Time management in the field of personal productivity is essential to achieve relevant objectives, since time is one of the scarcest resources. Time is a limited resource that runs out every day, non-storable, perishable and inexorable, which we have as individuals to achieve our goals. And therein lies its value and the importance of knowing how to manage time.

Its main features are:

Rigid/non-elastic: It does not allow manipulation, it cannot be negotiated on its accumulation or cession, nor can it be stretched.

Linear/progressive: It always flows forward, with no possibility of returning to the past.

Equal/equitable: We all have the same amount of time in a day: 24 hours. The difference is in the use we make of that time.

Indispensable and generally insufficient: We want or need time to accomplish what we want and the time frame can almost always seem scarce.

Personality and time management

One of the problems that accompany time management is its optimization in the workplace. Many people do not know how to manage it and find that they do not get as much out of it as they should, wasting it and letting the working day go by without achieving all the objectives they had planned.

The first step to solve this situation, which would lead us in its phase to a good planning, is to know how to detect in which moments and which are the causes of this bad time management.

Poor self-management

– Distractions of a personal nature (rrss, internet,…)

– Lack of objectives or insufficient definition of objectives

– Absence of a timed program of activities

– Lack of prioritization

– Attempting to cover too wide a field of activities

– Lack of concentration

Foreign «thieves«

– Unprepared or aimless meetings

– Phone calls

– Visits / Interruptions

– Travel

Target setting techniques

SMART Technique

This methodology is used to set the objectives you want to achieve. A SMART objective should be:

S = Specific: What we want, how we want it and why we want it.

M = Measurable.

A = Attainable: It must be real and possible, so utopias must be left aside.

R = Relevant: Achieving it must mean something important in life, exciting, exciting….

T = Timely (measurable in time): A deadline must be set to achieve it.

Establishing the objectives will also allow:

– Determine a single direction

– Focus

– Dose energy

– Avoid time thieves

– Motivate yourself

– Small burdens of satisfaction

Locke’s theory

Locke studied goal setting and motivation, and remarked that employees should be motivated by clear goals and good feedback. According to Locke, working towards a goal provides an important source of motivation to actually achieve that goal and that this, in turn, improves performance. Thus, according to Locke’s theory, people who have more difficult but achievable goals perform better than those who have less difficult goals.

Their research showed that having a goal that is too easy is not a motivating force and complicated ones are more motivating because they are much more rewarding to achieve.

Locke worked with Dr Gary Latham on the goal-setting theory that has been embraced by people around the world. He found that in 90% of cases, having specific and challenging goals in place led to higher performance than setting goals which can be reached easily.

Such goals should have five characteristics:

Clarity: They should be specific, clear and measurable.

Challenging: Sufficiently difficult to be challenging without being impossible to achieve.

Commitment: Realistic and clearly related to higher level goals.

Feedback: The more and better the feedback, the higher the levels of enthusiasm and motivation.

Complexity: They should not exceed a certain level of complexity, so as not to waste time weighing up how we should approach them.

Time management methods

Getting Things Done (GTD)

GTD is a method that helps to organize pending tasks, prioritize and schedule in a simple and intuitive way. The five pillars of GTD to maximize the value of time are:

Collect pending tasks

Processing does require some action on my part. If the answer is «yes», it should be delegated. If the answer is «no», it should be filed. And, if it can be done in less than two minutes. If the answer is «yes», it should be done directly. If «no», it should be noted on the to-do list.

Organize into four lists (Upcoming Actions, Projects, On Hold and Someday).

Review the to-do list

Prioritize tasks in order of priority

Six-level model


Landing strip or current actions: Our day to day. In this sense the GTD model is very useful. It should be reviewed at least daily.

3,000 m of altitude or start-up projects: These are the projects in which we are currently involved. It should be reviewed at least once a week.

6,000 m altitude or area of responsibility: It seeks to achieve results and maintain standards (strategic objectives to be achieved). It should be reviewed at least annually.


9,000 m of altitude or annual or biannual objectives: These are the experiences that you wish to acquire in one or two years’ time, both personally and professionally. It is interesting to use the SMART technique to set goals.

12,000 m of altitude or 3-5 year perspective: Long-term projects.

15,000 m altitude or life perspective: Mission, vision and objectives.


A good manager is one who takes a job, practices and analyzes it, delegates it, and then takes on a new one.

Delegating helps to empower and motivate employees, giving them the opportunity to focus on more important and urgent issues, helping their personal and professional development, and affecting, in the medium and long term, their performance, making them more effective.

Mindset before delegating

Put ego aside. A big obstacle in the mental path to delegation is the concept «if you want something done right, you must do it yourself». And it’s wrong. No one is the only person in the world who can do it well, no one is indispensable. True, you may be the only person who can do it well at any given time, but with time and teaching, someone else will probably be able to do it well too and, who knows, even faster and better.

Don’t wait for volunteers to show up. There is no point in waiting for people to come forward. Many people are oblivious to what others are going through, and there is not much you can do to change them.

Don’t take requests for help negatively. Many people see asking for help as a weakness, but it’s the other way around. Trying to do everything yourself is a sign of weakness in the sense that it indicates that you don’t have a realistic view of your own capabilities.

Learn to trust others. If you are afraid to delegate, it is because you do not believe that anyone can do as good a job as you can. In this case you should remember two things: first, that almost anyone can be good at something with enough practice, and second, that you are probably not as talented as you think you are.

Keys to good delegation

Knowing how to delegate comes to a head when it comes to choosing the right person. Not everyone is valid to do everything and each moment may require one profile or another. Beyond knowledge, one must be able to analyze the situation and act accordingly.

The first key point is to make sure that the person can work independently. What often happens is that the person is unsure of his or her knowledge and has questions all the time, to the point that the person delegating ends up doing most of the work. This is called «reverse delegation«.

In addition, interaction should be sought, the person to whom you are delegating should ask questions, ask them, and the employee should give feedback to ensure that he/she understands the instructions.

The next step must be the employee’s commitment, so that there is a visible agreement that the agreed objectives will be achieved. Delegating also means giving the person the authority to take control of the entire project, without fear or misgivings. This will show that the individual is trusted. They must be given space to be able to use their skills to achieve the best performance, and at the same time give follow-up and support to ensure that the work is done correctly.

Motivating is also crucial to the success of the project, and this is done by showing how the success of the project will have a positive impact for the company and for the workers themselves. Let them know that what they are doing is truly important, and that they will be recognized for a job well done. This will help build commitment to the project.

Phases of delegation

– Decide which tasks can be delegated

– Decide to whom to delegate

– Hand over the task

– Follow up and supervise

In conclusion, time as a resource can be spent without taking full advantage of it. Broadly speaking, there are two great evils that cause time management: oneself and the environment.

Rationalization and emotional dosage have a great impact, since it can result in poor time management by requiring prolonged attention from the person. Optimized emotion management implies that we are able to understand our emotional experiences and those of the people around us, the key lies in the neutralization of those emotions and emotional self-regulation.

To avoid these distractions, it is essential to set objectives, and the first premise is that they must be SMART. By following these conditions, a set objective can be truly efficient. Knowing how to manage time involves knowing how to delegate. Delegating is not within everyone’s reach and a sign of a good leader is the way in which he/she is able to do it. Delegating is the best way to achieve more every day, and the most important thing is to know who and when to do it, making sure you are aware of everything that needs to be done before passing it on to someone else.

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