Updated: September 27, 2022

12 Time Management Tips & Strategies for Work

You found our list of time management tips.

Time management is a method of managing duties and activities to make the most of a person’s efforts. For example, eliminating distractions, tracking time, and prioritizing tasks. Some of the benefits of time management tips include better efficiency, higher productivity, improved task management, and lower stress levels. When it comes to personal and professional success, time management is one of the most valuable skills to learn.

These tips often appear in time management books. This ability is a critical leadership skill and executive assistant skill and is one of the keys to work-life balance.

This article contains:

  • time management tips for adults
  • time management tips for employees
  • time management tips for managers
  • time management tips for professionals

Let’s get right into it!

List of time management skills

Time management may significantly influence your work life. Most of us fail to give every activity the attention it requires. Employees can manage their time optimally with good time management skills. Workplace burnout is less likely to occur when projects go according to plan for the company. For effective time management, some of the skills to learn include:

  • Staying organized
  • Identifying and tackling the most important tasks first
  • Setting a clear goal
  • Good communication skills
  • Creating an effective daily plan
  • Delegating tasks
  • Stress management

These strong ideas can help you manage your time effectively.

List of time management tips

Some practical time management tips for employees to consider include:

1. Get up early in the morning

Changing the number of hours in a day is impossible, but you might try to get up earlier and extend the length of daytime available to you. A minimum of six to eight hours of sleep every night is vital for best performance and alertness.

The best way to begin this change is by setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual and gradually increasing the time frame. You may utilize this extra time for exercise, meditating, prioritizing, or even indulging in a pastime. As a result, your daily output will rise, and time management will hardly be an issue.

2. Create SMART goals

SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. If you do not see results from your objectives, something is probably wrong or missing with your strategy. On the other hand, if you set your objectives correctly, your productivity might soar. An excellent approach to setting goals is prioritizing what you want to achieve and ensuring the objective is S.M.A.R.T. You can bring organization to your professional life if you set these objectives, and you will be more prepared for the day’s challenges.

3. Use an excellent time tracking or management application

Time management begins with understanding your habits and optimizing your hours. You can use a planner, software, or an app on your phone for this undertaking. You can plan activities and create reminders in a calendar tool like Outlook.

Using a time tracking program like ProofHub and TimeTrack is a simple and effective approach to keeping track of every minute spent at work. Time-tracking software can help you create time estimates, monitor how much time you spend on tasks, and keep track of every minute you spend working on the entire project.

Many professionals utilize email analytics services to keep track of and visualize their email use and productivity. These services show you how much time you spend emailing customers, suppliers, prospects, or coworkers.

To-do lists and calendars can also help you keep track of time. You can make the most of both and set out time on your calendar for the most critical chores. Note-taking software and a time-tracking app are also essential for effective time management. Additionally, tools for preventing distractions and keeping track of habits may be helpful.

Check out this list of time tracking tools.

4. Avoid wasting time waiting

With the pace of modern life, it is hard to avoid waiting, especially since factors are not always within our control. However, you do not have to sit around and fiddle during downtime. With today’s technology, you can work from anywhere with your tablet or smartphone. You could read a report, examine a spreadsheet, or plan your next marketing strategy while waiting on a client appointment or standing in line on an errand.

5. Do the most important tasks in the morning

“Eat a live frog every morning, and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day,” said Mark Twain. This phrase means handling the most urgent work first in the morning. Also, if there are multiple essential tasks, do the biggest one first. Prioritization and time management go hand in hand. You can only efficiently manage your time if you know your tasks and their deadlines. The idea is to choose difficult or time-consuming work, complete it, and then move on to another duty.

It would be best to avoid taking on more tasks than you can manage. Successful people do more with less. Prioritizing your work can help you get the job done faster, save you time, and increase your output. You can try to focus on one activity at a time, completing it, and moving on to the next without overworking yourself.

