20 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known In My Twenties

20 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known In My Twenties

In our twenties, we often find ourselves juggling various responsibilities, such as work, school, relationships, and personal growth. As a result, time management becomes a crucial skill to develop during this stage of life. By mastering efficient and productive habits early on, we can set the foundation for success in our careers and personal lives.

Time management is all about making the most of the hours we have available each day. Learning how to manage our time effectively in our twenties can lead to increased productivity, decreased stress, and an overall happier and more balanced lifestyle. Implementing time management hacks helps us get our work done and allows us to enjoy the life we are building. From using a calendar app or notebook to prioritizing tasks and respecting our need for sleep, these techniques provide a solid base for managing our daily schedules.

By gaining knowledge about these time management strategies, individuals in their twenties can not only improve their productivity but lay a strong foundation for future success. Developing these habits early on can lead to a more fulfilling and organized life, both personally and professionally.

Setting Realistic Goals

Prioritize Tasks

When it comes to time management, prioritizing tasks is essential to setting realistic goals. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete, and rank them based on their importance and urgency. By doing this, you can focus on the most critical tasks first, ensuring that you give them the necessary attention they require. Here are some methods to help prioritize tasks:

  • The Eisenhower Matrix: Categorize tasks into four quadrants based on their urgency and importance: Urgent and important, important but not urgent, urgent but not important, and neither urgent nor important.
  • The ABC Method: Assign an A, B, or C rating to each task. A tasks are the most important and should be completed first, followed by B tasks, and then C tasks.

Say No to Unimportant Tasks

One of the best ways to set realistic goals is to learn when to say no to unimportant tasks. By doing so, you can save time and focus on the tasks that matter most. To determine whether a task is important or not, evaluate if it aligns with your overall goals and objectives. If it doesn’t, consider delegating, delaying, or declining the task altogether. Here are some tips for saying no effectively:

  • Be assertive: Clearly and confidently communicate your decision to decline a task, explaining your reasoning briefly.
  • Suggest an alternative: If applicable, recommend another person or resource that may be able to help with the task.

By prioritizing tasks and saying no to unimportant tasks, you can set realistic expectations and goals for yourself. In turn, this will help you improve your focus and overall time management skills in your twenties and beyond.

Organizing Your Time

Using a Calendar App

A calendar app can play a crucial role in managing your time efficiently. It allows you to input tasks, events, and appointments to ensure you stay on top of your schedule. You can set reminders for important dates or deadlines, and even sync your calendar with other devices. Popular calendar apps include Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, and Microsoft Outlook. By consistently using a calendar app, you can effectively plan your days, weeks, and months to ensure you’re making the most of your time.

Task Management Tools

Task management tools can help you keep track of your to-do list and prioritize tasks according to their importance. Some popular task management tools include Trello, Asana, and Todoist. These tools often allow you to categorize tasks into projects, assign due dates, and even collaborate with others. By utilizing a task management tool, you can:

  • Organize tasks into categories
  • Prioritize tasks based on importance and deadlines
  • Collaborate and delegate tasks to team members
  • Track task progress and completion

Utilizing a task management tool can help you stay organized, decrease stress, and increase productivity by ensuring you know exactly what needs to be done and when.

Weekly Review

A weekly review is a strategy for reflecting on your accomplishments and planning for the upcoming week. It allows you to assess your progress, identify areas that need improvement, and make adjustments to your schedule or priority list. During a weekly review, consider:

  • Reviewing your completed tasks and accomplishments
  • Identifying areas where you struggled or encountered obstacles
  • Assessing if any tasks need to be re-evaluated or re-prioritized
  • Planning your upcoming week’s tasks and events

By conducting a weekly review, you can catch potential time management issues early and make adjustments to improve your overall time management strategy. Implementing this process can lead to better organization, increased productivity, and a clearer sense of direction in your daily life.

Boosting Focus and Productivity

Avoiding Multitasking

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is not efficient for most people. It can actually cause us to lose focus and decrease overall productivity. To boost focus, concentrate on doing one task at a time to increase effectiveness and reduce the chances of making mistakes.

Taking Regular Breaks

Taking regular, short breaks throughout the day can help you maintain focus and improve attention. Use methods like the Pomodoro Technique, which suggests taking a 5-minute break every 25 minutes of work. This allows the brain to recharge and helps to prevent burnout.

Optimizing Health and Sleep

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting enough rest plays a significant role in boosting focus and productivity. Some tips for optimizing health and sleep include:

  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night
  • Exercise regularly and incorporate physical activities into your daily routine
  • Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • Maintain a stress-free environment through mindfulness practices like meditation or deep breathing exercises

By implementing these time management tips and focusing on boosting your focus and productivity, you can achieve more throughout the day while improving your overall well-being.

