can determine how you want to use it.

Stop thinking there’s no time and start thinking of how to use the 24 hours you have to your benefit.

Also read: How to achieve the most in 24 hours

Need a Productivity Coach?

Do you struggle with achieving your goals or completing your daily tasks?

Do you want to be a morning person and you need someone to guide you through?

Do you struggle with overwhelm, too many tasks on your to-do list, or balancing your work and life?

Did this article describe your current need and struggle?

I can help you!

As a productivity coach, I have helped my clients achieve their goals, held them accountable to get their tasks done, and helped them plan and actualize a more flexible, yet productive life. 

I have helped several creatives who battle anxiety as a result of numerous unfinished tasks and feelings of inadequacy to go from underachiever to high-achiever.

Let me help you too!

Read more about how to start, here.

Reach out to me today to take my coaching sessions. 

The first session is free! Schedule a free call now! 

This call helps me understand what you’re struggling with and what aspect of productivity coaching you need.

In 30 mins, I will give you quick problem-solving tips to implement for a more productive life.

I’d love to hear from you!


  1. Oluwaseun says:

    Wow…love this!

    1. Oluwaseun, Thank you so much for your comment. It means a lot to me. I’m glad you got value. I hope you check back for more content. Have a great day!

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About Author

I am a Freelance Writer, Blogger, Content Creator, and Productivity Coach.

I am passionate about writing, designing, God, and helping people achieve their goals and be productive.