You can't really "manage" time, which is why I'm not the biggest fan of the term "time management." I only use it - and then only very reluctantly - because that's the term most people are familiar with.
But in actuality, the only thing you can control is what you do with your time; you're really managing your activities, not your time.
This may seem like a silly distinction, but this small shift in thinking can profoundly and positively affect your productivity.
In her book, Time Management from the Inside Out and other writings on the subject, author and professional organizer Julie Morganstern advises that instead of thinking of time as abstract, you should think of time as something tangible - a container. There are only a limited number of things that can fit into the container.
Trying to manage your time is like trying to manage your closet. You know you can't "manage" the closet; instead, you need to manage what is in the closet. Only a limited number of things will fit into the closet. Once the closet is full, you can't keep cramming more stuff into it. If you want to put something new in the closet, you will need to make room by getting rid of some of your "stuff."
The same is true with the "stuff" that fills your days - if you want to add something new, you need to make room.
Just how do you do that? Stay tuned for more in my time management tips series.