86 Experts Reveal Their Best Time Management Tips

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

 

Great time management skills begin with you.

I bet you came to this post thinking that I would talk about rewiring your brain or telling you to toss your to-do list.

Don’t mold your mind to someone else’s idea of how to get things done. You will be best served by learning every expert method so you can do what works for you.

Stop what you’re doing right now. Take responsibility for your actions and inactions.

We all want success when running a business. That is the end goal. It is hard because we blame distractions for diverting our attention from what’s important. What’s important, you ask?

SUCCESS!

That is most important when working in any business. You didn’t get where you are by doing nothing. No one does. At some point, you had some plan in place that worked. As time goes on, we learn bad habits that become harder and harder to break.

No one is perfect and I get that. No one can go through an eight-hour (or more) work day without someone asking questions. We usually get disrupted in some way. It happens to the best of us.

But, what matters is how we bounce back to get our tasks done every day. We talked to the experts so we could figure out what they are doing right.

What works for some may not work for you, so be sure to try different things. With methods from digital marketers to large business owners, these tips offer unique insight. What we take from that is a great deal of awesome ideas to make our time management better.

We are all different animals, so don’t dwell on things that don’t work. Your goal now should be to clear your head first. Then you can find a method that helps you be more productive every day.

Before you begin, write down the way you’re managing your time now. If you feel that you could get more done in a day, then we made this list just for you.

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today

 

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Adam Connell

 

Adam used to run a team of marketers. Now he shares what he’s learned about growing blogs and businesses here on Blogging Wizard. He’s a fan of Firefly and Chinese takeaways

What are your favorite time management tactics?

A few come to mind:

  1. Only checking emails occasionally throughout the day and not first thing – this ensures my day is focused around my agenda, nobody else’s.
  2. Planning my tasks the night before – whenever I do this, I’m far more focused and find it easier to complete tasks the following day.
  3. Taking regular breaks – I set timers regularly, so I don’t get too sucked into my work. Essential spend a lot of time on computers. Just a few minutes to take my eyes off the screen can do a lot of good in the long run.
  4. Starting each day off with exercise and meditation – no matter how busy I am, these are 2 things I have to make time for.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I juggle a bunch of different projects so, I tend to be pulled in different directions. Which can be devastating to my productivity since I’m a maker (more on makers/managers in a moment).

But, with the help of a few different tools (mostly Trello), and my daily task list that I write down on a notepad, I manage to still stay fairly productive.

Do you have any other tips?

There’s one in particular – know whether you’re a maker or manager, and schedule your time accordingly.

I’ve always found meetings tedious. And in a lot of situations, they’re a huge time drain (yes, sometimes necessary to get everyone on the same page).

What I didn’t realize was that my personality doesn’t fit well with meetings.

I’m most productive when I can spend large blocks of time (full days or half days) on specific tasks or a specific project. In this post by Paul Graham back in 2009, he shares two different schedules that most people fit. The maker’s and the manager’s.

Managers find it easier to dip in and out of different tasks. And so meetings are generally easier.

Whereas makers like myself, meetings cause us to switch work modes which means on occasions, a single meeting can impact most of a day.

If you haven’t read Paul’s post, I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of insight into why the topic of meetings causes so much friction when colleagues/business partners are out of sync.

John Rampton

John Rampton

 

John Rampton is the founder of invoicing service Due.com. He is an entrepreneur, online marketing guru, and startup addict. He was recently named No. 3 on the Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine, as well as a blogging expert by Forbes.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactics include setting time aside for specific activities each day that addresses those tasks that suck the biggest time out of my day.

For example, I schedule 15-minute increments of time about six times a day to just check my email, review social media, and check-in with some of my staff. Even when traveling, I use a similar process but simply tweak the times.

I also set timers for specific activities that I’m doing that I know I have always ended up spending more time than I needed to, such as meetings and research not to mention breaks and meals.

Although it sounds like my day is fully regimented — and it is –, there is still flexibility that I’ve built into my schedule. As new things crop up in my business and personal life, I’ve had to make some adjustments but so far, so good.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I tend to be a pretty laid back kind of guy, so my greatest time is still losing track of those minutes.

I don’t want others to feel that I’m rushing them, especially if they are looking for advice or direction from me. This is where I struggle because I don’t want to be a clock watcher when others need my attention.

