Seven Principles of Creative Time Management

Written by Dr. Jan Yager

timemanageManaging your time well means managing your life well. People who handle their time well do it creatively. They make short- and long-term plans, set and keep realistic schedules, take efficient and timely breaks, and view tasks to be done as opportunities rather than dreaded obligations. They practice creative time management by taking control of their time and therefore their life.

We are not all endowed with brilliance, good looks, or lots of money, but we each get the same number of hours every day. A great deal may be achieved in those 24 hours, or not much at all. It is up to you to make optimum use of those hours from chapter 1, “Creative Time Management: An Introduction”

From Chapter 2, “The 7 Principles of Creative Time Management” here are the fundamental principles of creative time management. These principles are based on my original research and consulting over the last two decades including interviews with top executives as well as an extensive work survey of 234 men and women, nationwide and in more than a dozen foreign countries, about time management and work-related issues. The principles below are discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2, and examples and anecdotes are provided that relate to these 7 principles throughout the book, Creative Time Management for the New Millennium:

  1. Be active, not just reactive. It will be easier to be active if you also follow principle #2, namely, setting goals.
  2. Set goals.
  3. Prioritize actions.
  4. Keep your focus.
  5. Create realistic deadlines
  6. D-O I-T N-O-W! Once you decide on a plan and are focused, just do it now. Here is an easy way to help you remember this principle:
    • D = Divide and conquer what you have to do. Break big tasks into little tasks and give each part of that task a realistic deadline.
    • O = Organize your materials, how you will do it.
    • I = Ignore interruptions that are annoying distractions
    • T = Take the time to learn how to do things yourself.
    • N = Now, not tomorrow. Don’t procrastinate.
    • O = Opportunity is knocking. Take advantage of opportunities.
    • W = Watch out for time gobblers. Keep track of, and in control of, how much time you spend on the Internet, reading and sending e-mails, watching TV, or talking on the phone.

7. Balance Your Life.

Excerpted from Chapters 1 and 2 in Creative Time Management for the New Millennium by Jan Yager, Ph.D. (Hannacroix Creek Books), 1999. This excerpt is copyright © 2000 by Jan Yager, Ph.D., 1999 and is used with permission.

9 Responses to “Seven Principles of Creative Time Management”

  • Sharon says:

    something for me to think about ss it will be a good thing for me to do during my day

  • kolawole says:

    Time management

  • Brenda Miller says:

    Priacta, you make a great point, and it is a wonderful addition to the article. There are many of us, however, who need the very basics of time management skills in order to get organized and develop a balanced, effective life. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts; they are very much appreciated.

    Victor and Sharon, I am glad you enjoyed this article; I did, as well.

    Eralper, I also greatly appreciated the D-O-I-T-N-O-W! principle and will be using it in my everyday life and work. Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Eralper says:

    My favorite time management principle is “do it now!”
    It is nice that you have created a list of tasks for Do it Now principle.

  • Sharon says:

    good article thank you for posting it

  • Victor says:

    This is inspiring,I will make an attempt of following each of your episodes

  • Priacta says:

    These principles that we are talking about above are no different that the ones that we follow to manage time and stay on track so that we can achieve the pre-defined goals and objectives. I was expecting something different and a lot more innovative ideas to be creative time management principles. For example; When prioritizing actions, we should come back to this list of actions every single day before starting the day’s work. New situations, office developments, personal issues, system downtimes may force us to change out daily action plans. If we fail to do so, we’ll be wasting time on doing things in the morning realizing only later in the day that the job was not required to be done any more.

  • Doris Beck Doris says:

    Reanna there is no guarantee that someone won’t plagiarize your story if it is posted on Youtube. You are better off to publish it ahead of time and make sure that it is copyrighted before someone reads it and posts it there.

  • My friend wants to read a story I wrote in a video on her Youtube channel. I’m concerned that my story could be stolen by some one, and have them claim it as their own, not that I think it’s really good enough for anyone to want to steal it. How likely do you think it would be that my story would be plagiarized? Is there anything Youtube does to try to stop plagiarism?.

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