Military Time Management Quotes

Here are some time management quotes from ordinary Soldiers who visited my website.  I think you can learn a lot about time management from these helpful tips. Enjoy.

“Decisive for me managing time is knowing what I have on the plate. Simply put – a “To Do” list.

1. Everything on the list holds importance to be completed, otherwise – don’t list it.
2. MUST prioritize said list. Tough task when many to all tasks give illusion of equality simply because they all need to be completed (see #1). No task will tie with another.
3. Complete each task by level of priority. Unless you can clone yourself and do them all simultaneously, only work on highest priority task until complete.
4. Remove task from list once complete (or drop priority to end if recurring task).
5. Revisions. Never revise priority unless specifically ordered to by your Supervisor/Commander/Boss whom you directly report too. I keep that at two people, my Rater and Senior Rater. Anyone else outside that chain of authority, regardless of rank, can wait! They can take it up with your boss(s) to make decision on your workload.
6. Additions. Don’t play with your food by moving it around the plate! Add tasks to list as identified, but do not prioritize higher then what you already decided upon.

Above is the base template for a single, prioritized list of tasks. Once mastered, you can develop multiple sub-lists but they MUST nest into a single main topic priority list.

Critical to completion of items on list is allocation of available time tackling each one. Comes from experience knowing complexity of task at hand and/or historical reference completing same or similar task. This is required information when analyzing tasks in order to prioritize.” ~ MAJ Charles F., ARNG

“The best tip I could offer is: ‘have your gear ready to go.’ Most of us have enough uniforms and such to have packed in your ruck with under garments and such. When the time comes to go to the field or military school your ready to go . Keeping your gear organized saves time and stress. No last minute ‘I don’t know where blank is’ because it’s already packed.” ~ CPL Kenneth B.

“Like most things in life, you need a plan and you need to stick top that plan. I prefer to write a list of things that need to get accomplished for that particular day. A Troop that is serving in the Reserve Component typically has a career to balance into the factor as well. Keeping a list (think mini goals) that need to get accomplished really supports the ‘working smarter’ and not necessarily the ‘working harder’ concept as well.” ~ LTC Daniel A., ARNG

“The best time management tip I can offer Soldiers serving in the ARNG or USAR is prioritize your work. In Today’s Army everything has a “suspense date”, or level of importance. I’ve learned that if you prioritize your work by “what’s more important” or when it’s due, you spend less time rushing to produce a mediocre product at the last minute. Remember your work is a reflection of yourself.

The next best time management tip I can offer Soldiers serving in the ARNG or USAR is discipline. With technology growing faster than we can feed it, we as soldiers strive and struggle to keep up. Everyone has a smart phone, a Facebook page, Twitter, etc. All of these lead to the black hole of poor time management. Remember you spend 8-10 hours at work at a time give or take. All it takes is a text message or Facebook update to suck away 5-10 minutes of your time (per message) in a work environment. Before you know it the day is over and you’ve have nothing accomplished. So practice being discipline to theses vices, turn off your Social Network notifications or alerts on your mobile devices, use the vibrate or silent setting on those devices as well.” ~ SSG John M., ARNG

“Well, there are a few tips:

1. The first 30 minutes of a new work day should be spent on getting caught up on work that was not completed the day prior. At the end of a work day make a list of what you will accomplish for the next day. Place the top ten items of the day in order of importance. There are always so many things to do, but if you have a list it makes it faster to accomplish them and there is gratification. Many people always say they have so much to do, but never write down what they have to do, so in essence they do not accomplish what they need to achieve.

2. Work Consolidation: Plan ahead to get work accomplished. Example; plan your training requirements early and get them submitted. It is better to have a plan submitted that can be tweaked then trying to plan and act on them at the same time. This goes for many tasks. The key is to plan. Another words, you know you need to submit 12 training plans a year, submit them all at once versus 1 a month.

3. Personal Goals: Have a 5 year plan on where you want to be and start laying the ground work. Understand what it takes to get there and find a mentor to assist you. Don’t always wait for someone to take you under their wing, go out and find a mentor.