I tend to be a little bit freer with how I manage time in these situations and just find some way to make up the time elsewhere. Other tasks that don’t involve people are much easier to manage for me because I can focus and get them done without worrying that I’m cutting anyone short.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management is about balance so make sure that both life and work tasks receive equal measures of time so you can work in exercise, rest, and personal and family time.

Too often, we let those drop and opt to spend too much time on emails or social media. By planning time out on a scheduling app and using time tracker software, you quickly get a better perspective on where all that time goes.

It also shows you how you can get back some of that time and use it on creating that balance that reduces stress while increasing your productivity.

Dmitry Dragilev

Dmitry Dragilev

 

Dmitry is the founder of JustReachOut helping entrepreneurs pitch press on their own without any help from PR firms. He writes about growth strategies on his blog CriminallyProlific.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  •  **Pomodoro Technique**: This technique follows the 25/5 principle—you work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5-minute break.
  • **GTD (Getting Things Done)**: This technique has you delegate and prioritize your tasks in lists.
  • **ABC & Pareto Principle**: This method is often used in business management. Tasks are divided into three categories—A (urgent and important), B (important but not urgent), and C (neither urgent nor important). After this, tasks that take the least amount of time from A are tackled first based on Pareto Principle (or the 80/20 rule).

The solution is to A/B test different time management techniques on yourself and see what fits your work style best.

With this approach, you’d try out technique A on Day 1, technique B on Day 2. Track your mood and productivity over a couple of weeks and you’ll get a fair idea of what techniques works for you.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying focused and not distracted.

Ryan Stewart

Ryan Stewart

 

Ryan is Owner of Founder at Webris  – #1 Miami Digital Marketing, SEO, and Content Agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The first thing I do when I sit down in the morning is write down the buckets of work I need to get done, in order of importance. I then either delegate tasks to my staff or leave them on my own list.

I then set a timer for 30 minutes and for that time block, all I do is work on that 1 task. When the time is up, I get up, walk around, get water, etc. Then, I start again – I repeat this 6 times.

I generally get 90% of the day’s work done during this period and then I can focus on less important stuff like meetings, emails, etc.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I have a team of 6, clients, an eCommerce store (Laces Out) and a decent social media following – they are all constantly hammering me throughout the day.

I started waking up 2 hours earlier (around 6 am daily) to get 2 hours to myself to get the most important tasks done (i.e. not emailing or communication but setting project schedules, adding my input to client work, etc.news).

Everyone in my life knows that from the hours of 6 am – 9 am I am unreachable – don’t email me, text me, call me, Tweet me – don’t even think about me. This is my time to make sure shit gets done.

Do you have any other tips?

Figure out what works for you and commit to it.

Marshall Goldsmith

Marshall Goldsmith

 

World-renowned business educator and coach, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith is the leading expert in his field. His singular ability to get results for top leaders has drawn over 150 CEOs and their management teams to address change in the workplace.

He is the bestselling author of “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”, MOJO & Triggers.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use a process called the daily question process.  Variations of this process have been taught to me by Peter Drucker, Richard Leider, and Andrew Thorn.  Here is how it works.

Get out a spreadsheet – on one column list all of the questions that you should challenge yourself with every day – seven boxes across, one for every day of the week – every question must be answered with a ‘yes’ (recorded as 1) and ‘no’ (recorded as 0) or a number.

Fill out the answers to your test every day.  At the end of the week, you will get a report card.

I have been doing this for years.  I pay a woman to call me every day.  She listens to me read the questions I wrote and read the answers I wrote.

Why do I pay someone to do this?  This process is very easy in theory, but incredibly tough in practice.

I don’t have the courage or self-discipline to do this on my own.  I need help – and it’s OK!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I tend to do what I love to do – be with people.  It is hard for me to spend the ‘alone time’ I need for writing and reflecting.

For every person I speak to, thousands of people read what I have written.  My books, articles, and blogs have been read by tens of millions of people.  I can personally speak to only a small percent of this number.

My need to be with or ‘help’ people has little to do with their needs.  It is mostly my problem.

For example, sometimes I go on an 8-hour flight.  The poor man next to me makes a terrible mistake.  He asks me, “What do you do for a living?”  For the next eight hours, he has to put up with my ‘helpful coaching’.  By the end of the flight, he is probably read to commit suicide!

Do you have any other tips?

