20 Practical Time Management Tips


In a world bustling with endless distractions and demands, mastering the art of effective time management is the key to unlocking productivity and reclaiming control over our busy lives.

You’re busy already, so we’ll keep this brief, we asked our team, who like you are juggling busy work and personal lives, to share their best time management tips that actually work.

Here’s what they said:

1.Create weekly and daily lists.

2. Estimate how long each item will take and write it down next to that task

3. Each day aim to have only 3 things on your list (this is a tough one), but it’s about setting realistic goals that not only give you a sense of achievement but stop you feeling overwhelmed too.

4. At the end of each day review what hasn’t been done and then re-allocate when that task can be done. By making the next day’s list the night before saves you wasting time the next day thinking about it.

5. When creating this list consider how many hours you actually have to work each day. If you work 7 hours, but 3 hours of that day is in meetings, you only have 4 hours to get your tasks completed, so think about what can be done in that time.

6. If you’re at management level, plan for interruptions. If, on a typical day you spend 2 hours dealing with requests for help or unexpected calls, then factor that into your day as well, so that your list is more realistic and achievable.

7. At the beginning of each day do the most important things on your list first, so you start the day well.

8. If your organisation allows flex working, work at the times your most productive.

9. Batch similar tasks together, such as sending emails, making calls, sending proposals – task switching makes us less efficient and causes us to make more mistakes.

10. Block out time in your diary to get key tasks done uninterrupted, let others know that you’re not available during that time.

11. Schedule in time for your breaks and exercise and use your annual leave – in 2022 over 60% of UK adults didn’t use their holiday entitlement. We are constantly concerned if our devices have low batteries, but we need to apply that sentiment to ourselves.

12. Set boundaries. If people don’t know your working hours, add the information near your email signature (My normal working hours are…)

13. Turn off phone and email notifications when working on specific tasks to avoid distractions

14. Cancel meetings that could be a quick email or a call – apparently 16% of our lives are spent in unnecessary meetings, which during a 45 year career equates to approximately 22 years (MIT)

15. Unsubscribe from groups you don’t need to be in.

17. Have a work and personal phone so that you can switch off in your time off.

18.Walk and talk – get some daily exercise and vitamin D by having phone calls whilst you walk.

19. Learn how to say no by delegating a task or suggesting a different time for a meeting or deadline for a piece of work.

20. Delegate what you can – think about if it would be beneficial for someone else to complete a specific task because they have the skillset or would benefit from the development that delegation would create for them.

Remember that true delegation is a conversation between you and another person, where they see the responsibility of what they need to achieve as an outcome. They take responsibility for that by determining their own action plan and then the delegator backs away, but allows them to know that they have their support to see it through.