Tricks To Get More Done In Less Time

Looking for time management tips? You’re not alone. I’ve been able to reach a lot of my goals due to my time management skills. People have wondered how I was able to pay off my debt in seven months, how I graduated with two college degrees by the age of 20, and how I’ve been…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: June 5, 2023

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I consider myself to be a time management BOSS! Here are my time management tips so that you can learn how to manage time and accomplish the things you want in life.Looking for time management tips?

You’re not alone.

I’ve been able to reach a lot of my goals due to my time management skills. People have wondered how I was able to pay off my debt in seven months, how I graduated with two college degrees by the age of 20, and how I’ve been able to build this blogging business to where it is today without a huge team behind me. Well, it’s due to me knowing how to get more done in less time.

Some may call me impatient (okay, it’s probably my biggest flaw), but I utilize a lot of time management tips and solutions below because I know how much they can truly help.

Now, I’m not perfect either. I can watch a whole season of a TV show in one day, and I can easily spend an insane amount of hours on social media.

However, it’s about balance and knowing when too much is too much.

Finding new time management tips and improving your time management skills is important as it can help you in many areas, such as:

  • You can squeeze more hours in for side hustling.
  • Finish your college degree in less time.
  • Have more time with your loved ones.
  • Relax more as you’ll have additional hours.
  • Go on vacation, as you’ll have more hours in your life.

And more.

Nearly everyone in the world wants more hours in a day. And, while I can’t literally extend the clock for you, I can teach you my time management tips so that you can reclaim some of the hours that you have lost.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. What you do with it is up to you, but you may be wasting time each day, which can hold you back from reaching your goals.

Just think about it: What do you think you could do with an extra 5-10 hours, or even more, each week?

You might even be wasting time without knowing it. You might not realize how this wasted time easily adds up to a huge number of hours.

Hopefully my time management tips will help you find hours in your week, no matter how they are lost.

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Here are my time management tips:


I don’t start something unless I plan on finishing it.

Okay, you’re probably thinking – OF COURSE.

What I’m referring to is that I generally won’t start a task if I can’t finish it in one sitting.

Now, this may mean that you break tasks into smaller sections (because, of course, not everything can be finished in one sitting, such as a college degree).

So, for this example, I’m talking about a specific task, such as writing an article, doing homework for a college class, etc. I won’t start a task unless I can finish it in that same sitting because it can take a lot of precious time to stop and start up again.


I have a to do list.

I have a constant to do list, and this is one of my top time management tips.

Without my to do list, I would feel lost, unorganized, and probably even confused about what to do! Yes, I rely heavily on my to do list, but putting a to do list together doesn’t have to be hard. I keep my to do list on my phone, and it’s just a simple list of things I need to do. Others find that planners work for well for them.

Your to do list will keep you on track so you don’t forget what needs to be done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, which in turn keeps you motivated towards your goals.


I set reminders on my calendar.

If there is something coming up that I know I will not remember, I will create a simple reminder. This makes managing my life easier because I don’t have to worry about forgetting things.

I create reminders for things such as:

  • When it’s time to pay estimated quarterly tax payments.
  • Renewing license plate tags for our cars.
  • Paying semiannual bills, such as car insurance.
  • Business tasks that need to be completed by a certain date

And more.

I probably have over 100 things in my phone’s calendar between life, RV, and business tasks that need to be completed. It definitely helps keep me in check.


I make sure the timing for everything works out perfectly.

When I was in college, I always made sure that the timing for all of my classes worked perfectly with my work schedule. This required some research and planning, but it was well worth it in the end.

I made sure all the classes I took worked together timewise, which meant no wasted time in between. It also gave me just enough time for me to work my normal 8-5 job so that I could start my 5:30 p.m. classes. I was able to fit classes and work together without any wasted time in my schedule.