Recognize how truly difficult it is to change behavior.  Realize that the person who is ‘planning’ is very different than the person who is ‘doing.’

Read my newest book, Triggers!!!

Amazon.com just listed the 100 Best Leadership & Success Books to Read in a Lifetime.  This list included classics from the past, newer books, management books and self-help books.

Both Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There were recognized in the Top 100 books ever written in this category.  I was honored to be only one of two authors to have two books on Amazon’s ‘all-time greatest’ list.  Thank you so much for your support!

John Doherty

John Doherty

 

John Doherty is a well-known entrepreneur and Growth Marketer. He is the founder of Credo, a marketplace to connect businesses with the right marketing professional to help them grow.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

After striking out on my own back in October 2015, I found myself looking for how I best function with different tasks at different points during the day.

After a lot of searching and self-reflection, I’ve found that batching my day into periods of time works really well for me. I only do phone calls in the morning so that afternoons are reserved for getting deep into work at a coffee shop or elsewhere.

This is because I have more patience for interacting with other human beings in the morning than the afternoon. This also allows me to go elsewhere from my apartment to work, as I know that being around people is important to me (even if they are random others at a coffee shop).

I have also found that I need to schedule time around appointments (even phone calls) to prepare and decompress.

I live and die by my calendar, so I schedule 30 minutes on either side of a big appointment (like a webinar) to mentally prep and then ease back into work. I have trouble shifting contexts quickly, so this extra planned time allows my brain to transition and refocus.

I’ve tried the Pomodoro technique, not checking emails first thing in the morning, and some of the other typical advice about being productive and managing your time, but none of them have worked as well for me as getting out of bed, making coffee, getting into work and phone calls, then adjourning to a coffee shop for the afternoon.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is staying focused on one task until it is done. I am terrible at having multiple tabs (at least 10) open at any one time, and I find email incredibly distracting.

I have learned that when I need to get deep work done that requires a lot of focus, I need to close my email inboxes (because let’s be honest, what happens in that hour that can’t wait an hour?) and pull my work into a new Chrome window so that I am not distracted by others.

Do you have any other tips?

I am increasing realizing that time management, just like personal routines, is just that – personal.

I’ve read more than my fair share of blog posts about how so-and-so starts their day, their productivity hacks, etc., and I’ve come to see that they’re really an inspiration for your own life to try as experiments, then implement what works for you.

Also, it’s probably better to spend that time reading actually figuring out what you do to make yourself happy, as well as what you do when you are happy. They’re different things and can definitely shape your day.

1

 Bill Fish

 

Bill Fish is the President of ReputationManagement.com. Bill has been involved in Online Marketing since 2001 when he co-founded Positioned1 with Patrick Gavin, which eventually turned into Text-Link-Ads.com in 2003.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have a few time management tactics that I employ.  The first is that that I like to be at my desk working by 7:30 am.  

Most of our team gets in between 8:30 and 9:00 which is fine, but I like to get started early on emails and reports before distractions arise.  That said, I also leave by 5 each day as I am involved coaching my kids in sports.

My second tactic is to stay off any chat/instant message applications until the last ten minutes of every hour.  I find them to be somewhat necessary, but a horrible distraction.

I liken it to someone standing behind you tapping you on the shoulder every five minutes, but you don’t know when the next tap is going to be.

You can be deep into an email that requires significant thought, and a message pops up; you handle it and completely lose your thought and have to start over.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is still being responsive but also being selfish enough to take care of the task I have at hand.

Do you have any other tips?

If you are in a managerial position, you need to make yourself available to your staff.  That said, if you are in the middle of something that truly needs your full attention, don’t be afraid to shut the door to your office.  

An open door policy is important, but at the same time, being able to devote all of your tasks to something without being interrupted for a bit is essential and something you have earned.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie

 

Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He’s recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on  Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I eliminate distractions by working in 45-minute sprints using the Pomodoro technique and wearing headphones. Instead of playing music, I use Noisli, which I find lets me focus a bit better.

At my computer, I want to be as efficient as possible. So I reduce mouse usage and keystrokes wherever I can.

To do that, I use an app launcher (right now, AlfredApp is my favorite) and a text snippet tool (TextExpander). I also use a keyboard-driven navigation tool (ShortCat). That saves me about 14-16 hours/month.

I use todo lists a fair amount. I know they’re no longer trendy, but I’ve found they’re a great way to keep my priorities straight.