6. Find your productivity zone

You may have observed that your concentration levels are sharp at certain times of day, and your output soars remarkably. This situation occurs when your thoughts and the surrounding environment perfectly sync. ‘Flow’ and ‘zone’ are two different terms for the same scenario. Finding your “flow” or “zone” might help you better use your time. Your zone enables you to reach an ideal level of awareness to feel and perform at your best.

7. Eliminate distractions

Although common and often inevitable, office interruptions like emails, phone calls, and social media posts may be disruptive. According to an article by The Telegraph, an average employee loses 759 hours per year to office distractions. Due to numerous interruptions, a process that should have taken 60 minutes could take more than three hours.

Managing your own time is all about getting rid of unnecessary elements. When working on high-priority activities, it is advisable to put your phone on quiet mode. This step will help you save a lot of time and improve your productivity. You can also reduce the number of colleagues who can see you by closing the door. Another tip is to close all except the most recent tabs on your browser.

It is advisable to avoid doing too much at once. For the next two weeks, work on overcoming the two most common distractions in your life.

8. Avoid multitasking

According to a study published in Psychology Today, only two percent of individuals can multitask successfully. As for the remaining 98 percent of workers, multitasking is a waste of time and reduces overall efficiency.

One of the most effortless time management ideas for work may be one of the most difficult to implement. It is better to concentrate on the current task and block distractions. While multitasking may seem like a good idea, it is often counterproductive. When you go from one activity to another, you waste time and reduce your output.

You can quickly get overwhelmed by an ever-expanding list of tasks to complete. Instead of worrying about how long the job will take, relax and focus on one task at a time. It is preferable to excel at a task than split your attention among three distinct projects. Another tip that would work is putting tasks on a timer to maximize efficiency. Setting a deadline and sticking to it increases the chances of completing a project.

9. Take quick regular breaks to re-energize and refuel

Taking breaks is a great time management strategy, even if it seems counterintuitive. You do not have to accomplish tasks at a long stretch to be a good time manager. Good time management also stresses taking short breaks every hour or so to boost your productivity. For instance, instead of spending five to seven hours working on a task in one stretch, consider taking breaks every other hour to reorganize yourself. Working continuously without breaks causes fatigue, consequently lowering output.

10. Avoid procrastination

Procrastination prompts folks to do nothing or to focus on unimportant tasks. Chronic procrastinators tend to postpone crucial tasks till the last minute and then worry when it is too late. You should avoid allowing procrastination to rule your daily activities.

A good tip to avoid procrastination is to divide your task into smaller chunks. This approach makes the tasks achievable and gives you a starting point. Also, you can create precise timelines that give you a clear sense of when assignments are due. Being around individuals who are quick to act and achieve their objectives also means that you are more likely to adopt these traits yourself and be more proactive at work.

11. Group similar tasks

It is incredible how much time you may save by grouping similar tasks. Different projects need varying degrees of planning and organization. Instead of flitting from one duty to the next without thought, it makes sense to group the tasks.

For example, rather than responding to crucial emails and phone calls at random times throughout the day, you might set aside blocks for these activities. This approach structures your time and ensures good task management. Working on related tasks improves concentration and helps you complete tasks on time. By planning and managing recurring tasks, you may save a lot of time and work in the long run.

12. Outsource or delegate

Outsourcing and delegating tasks allow you to free up time to concentrate on more essential functions while also substantially reducing your workload. There is never a wrong time to learn how to delegate responsibilities to others and have others share part of the burden with you.

You can outsource many basic tasks to technology. For instance, many busy professionals rely on websites like Rev.com to transcribe meeting notes and phone conversations. Aside from being convenient, recording calls allows you to get additional insights from the exchanges and instantly distribute them to coworkers who may find them helpful.

You may always outsource or hire a freelancer if it is difficult for you to delegate work or set aside time to teach others. However, delegating and outsourcing may be huge time-savers if done effectively.

