How to master time management


There only are a set number of hours in a day and a lot of demands on personal time. Finding ways to use time more efficiently and effectively is a goal many people aspire to, whether they are business owners, students or anyone in between.

A hectic schedule quickly can get the better of anyone, but there are many individuals who seem to have it all together. It is likely they have figured out how to manage time better. 

According to Starling Bank’s “2020 Make Business Simple” report, small business owners and solo entrepreneurs spend up to 31 percent of their weekly time sorting finances and doing other administrative work. 

Learning early on how to more effectively allot time for tasks is one of the key skills a person can learn.

Use a calendar and set reminders

There’s only so much the average person can remember. Putting events into a calendar will provide visual cues as to what needs to get done and when. It also may help illustrate a pattern of when blocks of time are more busy and when there are free moments so that tasks can be redistributed, serving as a time audit of sorts. Reminder functions are a great way to stay on top of things and avoid feeling stressed and rushed when responsibilities are accidentally overlooked.

Learn about the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is a tool that helps people distinguish between tasks that are important, not important, urgent and not urgent. The matrix is broken down into quadrants that correspond with the 4Ds of execution: do, defer, delegate and delete. This matrix can help a person prioritize tasks relevant to their goals.

Tackle difficult things first

Leadership expert Brian Tracy developed a productivity method called Eat That Frog. It is good for those who have trouble avoiding distractions or people who tend to procrastinate. The gist is tackling the most complicated or dreaded task first, and only moving on to other things once you’ve “eaten that frog.”

Use the right tools

Certain tools work for some and not for others. While one person may like making paper to-do lists, another may prefer digital devices. Identifying the resources that help a person manage time better can be an asset.

Limit time spent on each task

According to Parkinson’s Law, “work expands to fill the time allotted to complete it.” People should set reasonable limits on how long to give each task; otherwise, they may spend more time than is necessary.

Multitasking is not the answer

Productivity is reduced when individuals multitask, according to the American Psychological Association. Sticking to one job at a time puts full attention on that job and may help it get done more quickly and to a better level.