You would be surprised if you stopped to think about how much time people waste. I know people who sign up for college classes and just take whatever they think they need without thinking about their schedule. This might mean having hour or longer breaks each day between each of their classes. I also know people who take a class, go to work, and then come back for another class (wasting driving time), and more.

I’m not in college anymore, but I do still make sure everything is timed perfectly. I guess it’s a habit of mine that will never die.


I quit checking my email over and over.

I’m guilty of checking my email numerous times throughout the day. It’s a problem I have, but I am slowly getting better with lots of room for improvement.

Checking your email can waste a lot of time. By dedicating your time and focus towards checking your email, you may be losing your train of thought when you should actually be doing something else.

I recommend checking your email just a few times a day, once a day, or even just every few days.


I quit multitasking.

As we rush through life, we have the tendency to multitask in order to speed through tasks and challenges. Some people multitask because they think it saves time and energy, but for many, not multitasking is the real time management tip. This is because some people can multitask successfully, and because it takes so much time to refocus on a new task, many people cannot do it successfully.

Just think, every time you switch between tasks, you may actually be spending more time than if you approached each task separately.

Think about your strengths and weaknesses to understand whether or not multitasking actually helps you save time. It’s possible that you can multitask some things, but others need your full one-on-one attention.

And, for the most part, by single-tasking, your ability to focus on one thing at a time, and fully complete each task in front of you, will help you better focus.


I outsource certain tasks.

Even though there are several tasks I could do, I outsource them.

This can also apply to household tasks among other things. This may sound silly, but I am sometimes guilty of procrastinating by cleaning. I hate cleaning, so that really says something. If you don’t have the time to do certain household tasks, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, cleaning your home, etc., then you may want to see if there is any value in hiring out some of these tasks.

This time management tip asks you to place a value on a task, and see if your time is better spent elsewhere.


I say no more often.

One of the ways we add clutter to our life is by agreeing to more than we can actually handle. And, I am a big fan of stepping outside of your box and saying “yes” to everything, but there are situations in which you may need to actually say “no” instead. If you say “yes” to everything, but you are ready to pull your hair out, then you may want to start saying “no.”

This is one of the very important time management tips, as it can definitely help you reclaim a lot of your lost time.

Think about everything you have said “yes” to in the past, and ask yourself these questions: Did that bring me joy? Did the benefit of the task outweigh the stress is caused? Was I able to make a meaningful difference for myself or someone else?

If you find that the answer to these questions is mostly “no,” then perhaps that’s the answer you should be giving in the future.


I became more organized.

Being unorganized can cause you to waste a significant amount of time and can lead to late fees, stress, lost items, and more, which can then cause you to lose even more time!

Here are some surprising statistics I found from Simply Orderly about being unorganized:

  • The average person spends 12 days per year looking for things they can’t find.
  • Every day, the average office worker spends 1.5 hours looking for things.
  • In a recent survey, 55% of consumers stated they would save anywhere from 16 to 60 minutes a day if they were organized.
  • 23% of people pay bills late and have to pay late fees because they are unable to find their bills.

These statistics are all nuts! So much time is being wasted every single day by the average person.

To take part in this time management tip and become more organized, you may want to find a day or life planner that works for you, set reminders on your phone, use Post-it notes to remind yourself of upcoming tasks, purchase organizers for your physical items, and so on.

I highly recommend looking into different types of organizers as well. These can save space and save time!


I watch less TV.

Did you know that the average person watches over 30 hours of TV a week. Even if you used just half of those hours finding things to do instead of watching TV, you could probably accomplish something great!

We eliminated cable and even Netflix from our lives a few years ago, and it’s one of our best decisions. We hardly ever watch TV (at the time of this writing, I think it’s been at least a month since I have turned on the TV in the RV), and we have so many more hours per day and week due to it.

If you were to add up all the time you spent watching TV, it would probably be pretty shocking. Can you imagine what you could do by just taking half of those hours back each week?

I know this time management tip seems obvious, but sometimes we need to hear how much time we are wasting to finally make a change for the better.