You have some time management tips for professionals that will boost your output at work. While it might take a while to adopt these tips, you can make a conscious effort to practice them daily until they become second nature.

List of time management strategies

Some of the most common time management strategies include:

1. The 80/20 principle

Pareto’s principle states that just 20 percent of the activities or efforts produce 80 percent of the outcomes. This strategy is known as the 80/20 principle. The Pareto principle emphasizes the need to prioritize your time so that you may spend less time on less consequential tasks and more time on those that will have the most significant impact.

For example, you may browse through ten articles in an hour by glancing through for a little more than five minutes and choosing two of the best ones in the following hour instead of spending two hours reading three articles in depth. When you become acclimated to this strategy, you will observe an increase in productivity and be able to manage time and effort better.

2. The A.B.C.D.E. approach

This strategy is one of the more effective time management tips for managers. If you are having trouble keeping track of how you spend your time, try using the A.B.C.D.E. approach to define priorities. Below are ways to use the strategy for personal and professional time management.

First, write a list of all of the things you need to get done, and then sort them alphabetically by the following criteria: “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “E.”

  • A represents the most critical tasks. Failing to finish these tasks will have dire effects.
  • B represents tasks that are not as critical but need to be completed.
  • C represents inconsequential tasks. This job would be good to complete, but there are no repercussions for doing or not doing it.
  • D represents tasks you can delegate. However, since you cannot assign every duty to another worker, this case may be situational.
  • E stands for tasks that you can remove completely. The “E task” refers to a job that has no impact on your productivity or efficiency and can, therefore, be omitted.

By following this strategy, you can effectively prioritize your tasks and focus on the most important ones.

3. The 4D approach

The 4D approach is another excellent time management approach. The four Ds stands for DELETE, DELEGATE, DEFER, and D.O. Here is a quick overview:

  • Delete: Some tasks do not need your attention. You can remove these tasks from your list.
  • Delegate: You should outsource a task to a worker who is at least seventy-five percent as capable as you are. If there is no one else to delegate to, you can train a worker or outsource the task.
  • Defer: You do not have to complete every task right away. You can avoid doing a task that can wait until later if it has no major consequences.
  • Do: If the task is urgent and you have the time, complete it immediately.

This strategy helps you stay productive and complete your tasks quickly. Instead of burdening yourself with many tasks at once, you can soon drop some, delegate or outsource some, postpone some, and complete the rest.

4. 18 minutes

Peter Bregman, C.E.O. of global management consulting company Bregman Partners, has devised an 18-minute strategy to help professionals get through the avalanche of emails, phone calls, text messages, and interminable meetings that eat up their time.

In the morning, take five minutes to sit down and think about what you need to do for the day to succeed. Then, you can put these tasks on your calendar and remove them from your to-do list.

Next, refocus for one minute per hour. It is a good idea to set an alarm every hour, and when it beeps, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you spent the last hour productively.

In the evening, take five minutes off your computer to reflect on your day.

The 18-minutes strategy is an excellent approach for managing your day and taking a break from the constant barrage of interruptions.


Time management is critical in our daily lives. Learning basic time management tips for adults may make a huge difference in your day-to-day existence. Employees can do more and better work in less time when they use effective time management techniques.

Knowing some effective time management tips will turn you into a time management expert. Time management is not about cramming as many chores as possible into your day but rather about streamlining your workflow to get more done in less time. By managing your time, you will have more time for the activities you like.

Feel free to check out these lists of Pomodoro timers and books about focus.

We also have a list of the best goal setting activities for employees and a list of virtual stress relief activities for work.

FAQ: Time management tips

Here are some frequently asked questions about time management tips:

What are some good time management tips for employees?

Some good time management tips include using a time tracking tool, delegating tasks, and prioritizing important tasks.

How do you improve time management skills?

You can improve your time management skills by setting clear goals, staying organized, and planning your day properly.

  • Twit
  • Linked
  • Email Share
Author avatar


People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

LinkedIn Grace He