Working Smarter, Not Harder

Effective Delegation

Delegation is a critical skill for working smarter. It’s essential to recognize when to delegate tasks that others can perform more efficiently or effectively than you. By assigning specific tasks to those best equipped to handle them, you can free up your own time and focus on your strengths. Consider the following strategies for effective delegation:

  • Identify tasks that require your unique expertise and those that others can handle.
  • Clearly communicate expectations and set measurable goals.
  • Follow up regularly to ensure progress and provide support as needed.

Utilizing Travel Time

Travel time can be a valuable opportunity to maximize your productivity. Instead of treating it as downtime, find ways to use this time effectively. Some suggestions to make the most of your travel time include:

  • Listen to informative podcasts or audiobooks related to your industry.
  • Complete quick tasks such as responding to emails or brainstorming ideas.
  • Use mobile apps for organization, note-taking, or time management.

Balancing Perfectionism

Pursuing perfection can be both a strength and a weakness. While it can lead to high-quality work, it may also cause procrastination and inefficiency. Balancing your perfectionism is key to working smarter, and you can do this by:

  • Adopting an “iterative” approach to work: break tasks into smaller parts, complete them one at a time, and make improvements over multiple iterations.
  • Remind yourself that “doing is better than perfect” and focus on progress rather than perfection.
  • Set realistic deadlines and prioritize tasks based on their impact and importance.

By applying these time management hacks, you’ll be better equipped to work smarter and maximize your productivity throughout your twenties and beyond.

Applying Experience and Advice

Etienne Garbugli’s Hacks

Etienne Garbugli, a Montreal-based product design and marketing consultant, shares valuable time management insights in his famous SlideShare presentation titled “26 Time Management Hacks I Wish I’d Known at 20.” Some of his most helpful hacks include:

  • Prioritize tasks and break them down into smaller steps
  • Establish a daily routine and stick to it
  • Learn to delegate or outsource when needed
  • Set realistic goals and deadlines
  • Allocate time for focused, uninterrupted work

Learning from Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs often face a constant struggle balancing multiple tasks and responsibilities. By observing their time management strategies, we can learn to optimize our work routines and make better decisions. Key insights from successful entrepreneurs include:

  • Time blocking: Schedule specific time blocks for different types of tasks to stay focused and productive
  • Avoiding multitasking: Multitasking can be counterproductive. Instead, focus on one task at a time to ensure quality outcomes
  • Prioritizing self-care: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can boost productivity and mood, making it essential to include self-care activities in our busy schedules

Investing in Your Earning Capacity

Improving your skills and knowledge can increase your earning capacity in the long run. By investing time in personal growth and development, you can enhance your time management ability and lead a more balanced life. Consider the following tactics:

  • Lifelong learning: Embrace opportunities to learn new skills or deepen expertise in your field
  • Networking: Establish relationships with industry peers and attend events to expand your professional network
  • Seeking feedback: Regularly ask for feedback from colleagues, mentors, or supervisors to identify areas for improvement and growth

By applying the advice and experiences of experts such as Etienne Garbugli and successful entrepreneurs, we can make informed decisions about effective time management strategies and invest in our overall earning capacity.


Establishing a routine can be beneficial in managing time during your twenties. By setting up a daily schedule, you can ensure that tasks are completed efficiently, and deadlines are met without compromising on relaxation time. Remember to allocate time for breaks to avoid burnout and maintain a work-life balance.

Incorporating deadlines into your routine can significantly improve time management. By setting specific timeframes for tasks, you not only keep yourself accountable but also enable better organization of your working life. Deadlines help ensure that tasks are completed promptly and prevent distractions from derailing your productivity.

Allocating time for relaxation is vital in maintaining mental and physical well-being. Regular breaks throughout the day can help rejuvenate your memory and keep you focused on the task at hand. Consider incorporating short breaks, leisure activities, or even exercise into your routine to achieve a balanced lifestyle.

Improving memory during your twenties can also help with time management. By using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique, or even simple methods like writing lists or using productivity apps, you can stay on track and manage your tasks effectively. This will enable you to remember tasks and deadlines with ease, allowing you to navigate your working life more efficiently.

In conclusion, taking control of your time in your twenties involves a blend of routine, meeting deadlines, relaxation, and memory enhancement techniques. By implementing these strategies, you will be better equipped to navigate the challenges of your working life and make the most out of your time.

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