Reclaiming some of that time could allow you to spend more time with your friends and family, work on side hustles, get outside and enjoy the world around you, and more.

Related: Cut the cable cord and start saving thousands of dollars!


I’m spending less time on social media.

Okay, this time management tip is still a work in progress for me.

The average person spends many, many hours on social media each week. Between Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and many others, it can be quite easy to waste your entire day.

I’ve read many statistics that say that the average person spends over five hours a day on social media!


Like many of you, I am just as guilty of this. Social media can be a great way to stay in touch with people, but like I said, it can be wasting valuable time each day.

Spending too much time on social media can even lead to negative thoughts, like comparing yourself to others, trying to keep up with the Joneses, and more.

If you find that you are spending too much time on social media and that it is negatively impacting you, you may want to shut down the social media accounts that you are spending too much time on. One of my time management tips for this is to possibly create a time block so you cannot access your accounts during certain periods of the day.


I get the most out of short gaps of time.

Everyone has gaps throughout their day. This could be a gap before you have a meeting, a gap between your day job and night classes, a gap before you have to pick up the kids from school, or something else.

Maybe you have 30 minutes or an hour. Most people will just plunk down on the couch and watch TV or browse on Facebook. However, you should use gap time efficiently.

That 30 minutes could be spent fitting a little side hustle in, completing a task on your to-do list, and so on. Of course, relaxing is fine as well – I’m just saying that you should make sure you aren’t wasting these small gaps of time when you could be using them to your advantage.


I stopped procrastinating.

Procrastination can waste time as you may find anything else you can possibly do before completing a certain task.

Then, you might do things that waste even more time, such as just standing around, watching TV, cleaning the same area you’ve already cleaned 10 times that day, and more.

For this time management tip, understand why you are procrastinating and create an action plan to stop this time wasting behavior. By focusing on what you need to do, you will stop wasting time!


I have less clothing options.

The average successful person has a very limited set of clothing options, as this way they have more time to focus on things that truly matter.

By finding items that already match one another and by having a smaller wardrobe, you’ll have more time to focus on other things in life, which can help you to drastically simplify your life and find more hours in your week.

If you want to focus on this time management tip, start by looking at the items you wear the most and get rid of the ones you haven’t worn in months. It can feel really good to clean out your closet! You can then start to build your wardrobe around the items you know you love and will wear more often.

Related content: Why You Should Spend Like A Millionaire- The Frugal and Smart Money Habits of Millionaires


I don’t hit the snooze button (as much).

So many people hit the snooze button over and over again in the morning.

Sleeping for those two extra minutes after your alarm goes off isn’t going to change your life. There are many scientific studies proving that hitting the snooze button does nothing good for you.

I know many people who set their alarms to go off anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour before they actually want to wake up.

I’m not going to lie. I used to do this as well and thought it was the only way I could get up. It definitely did not work, as I always felt extremely groggy and sometimes even more tired!

Instead, you should wake up when your alarm first goes off to use those minutes valuably. You should either start going to sleep earlier, or setting your alarm for when you actually get out of bed.

What are your favorite time management tips and tools? How much time do you think you waste each day?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. A to-do list is huge for me. It helps me to prioritize and focus on the tasks that are most urgent and important.

    I’ve also been working on those short gaps you mentioned. For me, the gaps usually fit around activities with my kids. If they’re watching TV for a few minutes before bed I try to get online and do some easy takes, like pinning on Pinterest or just planning for the next day.

    1. Yes, I live by my to-do list, haha!

  2. Hi Michelle,

    Great tips! How long does it take you to create a blog post? Also, are there parts of it that you outsource, i.e. finding & creating images, research, etc.? Thanks!

    1. I outsource the editing process, so that I don’t read a blog post 80 times and waste a ton of time. Now, I just write it and hand it over to my editor, which saves me a ton of time.

      The length of time really varies. Sometimes I can write a blog post in one day. Other times I may work on the same blog post for weeks haha.

