Time Management

Time Management

Time Management – Making the most of your time.


We know the importance of time and how it relates to productivity and efficiency. But how good are you at  managing your time? Do you get the most out of your day or leave stressed wishing for more hours to get  more done. For some great tips on how to manage your time, read on. 

How Good is my Time Management? – Ask yourself the following questions; 

  1. Do you work on the highest priority tasks daily? 
  2. Do you meet deadlines? 
  3. Do you plan and schedule your work? 
  4. Do you know how much time you spend on a task? 
  5. Do you set goals? 
  6. Do you have to deal with constant interruptions? 
  7. Do you leave yourself contingency time? 
  8. Do you know the importance of the tasks you are working on? 
  9. Are you stressed about deadlines and workload?  

If you find yourself answering yes to some of these questions, then here is a simple Five Step path to making the time you  have more beneficial to your work and personal life; 

Step 1. – To-Do List 

  • Brain dump – list all of you outstanding tasks. 
  • Include personal tasks that might be on your mind. 
  • Use your PC – Use planners/diaries and reminders. 

Step 2. – Pruning the To-Do List 

  • Quickly scan and review your to-do list. 
  • Remove any items that belong to others. Give them back their monkey! 
  • Can you delegate any tasks off your to-do list? 
  • Identify ‘’important’’ and or ‘’urgent’’ tasks. 

Urgent Tasks may not be Important Tasks.  

Important tasks – Are tasks that will lead you to achieve your goals. 

Urgent tasks – May be as a result of other peoples demands (Managing Director). They will consume your time and must  be done but will impact on your ability to achieve your goals.  

Step 3. Key Tasks. 

  • Break down key tasks that seem large and onerous into smaller and more manageable tasks. Example of Onerous Task:

Achieve Sales Target of €X in Qtr 3.  

Source list of potential clients. 

Contact clients via mail shot. 

Call each client within 1 week of mail shot.

  • Decide on a system for prioritising tasks. 


A-F, A = High Importance, F = Low Importance 

  • Prioritise all tasks using your system. 
  • Start with important tasks then urgent tasks, as identified in Step 2. 

Work down to unimportant tasks. Regardless of how many there are, unimportant tasks should not cause you any stress. Too many Important/Urgent tasks with high priority? 

Isolate & re-prioritise those with deadlines  


Re-prioritise using ‘Impact’ on company 

Impact can be both positive a negative. High impact tasks that are beneficial to the company may take precedence even  over tasks that are important…….So; 

High Urgency/High Impact – High Priority 

High Urgency/Low Impact – Low Priority etc. 

Step 5. Scheduling – Use Your Time Wisely! 

  • Identify time available – weekly/monthly. 
  • Allocate time to get Urgent Tasks done. 
  • Allocate time to High Priority Important tasks. 
  • Allocate contingency time (when things go wrong). 
  • Re-visit To-Do List and allocate time to remaining tasks. 


  • Don’t over commit. Be realistic with your ability to accomplish all of your tasks. 
  • Shorten your To-Do List by splitting it into a daily list of 3-5 tasks. 
  • Monitor time taken for each task. 

Managing Interruptions 

  • Use your diary and block out busy times. 
  • Let people know you are busy and not to be disturbed. 
  • Switch phone to answer phone. 
  • If someone interrupts you, defer the meeting. 
  • Body language. 
  • Check emails at set times and don’t react to emails immediately they come in. 

Time Management Tips 

  • Reduce the number of times you switch tasks. 
  • Keep your desk organised. Relevant paperwork only. 
  • Keep an activity log for several days and get to understand how you spend your time. 
  • Eliminate jobs you do for others. 
  • Reflect on what you have achieved. Did you meet expectations? 
  • Reward yourself when you succeed.