And, I try to maintain inbox zero. At a minimum, I empty my inbox at the beginning of my week, then use Boomerang and reminders to make sure I don’t have any massive open loops.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’m a CEO, a dad, and a husband. So the reality is a real problem. 🙂

Seriously, I have a lot of competing priorities, and they change all the time. I have a nasty habit of carving time out of things I want to do and using it to get things done that I feel I must do.

Knowing when and how to do that, and when not to, is a constant problem.

Do you have any other tips?

Create a system and stick with it. You have to trust the system to make it work, and the only way that happens is if you consistently use it.

Otherwise, appointments and priorities slip through the cracks; you stop trusting the system, and you go back to sticky notes and random interruptions.

Tim Soulo

Tim Soulo

 

Tim Soulo is the head of marketing at Ahrefs, and you can get more great marketing tips from him on his personal blog – BloggerJet.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

There’s only a single productivity mantra that I believe in: “IF IT DOESN’T GET SCHEDULED – IT DOESN’T GET DONE.”

If I plan my day ahead of time and fill my calendar with what I need to do and when – I’m hyper productive. But as soon as I stop blocking out time for items in my todo list – I’m a mess.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The challenge is to stay motivated and keep my energy levels high. I need to care about sleep, fun and procrastination as much as I care about work.

Seriously – if you don’t rest and recharge, no time management hacks will make you productive. And keeping everything in balance is super challenging for me.

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

 

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online, graphics-design service, and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I work very long and very hard. I have found no shortcuts to managing time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Answering email that may not be important.

Do you have any other tips?

Every time a close friend or relative dies, throw away your inbox in their honor and spend time with your family. You’ll be amazed that not answering most email has no negative effect.

16

Laura MacLeod

 

Laura runs From The Inside Out Project®. She combines two decades as a union employee with her social work and graduate level teaching skills to weave a remarkably effective technique of improving staff communication.

She understands that—though management guides the thrust of a business—hourly employees are the dynamic link in the chain of any marketing strategy.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Priorities and expectations need to be crystal clear. This means that I know what must be finished (top priority)- and by what time (expectation).

What can be put on the back burner and finished later (need specifics here- tomorrow or next week?). This method works well for groups too.

When I teach and lead trainings and workshops I always need to know what topics and information is crucial to cover and in what time frame. This helps me and the group interact productively and integrate their questions and needs.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

There simply is never enough time! When I teach or lead trainings and workshops, it is challenging to address group member/student questions and concerns and keep to my plan.

To be effective as a leader of any kind, you can’t just plough through your agenda- meeting the needs of your group is central to getting investment and buy-in.

So I need to be flexible and invite participation. Not always easy to figure out how to prioritize and effectively inform and communicate.

Do you have any other tips?

Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. We all want to achieve, and I think often expect to accomplish much more than is realistic.

Take into account that everyone is busy (may be tough to get an answer today and wrap up that project) and that obstacles and roadblocks may occur. Try to be flexible and not so hard on yourself.

2

Lauren Edvalson

 

Lauren is CEO at Edvalson Marketing. She has almost ten years of digital marketing and advertising experience. In her most recent role, Lauren was managing PPC, reputation marketing, web development, print media, brand strategy, social media and media buying among other things.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is to remove my cell phone from the equation. If it’s next to me while I’m working, I tend to get distracted with text messages, incoming emails, social media, etc.

When I put my phone on silent and out of sight, I am much more focused and productive.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

One of the greatest challenges for me is letting emails or calls wait if I am in the middle of a project. I am constantly making an effort not to respond the moment a client reaches out.

It’s OK to stay focused on the work in front of you and get back to the client within a reasonable timeframe.

Do you have any other tips?

Playing music helps me focus. I tend to work best with Pandora on in the background. Also, every now and then I will change my office environment and spend a few hours working at a coffee shop which for me, is a contagiously productive place.

3

Liz Sumner

 

Liz is a productivity coach for the differently motivated. She can help you to start (or complete) your passion project. You can fin more information on her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When you find yourself avoiding a task, it’s usually because you’re unclear about what needs to happen next. It’s usually one of 3 things– Find Out, Decide, or Do.

Do you need more information, make a choice, or take an action. Look at your resistance through the Find Out, Decide, or Do lens and it’ll move you forward.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is that I love to have vast, spacious, uninterrupted time blocks to do creative work, and I don’t use my 5 to 20-minute slots as effectively as I could.

