Most people learn time management the hard way: by trial and error.

Étienne Garbugli, a Montreal-based product and marketing consultant and the author of “Lean B2B: Build Products Businesses Want,” distilled the lessons he wishes he’d known when he was 20.

He created the following presentation, posted to SlideShare, which we’ve shared here with his permission.

1. There’s always time. Time is priorities.

2. Days always fill up.

“Only plan for 4-5 hours of real work per day” —David Heinemeier Hansson, 37 Signals

3. Work more when you’re in the zone. Relax when you’re not.

“It’s normal to to have days where you just can’t work and days where you’ll work 12 hours straight.” —Alain Paquin, Whatsnexx

4. Respect your time and make it respected.

“Your time is $1,000/hour, and you need to act accordingly.” —Jason Cohen, @asmartbear

5. Stop multitasking. It merely kills your focus.

6. Set up a work routine and stick to it. Your body will adapt.

7. We’re always more focused and productive with limited time.

8. Work is the best way to get working. Start with short tasks to get the ball rolling.

9. Work iteratively. Expectations to do things perfectly are stifling.

“Doing is better than perfect.” —Facebook company motto

10. More work hours doesn’t mean more productivity. Use constraints as opportunities.

11. Separate brainless and strategic tasks to become more productive.

“Separate thinking and execution to execute faster and think better.” —Sol Tangua, Imarklab

12. Organize meetings early during the day. Time leading up to an event is often wasted.

13. Group meetings and communication (email or phone) to create blocks of uninterrupted work.

“A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in.” —Paul Graham, YCombinator

14. Keep the same context throughout the day. Switching between projects/clients is unproductive.

15. Work around procrastination. Procrastinate between intense sprints of work.

16. Break the unreasonable down into little reasonable chunks.

“A big goal is only achieved when every little thing that you do everyday, gets you closer to that goal.” —Maren Kate, Escaping the 9 to 5

17. No two tasks ever hold the same importance. Always prioritize. Be really careful with to-do lists.

18. Always know the one thing you really need to get done during the day.

“Only ever work on the thing that will have the biggest impact.” —Jason Cohen, @asmartbear

19. Break tasks into hour increments. Long tasks are hard to get into; feels like it all needs to get done.

20. Delegate and learn to make use of other people.

“If something can be done 80% as well by someone else, delegate!” —John C. Maxwell, Author

21. Turn the page on yesterday. Only ever think about today and tomorrow.

“Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” -Babe Ruth, Hall of Fame baseball player

22. Set deadlines for everything. Don’t let tasks go on indefinitely.

23. Set end dates for intense or stressful activities. Everything ends at some point.

24. Always take notes.

“Get a reminder app for everything. Do not trust your own brain for your memory.” —Julien Smith, author

25. Write down anything that distracts you—Google searches, random thoughts, new ideas, whatever.

“The point is, if you write them down, they’ll stop bubbling up when you’re in the zone.” —Steven Corona, Twitpic

26. Take breaks, sometimes.

This story originally appeared on Business Insider.


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