      1. Nice thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ellen C


    What app do you use on your phone for your to-do list? I have an iPhone and am still trying to figure out what works best for me.

    FYI, I just found your blog today and I have to tell you that you are my hero! You have achieved the work/lifestyle that I want to try so hard to accomplish. I would love to email you and get some gal to gal advice on getting started. I can’t tell you how inspiring this has been for me, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Cheers!

    1. I just use my phone’s “notepad.” The app that comes on the iPhone.

      Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Quitting multitasking and spending less time on social media are two things I KNOW I need to do, but easier said. Trying to promote my online businesses means time on the socials (unfortunately). But I can quit multitasking easier, it should be low-hanging fruit. Nice post.

  5. Love this! Thank you! I check my email obsessively but I have NO idea why because it’s mostly junk mail! I’m a total procrastinator!

  6. Jaqui

    Do you have any apps you recommend for time management? Especially when it comes to managing your blog?

    1. I actually don’t use any apps for time management. I’m pretty minimalist, though – I hate any extra things in my life and like to condense everything, haha.

  7. Brandon

    Hi Michelle,

    I thought your explanation about not multitasking as a time management tip was pretty insightful. While I can manage multiple tasks at once, I strongly prefer to work on one thing at a time so it gets my complete attention. I also find that by working on one project at a time it tends to reduce the mental fatigue from having my brain jump back in forth between projects. Thanks.

  8. Gene Szaj

    According to the Wall Street Journal (5/16/18), the average person taps, pokes, pinches or swipes their personal phone 2,617 times per day! That equates to about 2 hours and 25 minutes per day.

    Want to become more efficient and get more things done? Put your phone in a drawer (or turn it off completely!), or on “silence” – and stay away from it!

  9. Melissa

    Thank you ~ these are great! Not allowing my day to become fragmented with committments is not always easy to achieve but a good one to strive for, as is being cognizant of starting and completing a task in one sitting. Breaks and changing tasks are good, but I think I’m often losing momentum.

  10. I thought I was great at time-management but I like the thought of 1) completing things in one sitting and 2) scheduling things better to minimize wasted time. One thing that helps me is timeblocking my life categories. For example, Saturday morning is housework, early Sun afternoon blogging, mid afternoon home management tasks like ironing… this helps me cover all the bases!

  11. Margie Abernethy

    Awesome suggestions, again! Thank you!

    I was diagnosed with ADD at the ripe old age of 54 and I have come to realize that my workarounds were making my life much harder than it needed to be. So I am learning basically how to do everything – only with simpler processes than I had been using. Amazing how much of my life was eaten up by lack of productivity but I didn’t even know what the issue was.

    Weird, huh?

  12. Dude “I don’t start something unless I plan on finishing it” is killing me. I’m so guilty of starting 100 things in a day with no intent to finish any of them! I always think “oh I’ll start this and finish it later” and then it nags at me for days that I need to get it finished. I’ve never thought about how only starting something if I intend on finishing it is a way to be more productive…I’m going to be chewing on this for a while. Great post!

    1. Haha it does hurt me as well! Sometimes I just don’t start something because I know I won’t have the time, and then I procrastinate instead!

  13. Wonderful post! I usually make lists because this helps me to concentrate and do more things but I can definitely use your tips.

  14. Paul

    I’m definitely guilty of checking my emails way too many times. In fact I did it just before reading this post and will probably do it again after.

    It’s not helped by the fact I have desktop notifications enables, plus my smart watch pinging me ever 1 to 5 minutes.

    I bet if you could auto calculate that extra time you spend needlessly checking your emails most people would be shocked at how much of a time suck it is.

  15. I’m sitting at the university library where I’m wrapping up my FIN 305 class and just wrote this new post (almost 700 words). I had my headphones on plugged into my smartphone the entire time writing content and look forward to discussing your amazing blog income reports in the near future along with blog income reports from others. Keep up the good work my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