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.

Voice 2        

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 Entrepreneur.com

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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.”

Voice 1        

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 contact@spotlightenglish.com. You can also comment on Facebook at Facebook.com/spotlightradio. Subscribe on Youtube at youtube.com/spotlightenglish1.

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 www.spotlightenglish.com. 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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  • Dear Sir/Madam
    Thank you for your useful way of teaching english.
    As you mentioned in you last topic managing time is one of the biggest challenging of today’s people. Today’s we need to be more update, learn new skills and try harder than before to resolve our daily problems and all of these needs time.
    I think managing time is one of the most important knowledge we need to learn at first step.
    Thank you

  • i always plan to my week because i write list of things to do in the week and i was know by that what will i do and i win my time to do that

  • My plan in my week is good. Im going my school every day teaches mathematics for my students online. Im walk at one hour every day in the evening. I reading my story before sleep daily

  • I have a plan week ; l try to do.
    I use app called Keep nots with google this is very esier useing end importint.

  • Thank you for this topic, I really need manage my time. currently I do not manage my work, but now I will my best effort.

  • Thanks a lot. Your tips are useful. I am going to try all of them. I plan out my work but didn’t plan out generally my daily routine.

  • I’m documenting the very small details in my life on paper every day

    -Yes , I’m very comfortable with that .

  • I plan for my day in sticky notes, I put the harder mission that need more energy in the first and this is called (prioritization). And before the month start I make schedules maybe 2 or 3 schedules it depends on my goals that I want to achieve this month. For example : schedule for exercises, schedule for reading..etc. When I complete the mission in each schedule I cross it out. But I’m just suffering from some distractions and somethings fun I wanna do before what is most important.

  • Hello
    First I want to thank you about this podcasting, its soo easy and inspiring for people who want to develop they listening.
    Time management is skill every companies looking up about someone who has this skill, but the question is how to growing this skill ?

  • Every day i write my mission and what l’am going to do on this day in mu bullet journal , it’s very useful and important for me , usually i do what i plan .

  • when I got my first job I used to write weekly list every Sunday and write daily list every morning to I can focus on my job and what I need to finish today, and this was very helpful

  • I don’t plan for anything and that makes my life more difficult.
    I tried more and more but always I give up. I think I need more determination to change this thing.
    Thanks for this program I hope it makes me manage my time

  • Thanks for the useful information that spotlight english brings.
    I usually make my goal and list to do in a small notebook.
    Everyday, I will note all the things I have to do in that notebook. When I have finished something, I will note stick done with it. At the end of the day, I will check note again to see the process of day and plan out for next day in next page.
    I do it in everyday to make sure that I can achieve my goal on schedule. And I see it’s effective to me 🙂

  • I will plan my week with a Microsoft Excel planner, the whole plan is organized, optimized. but I’m not very good at time management, it still has some problems

  • I make a plan for myself every day. That helps me not to miss important things and to do many useful things every day.

  • Yes l do plan a week what do or where go , I think the writing plans she important to improve a life, also i try writing plan on day wake up any time and eat more and more , but it is happens sometimes distractions for example, cell phone or notification email
    Finally , managed my time is good

  • I am a student at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, and I have a very demanding academic schedule. I’ve come to the realization that I don’t acquire exceptional intelligence, and as a result, I must devote a significant amount of time to study. With the exception of the time spent at school. In addition, I team English in the outside world to improve my foreign language skills. As a result, my plans for the week aren’t particularly exciting. They revolve solely around learning and more learning. Weekend, which is usually the only time I have to relax with sports, appointments, or a movie, but isn’t always the case. I’m learning to manage my time more effectively so that I can finis all of my work on time. Occasionally,when I’m feeling stressed, I’ll take more time to rest than usual, which will result in me forgetting a few important things. Because learning to manage time is the breath of life, time is the limiting factor. I believe that after some practice, I will be able to accomplish this.

  • i plan my week is as folllows: when i wake up aftrt breakfast an hour go to the gym when i finsh go to home and sit up for listien podcasting sotlight for an hour after that go to the kitchen to made dinner meal , in the remaining time i spend on my phone and reading or danceng or concting to my family or friends Until bedtime

  • I have some troubles with mange my time but this video helped me thanks I believe that managing the time is the most important thing in our life

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