4. Education: Many young Soldiers always say they do not have time for school. After speaking with them, I find they are not married, no children and no second job. I explain to them that they need better time management skills. Cut down on the party time, get more sleep and take their future more serious. I ask them what they really want out of life. Sometimes they really do not know. I tell them write a list of what is truly important to them and at the end of the day what do they really want out of life. When they know what they truly want then it time to buckle down. This is when the plan is developed.

I also have spoken to Soldiers that have children, are married and have other jobs, etc. Then we discuss how to leverage automation systems because many colleges have on-line courses. The key to time management is in the planning. After planning, then the execution of the plan begins.

Be proactive versus reactive.” ~ CSM (ret) Jeannette W., ARNG

“If you are a reserve component officer in a green tab or primary staff position you must make time for your Soldiers as you do your family. If you aren’t prepared to do that then don’t take the position.

I recommend the RC officer schedule one consistent night (time) a week that is dedicated to his unit; that it be known, predictable to his family and unit, and not be compromised.” ~ LTC Amy B. ARNG

“Serving in the Military can be hard on all of us. It’s truly hard to fit everything in. There’s Military duties, family duties, trying to be a good soldier, husband, wife, and/or friend. I believe that if we focus on the little things, everything else comes into place. When we focus and worry about the big things, our time management gets off track because we feel pressured into doing something. This brings us unwanted stress and sometimes can also affect our health. If we start with the small things and take one step at a time, we’ll find that we’re able to fit everything in a lot better and the way we adjust to time management doesn’t seem so bad after all.” ~ SGT Mike L., ARNG

“Best time management tip: prioritize! Make a list of the things you want the soldiers to do on a drill weekend for example. Then, rate them by importance. Then, take HALF of your (hoped for) tasks, and STRIKE THEM OFF YOUR LIST. My one observation about part-time soldiering is that we need to do a few things REALLY well: shoot, move, communicate; and not a LOT of things poorly!” ~ SSG (ret) FJW

“Depending on the Army Leader’s position they are really not part time, they are full time without the full time pay. Decisions have to be made and they would have to be contacted either on their full time job or at home for their input on various decisions.

For me as a former ARNG Leader I had to foresee actions and missions at least anywhere from 3, 6 to 12 months ahead in order to meet deadlines in a timely manner. Being at a staff level dealing with subordinate units in dealing with our timelines and deadlines was the biggest challenge. You pretty much had to prioritize actions for the subordinate units as well as myself. Time management in the military is a real challenge at the Leader level, being able to be flexible. The best tip is to be able to prioritize according to importance and the deadlines, also to be able to foresee and think ahead. ARNG and USAR Soldiers need to learn how to prioritize the personal lives as well in order to do a good job while they are serving in the Reserve status. Some Soldier’s feel they should use Reserve time to work on their personal life.” ~ SGM (ret) Regina W., ARNG

“I approach time management much like a triage situation. I gauge the importance; as well as, the likelihood for a positive outcome. This approach allows me focus my resources (time and energy) on the most crucial tasks at hand. Once all of the in your face/important tasks are dealt with, you can then go back and touch bases on some of the less important/minor tasks.” ~ SSG Eric W., ARNG

“Keep an appointment book to record all appointments, drill weekends and etc in. Also use it to block off time for yourself to prepare for those events and activities both physically (i.e. hygiene, eating, travel and etc), and mentally (i.e. attitude, possible outcomes and responses, and etc). Most importantly be on time which means 15 minutes early.” ~ SPC M.J., ARNG

“The best time management tip I could give Soldiers today is to prioritize every aspect of your life. Time management is must when it comes to work, family, friends and working towards your dreams and goals in life. You have to know how much time is too much and how much time is not enough spent in any aspect of your life. I have reminders and calendars all over my house so that my family is aware of my and whereabouts. Involve your spouse into your planning so that she does not feel left out and not helpful to you. She may be a better planner than you. If you are not married, ask a close friend to assist you in planning how to accomplish your long term and short term goals no matter what they are. Last but not least, make time for worship whatever your faith is. Last, health and fitness must be added to when managing your time. Just put those things that are most important first and everything else will fall into place.” ~ SFC JS, ARNG

“Create a weekly plan filled with appointments and activities to be accomplished. Break that plan down to daily plans. Appointments and activities that can’t be put off write in Red. Match up the tasks that can be done by multitasking. Keep the plan realistic. After you decide what to accomplish, then execute them.”  ~ SSG (Ret) Wendy O.

