Six Tips to Manage Your Time and Do More

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Have you ever wished you could do more? Liz Waid and Bruce Gulland look at 6 tips for time management. Do the things you need to do and the things you want to do!

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Voice 1        

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Liz Waid.

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And I’m Bruce Gulland. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

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Voice 3        

Once upon a time, there was a very strong woodcutter. A king hired him to cut down trees. The pay was good. And the work conditions were good too. The woodcutter wanted to do his best. The king gave him a sharp axe to cut the trees. He showed the woodcutter the area where he would work.

The first day, the woodcutter cut 18 trees. The king was pleased. The woodcutter was encouraged. So, he tried harder the next day. But he could only cut 15 trees. Each day he cut fewer and fewer trees. The woodcutter wondered if he was becoming weak.

He told the king that he did not understand what was happening. The King asked, “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?” The woodcutter replied, “Sharpen my axe? I had no time for that! I have been too busy cutting trees!”

old axe in wood stump
Image by Jot-Be from Pixabay
Voice 1        

Mayo Oshin wrote this story for the website Thrive Global. The point of the story is that sometimes people work more and more. But they forget what is important. With a small fix, they could be working smarter. Today’s Spotlight is on managing time to do more.

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Everyone has things they need to do. These things can be school, work, or things at home. People may need to care for children, fix a broken window, or sit through a meeting at work. These are all important things. They all take time and attention. But everyone also has things they want to do. These could include finishing school, writing a book, or learning a new language. These things help us change, improve, or add to the world. So how do you balance the things you need to do with the things you want to do?

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You can learn to use your time in better ways. Maybe like the woodcutter in the beginning of this program, you just need to sharpen your axe! You may need to just work in a smarter way. Here are six tools of time management you can use.

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The first tool of time management is to remember the big picture. Instead of thinking about all the things you have to do, think about where you want to be in one year. Write it on a piece of paper. Put it where you will see it every day. It could be in your kitchen or bathroom. You could make it into the wallpaper on your phone. This will remind you of your bigger goals.

Voice 1        

The second tool of managing your time well is to plan out your week. When you plan out a week, you can make sure that you are spending time on things that are important. Plan out everything! Plan time for work, but also plan time for learning, exercise, rest, and time with family and friends. You may think this means you cannot have any fun. But a good plan can create freedom. Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky wrote a book called “Make Time”. In it, they write,

Image by Shiv Mirthyu from Pixabay 
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“When you do not have a plan, you have to always decide what to do next. You can use a lot of time thinking about all the things you should or could do. But a completely planned day provides the freedom to concentrate on the moment. You do not have to think about what to do next. You can trust the plan set out by your past self.”

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A good plan is a good start. But this is only the beginning. The third way to manage your time is to avoid distractions and interruptions. Distractions and interruptions stop us from concentrating on something. When we are distracted, we lose the progress on that important work. Deep Patel wrote about distractions for the website

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“Even with the best of effort, we still look at social media when we should be working on a project. We touch our cell phone when we hear a noise. If we are not checking our email every five minutes, we worry we may miss something important. Statistics show that distractions cause a huge loss in productivity. Employees spend 28 percent of their time dealing with interruptions and then trying to get back to work.”

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Distractions and interruptions are everywhere. But the fourth way to manage time is to minimize distractions. You cannot avoid all distractions – that is impossible! But you can try to have fewer distractions in your day. Turn off your phone. Turn the internet off on your computer. If possible, go somewhere that is not your office. Even if you only focus for an hour, you can get a lot done. There is very little in life or work that cannot wait one hour.

man with clock and head on desk
Image by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay 
Voice 2        

The fifth way to manage your time is to do your most important thing at the beginning of the day. Oshin explains,

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“As a rule, plan your most important and creative work in the early hours of waking up. This is when you have the most energy. On the other side, you could plan your low creative work, such as email, social media, or phone calls later in the day. This is when your energy is lowest.”

Voice 1        

The sixth, and final way to manage your time is to know when to stop working. Many people take their work home. They even bring their phones into bed with them. People are always connected to each other and their work. In a survey from Forbes, 82 percent of people say they stay connected to the office even when they go home. The same survey said 50 percent are still connected when they go to bed.

