There are only 24 hours in a day. Each day, people are presented with an opportunity to take a step closer to accomplishing their goals. Often progression toward a goal is stalled or halted because life intervenes. Whether it is your personal life or professional life, each day presents unexpected twists and turns that make those 24 hours scarce. That is why it is extremely important to manage your time and best attempt to block out distractions. Learning time management skills can come from a variety of different sources, such as books, lectures and, typically, just life itself. Time management boils down to the hundreds of small decisions you make every day from the second you wake up to the second you go to sleep. Essentially, every decision is a micro cost-benefit analysis, in which you decide one course of action over another. There are many ways you can manage your time, but here are some tips to help you effectively use your 24 hours. Tip 1: Start early. Starting your day early can help you accomplish more. Obviously, starting your day earlier gives you more time to accomplish goals, but it also will give you time to reflect on what and how to get your goals completed. Having a plan, or a rough timeline of when you want to get tasks done, can motivate you to get those tasks finished during that time. Tip 2: Create a list and check it off. Creating a to-do list is a simple way to prioritize what you want to accomplish on any given day. Order your list in any manner you like, but make sure that as you accomplish one task and start another: check it off. By crossing off one thing on your to-do list it will give you the confidence and motivation to check off another. Once you pick up momentum, you will be well on your way to achieving all your goals for the day. Tip 3: Keep an open time slot. Everyday something new is bound to come up. Keep an open slot of time in your daily schedule to tackle those new occurrences. Also, make that time slot movable. A new problem or task is not going to come up at the same time each day. Make sure your open time period can be tailored to accommodate the urgent new task. There is no one way to manage your time effectively. The key is to know your goals, your schedule and yourself. Once you do that you will be finding yourself more productive than ever.