“The best time management tip that worked for me was prior planning. Drill weekend comes once a month, 15 days for AT. If you have a family, you especially have to have a plan in place to accommodate the time you are away. Of course the plan would be different for each individual. To help with this plan, you have to not be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to family, close friends, or neighbors.” ~ CW2 (ret) Dana T., ARNG

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed these time management quotes.  If you apply what you learn from some of these quotes there is no doubt in my mind that you will get more done in less time.  What are your thoughts?  What is your favorite time management quote?  Leave a comment and let us know.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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14 thoughts on “Military Time Management Quotes”

  1. “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst”. This is so true. Love all the advice on this post. Thanks

  2. Great post. I always get alot from quotes from some reason. More so when they are powerfully worded. My favorite time management quotes are:

    “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “To conquer frustration, one must remain intensely focused on the outcome, not the obstacles.” – T.F. Hodge

  3. Time management has always been something I’ve tried to include every day. Before I go to bed I make a list of my “to-do’s” for the following day so I can check them off as I go. It’s nice to have a plan to follow because I am not the type to fly by the seat of my pants. Here are some of my favorite tips and quotes regarding time management:

    -“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
    -“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln
    -“He who every morning plans the transaction of the day and follows out that plan, carries a thread that will guide him through the maze of the most busy life. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incidence, chaos will soon reign.” – Victor Hugo

    Some tips:
    -To complete tasks I prioritize them on my list, labeling them as A (urget/must get done first), B (next item to be completed) and C (not as important, but still must be completed).
    -Learn to say “No”. This one is hard for me. But I have had to learn that saying no is alright. If I overload myself I tend to become stressed and have a difficult time meeting deadlines.

  4. A quote that has always stuck with me is, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” Could not be more true… Most people always want more time or wish they had more…but I have found that the reason that they want more time is because they squander the time that they did have. They are unable to prioritize what needs done and lack the ability to organize their schedules. Always think of the jar and the rocks…big rocks first (big priorities) then the sand (small stuff) to fill out your day.

  5. Faith A. Coleman

    Crossing paths with your time-management blogs and tips surely is no coincidence. It separates the successful achievers from the ones saying “I should have” or “I regret” or “If only.” I’ve noticed I’m more efficient when I’ve got a bit too much to do for the time allotted, but when I have more than enough time and have the option of some leisure, putting off starting something immediately, I don’t get anything done. It seems too, that work expands to fill the amount of time available. Of course if I stop talking about time and how I’m going to get everything done, and just start doing it, it gets done.

    1. Work definitely expands to fill the time available. That is a great point, Faith. I’ve found that making a “to do” list every day and prioritizing it, and then doing things in order of importance really makes me productive.

  6. I can’t function without a planner with everything scheduled. It’s difficult sometimes to weed through everything that potentially could be on my to-do list for a day or even a week. I really have to prioritize by what is a non-negotiable, balancing work and my daughter, what’s important but could wait because other things need to be done, like housework, what’s important but not necessarily essential at the moment, like my reading list, and then somewhere in there, finding time to recharge, which is a tough one to find these days.

  7. In civilian life I’m the controller for an organization that has multiple companies, some small and some large. Trying to keep the financials up to date for all of them is no mean feat. I literally took an Excel spreadsheet and broke my week down day by day, allocating blocks of time to each company. I also left myself plenty of flexibility and built in time for less-frequent tasks, like paying sales taxes each month. My objective was less to impose a rigid schedule on myself than to record each day how my time was actually allocated. What I now have is a “budget vs. actual” for time that tells my what I can realistically take on in addition to what I’m doing now, since we have a tendency to buy new companies fairly often. Sometimes finding out where your time is really going is the first step in getting control.

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