Voice 2        

Managing time can help us get more work done. But it can also help us do more of the things we want. Following these tips can help you do both. Then you can follow one common English saying: Work smarter, not harder.

Voice 1        

How do you plan your week? Do you use an app? Do you write a list of things to do? What is your best tip for time management? Tell us what you think. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at You can also comment on Facebook at Subscribe on Youtube at

Voice 2        

The writer of this program was Adam Navis. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at This program is called, ‘Six Tips to Manage Your Time and Do More’.

Voice 1          

Visit our website to download our free official app for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.


How do you plan your week? Are you good at managing your time?

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  • Actually I don’t plan for my week but I plan for my next day before I go to bed Daily and I make time for spotlight everyday thanks spotlight for these amazing podcasts

  • yes I’m excellent in managing my time !
    I use NOTION apps it is really helpful
    one of my feature is making plans for everything’s
    that’s make my life in better ways possible as i can

  • Always I feel with distractions and interruptions during my day, this issue consumes big energy and time

  • I loved advices to manage my time. First tool of time management, putting pictures or words in places can see every time in kitchen or phone, this way help remind my the bigger goal. Second put the plan out this way help my avoid the distraction and interruption. Third minimize distraction when turn off phone or internet or computer. Fourthly do most important at the beginning of the day .fifth, know when to stop working.

  • I make a plan everyday. Of course, before that I plan for a whole week, but things may happen that spoil the plan , so I plan every day as well.I am not bad at managing my time but not good either.

  • I think for my opinion we should do important things directly after wake up then less important things …and we should avoid distributions things

  • I used to do fifth tip, it is very easy and comfortable for me , because it’s so harder to manage your time 24 hours each day , thank you

  • Management and planning tends to be the hardest thing for me in the day ever, because I feel like I don’t have a control force over my brain and it just gets foggy and have alot of things going on and it often drives me insane and I lost control over my emotions and reactions because it stresses me so much. Because also I know there is alot of things to do there is alot of things to clear in mind by managing it in the external world and be focused and there is always alot better to do than what I already do and it makes me feel so low about myself this all of these things are so hard for me and I never feel satisfied I don’t know exactly what should I do and what rules should I put on myself to be better how can I trust the plan iam putting and all of this and I think there’s just something scary about my tasks and goals that iam really afraid of but I exactly know what it is so this really feels so stressing to me to even talk about but Im trying hard and I hope I can be satisfied enough with my work

  • No I do not have a week plan but I want to make it. the best tip I was heard in these program is the fifth way do the most important things at the beginning of the day

  • l think l always try and try more to manage my day .every day l write my to do list and when done l reward my self with a break.

  • I’m using an application called to do Microsoft, it’s very good and useful
    How am I planning my week? every day on morning I’m praying and reading some pages in Quran, listening to two episodes on spotlight, reading a story, writing a little
    then listening to my courses in programming after that I have a breakfast then go to the gym when I come back, I’m studying that’s it 😀
    yeah, you can say that

  • Thank you very much spotlight for this perfect bobcats
    About the questions
    Q1:How do you plan your week:actually I don’t have plan for week every day I write a list about something I wanna to do it and I’m finding this way is very good.
    Q2:What is your best tip for time management:close your internet in your phone when you start doing your job and some time you can go out your home like go to the coffee and study there.

  • To be honest I can’t manage my time clear but I trying every day then I did some things and I didn’t some things else and with this teps I hope I can manage my time thanks a lot

  • I guess yes I’m a little bit good at time management but when someone else need me or ask me to do something for him my plans are ruined .I plan my week in a block notes then I translate that to a small steps that I have to do every day

  • Managing time is not easy. I’m not good at managing time. I try to improve this problem and arrange time for more comfortable. I often write a list of things need to do everyday, week. Also, I put take note of deadline days on calendar and phone. Adjustment daily routine is the best way to manage time. By this way can help me get more job done and do more of things.

  • Nice conversation, I think important think depends on how can everyone manege his time and use it for important thinks
    Like sports, learnning some thing new interstead distracte time on phones or computer.

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