How to manage your life

5 life management skills you need to know right now

The expectations you set for yourself are sky-high: You want to dominate at work, be an exceptional provider for your family, stay in incredible shape and find ways to give back to your community. People often describe you as an “overachiever,” and in the past, this title made you proud.

But you’ve realized that the more you take on, the more you struggle with life management. You’ve relied on to-do lists to stay on top of the many items that fill your calendar, but this system is not working for you. A to-do list won’t help you learn how to manage things in life it will only make you feel like you’re not doing enough. You’re ultimately sabotaging yourself. To truly grow, you have to learn life management skills instead of just piling more tasks on your plate.

What is life management?

Life management is the ability to handle everything you need to in order to live a productive, happy and fulfilling life. It’s closely related to time management, but it goes way beyond making to-do lists and filling out your day planner. Remember: Being busy is not the same thing as being productive. Life management is about transforming your mindset so you can handle stress, master your emotions and take control of your life. Life management skills include everything from creating healthy habits to learning how to delegate to setting SMART goals so that you can measure your progress.

Why is life management important?

Life management allows you to be more productive, do more with less time and accomplish your goals. Good life management means you not only accomplish the basics – eating healthy, exercise, self-care – but also create the space to be an excellent friend, an extraordinary partner and an attentive parent. It allows you to step out of “the hustle” and into a real enjoyment of life.  

How can I better manage my life?

Most people think of life management in the wrong order: They start with their daily to-do list and attempt to cram everything they need to do into the time they have. But you actually need to flip that on its head. As Tony says, “You can’t have a plan for your day until you have a plan for your life.” Start with your end goals, work backwards and better life management will follow.

If you find yourself achieving things, checking them off your to-do list and still wondering, “Is this all there is?” then it’s time to change your approach by integrating these powerful life management skills into your life.

better life management

1. Find purpose

What do you want from your life? What is your ultimate outcome? The answer isn’t buying a nice car or fancy house. Your true goal is something deeper and the life management skills you cultivate need to reflect that. What objective, when you think about it, brings you a sense of joy, fun and freedom? What does it mean to you to unlock an extraordinary life? That’s what you’re working for. It could be providing for your family or being the best in your field, but it isn’t about material things.

All too often you lose sight of your end goal when thinking about what you want to achieve. This results in creating meaningless to-do lists, not better life management. You get swept up in the short-term tasks you’ve listed instead of pursuing your higher purpose. The more clarity you have regarding your end goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Once you know what you really want, you start making progress to achieve it.

With a clear vision in mind, you can use life management services such as a Massive Action Plan to determine your actions with purpose and make true progress toward your goals. As Tony Robbins says, “One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” Decide to become a master of your life. Take control of your time and make your actions count.

2. Rely on chunking

You’re not failing at reaching your goals because you’re incapable of success — you’re failing because you’re focusing on too many things at once. Changing the way you think about your goals is one of the life management skills that will help you focus. Don’t think about the things that you need to do to achieve your goal — think about and visualize the outcome.

Say your goal is learning how to cook. You’re dreading going to the grocery store, finding recipes, purchasing kitchen appliances and cleaning up the mess at the end of the ordeal. Instead of focusing on your desirable outcome — becoming an amazing cook — you’re caught up in all the intimidating details.

Now think of something you already know how to do really well, like working out. You know you need to drive to the gym, then exercise when you get there. These two manageable tasks seem much easier than the many steps it takes to learn a new skill because you’ve done it many times before. But in reality, cooking and going to the gym aren’t that different in terms of difficulty — you’re just thinking about them in a completely different way.

If you change your mindset and think about the outcome instead of the steps to get there, you’re more likely to pursue your goal. Chunking is the understanding that when you’re first learning a new skill, like cooking, it can feel like you’re doing 100 things. But after working on your skills in the kitchen enough, it becomes a couple of manageable tasks — going to the store and cooking.

Once you master this skill, you can chunk activities with similar outcomes together. Empower yourself to get things done by grouping together information into manageable-size chunks that you can use effectively to achieve your goals.

life management

3. Utilize N.E.T. time

One of the important steps to achieving any goal is to continue learning at every opportunity. However, it can be difficult to access the books, podcasts and videos that will further your knowledge when you feel like there’s no time left in the day. Feeding your mind during downtime will take your expertise to a new level.

This is where life management skills like utilizing N.E.T. time come in. N.E.T. stands for “No Extra Time” and it’s based on the concept that you always have time during your day that you can fill with learning. This could mean listening to a podcast during your morning commute or an audiobook while you’re shopping for groceries or reading a book while you wait for an appointment. 

4. Spend time on relationships

Better life management is not all about achieving peak physical health and getting ahead at work. It’s also essential to take time every day to cultivate relationships with those you love. Planning for date nights and opportunities for deeper connection is crucial to creating a healthy relationship with your partner. Reserving time to play with, read to and talk to your kids about their day is vital to developing bonds with your children. Don’t view the time you take to relax and connect as wasted time. Instead, see it as an important life management component that adds to your overall well-being.

5. Learn how to communicate better

How often do you lose valuable time at work or at home because of a miscommunication? Maybe a project needs to be redone because the objectives weren’t clearly communicated or you and your partner took the afternoon off work to handle a plumbing issue at home because you didn’t effectively communicate who would take care of it. Communicating with your partner and your team at the office leads to better relationships and streamlined schedules. Learn the communication styles of those you frequently interact with and understand that life management becomes easier when you slow down and take the time to truly listen.

Life management resources

Life management concepts can be very useful, but sometimes you need concrete resources to help you effectively manage the hours in the day. These life management resources can help. 

rpm tony robbinsRapid Planning Method

There’s no reason why you need to dive into life management on your own. There are many of tools out there to help you create the life you’ve always wanted. Once you know what you want and why you want it, it’s time to seek out valuable resources, like Tony Robbins’ Rapid Planning Method (RPM). You now know the essential components of RPM that were discussed above, as you’ve identified your purpose and can utilize chunking to develop your Massive Action Plan. Adhering to the Rapid Planning Method means knowing what you want, identifying why you want it and mapping out what actions you’ll take to accomplish it.

The Time of Your Life

Making time for what matters most in life – family, friends, giving back and finding fulfillment – starts with identifying the purpose behind every action you take. With The Time of Your Life, you’ll discover the “why” behind your larger goals and then learn how to connect that purpose to your daily responsibilities so you can finally get all your tasks done. This 10-day program uses the Rapid Planning Method to show you how to stop focusing on what you have to do, and start focusing on what you want to achieve.


If you’re struggling with how to manage things in life, it may be time to reach out for extra help. Working with a life or business coach will help you learn more about yourself and your goals and develop valuable skills to get where you truly want to go. A coach provides accountability and insight – two things you need to achieve growth.

Ultimate Edge

ultimate edge

Ready to take your life to a level you never dreamed of? The next step is using life management services from Tony Robbins. Ultimate Edge is a program that offers proven tools to discover what you want most in life in order to overcome the obstacles that are holding you back and take charge of your own life.

It’s time to throw away your to-do list and embrace change. As Tony Robbins says, “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” With a clear vision, and powerful life management resources under your belt, you’ll be one major step closer to maximizing your time and reaching your ultimate goals.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

related posts
Productivity & Performance

Master these Characteristics of a Leader and Become Unstoppable

Read More
Productivity & Performance

The science of lasting change

Read More
Productivity & Performance

One Decision Can Change Your Life

Read More

Get Tony Robbins' articles, podcasts and videos in your inbox, biweekly.