The best thing for me to do is the next action that occurs to me rather than cogitate and give myself time to think of all the reasons why I can’t do that now.

Do you have any other tips?

Not everyone is wired the same way. Many productivity systems are designed for people who are highly motivated by achievement or rewards or power.

Those of us who don’t fit those types struggle with a rigid structure and find it difficult to achieve results thereby decreasing our motivation. An accountability partner can be a great asset for people like us.

4

Yaro Starak

 

Yaro is the founder and writer of Entrepreneurs-Journey.com. His mission is to help you to create a blog and turn it into a platform to sell your products and services, so you too can live the laptop lifestyle.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Batch processing is a huge productivity technique for me. I always do jobs in batches, like replying to all my coaching clients in our community in one session once or twice a week, replying to emails in a batch session every week or two or working with my team in a two-hour batch session together.

I struggle with multi-tasking, which is why knowing I have just one thing to think about during a block of time makes it cleaner for me.

I’m also a huge believer in flowing with your body’s natural energy flow. Don’t force work when you should be resting. Recovery is the foundation of output, so if you don’t recharge you are actually slowing down your progress (think about that – you have to rest if you want to get more done quicker!).

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The hardest part of time management is not actually using the time, it’s choosing the tasks. Task selection and prioritization are actually way more important than time management.

We all have the same number of hours in the day; it’s what we choose to use those hours to do that dictates our results.

In my life, I haven’t always made the best choices in how I use my time. For example instead of using my time to focus on generating cash flow to hire someone to help me build my website, I wasted months trying to build a website myself.

If you’re not making much progress, then you are choosing the wrong tasks to focus on.

Do you have any other tips?

Simplify. Don’t try and do everything or be everywhere. Jus try and do one thing really well and build your entire business around that.

6

Mark Shead

 

Mark runs Productivity501, which is a site dedicated to bringing you regular tips and tricks to help increase your personal productivity.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Stop doing stuff that doesn’t add value. It is easy to spend a tremendous amount of time every day doing stuff that really wouldn’t be missed if we just didn’t do it.

Obviously thinks like watching TV and wasting time on the Internet fall into this category, but there are many activities that masquerade as work that have no real value. Long rambling meetings and creating reports that no one reads are examples.

Invest a small amount every day in valuable activities. Most people have a list of things they would like to do but can’t because they don’t think they have enough time.

For example, I have hundreds of hours of lectures on various topics that I’d like to listen to. From that perspective, it looks overwhelming, but by dedicating 30 or even 15 minutes per day to this activity, I start to make real progress that I’d never see if I waited for a bug chunk of time to free up.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is trying to replicate what I do through other people. I only have a finite amount of time available, and once you get to a certain level of efficiency in your own work, there are only marginal improvements to be had focusing on your own productivity.

At some point, you have to find a way to get work done through other people. I’ve been doing this by transitioning to more of a coaching role with many of my clients and by hiring and training people to do some of the things I used to do on my own

Do you have any other tips?

Don’t waste your time on $15 per hour work at the expense of $200 per hour work. Everything you do has some type of value. You don’t want to spend 2 hours a week mowing your yard if the alternative is to do something for a client that pays you $200 per hour.

I typically have more client demands on my time than I have time available, so I’ve come to value services like American Express Concierge that lets me text them to make dinner arrangements, etc. For more complicated help, I use a service called RedButler.

They help me with everything from proofreading to waiting on hold to get through to a company in another country, to stocking the pond at my family’s farm, to sorting out receipts for an expense report, and everything in between.

These services help me dedicate most of my time to the activities that have the highest value without letting the less valuable (but still important) things slip through the cracks.

7

Sarah Arrow

 

Sarah Arrow’s an award-winning blogger; Forbes listed for top websites and a champion of “lighting the way to show others” Learn more about Sarah on her website Sarkemedia.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I batch my time and do things in specific allotments of time. If no time is attached to a task, it will take as long as it takes for you to get fed up with doing it! If you tell yourself, it will take 20 minutes to write a Facebook post and choose an image, that’s how long it takes.

If you tell yourself, something will take hours… it takes hours.

You are in charge of your time and how you allocate it, and coming from a position of scarcity doesn’t serve you or your business. Time is merely a measurement, and you are the boss of it.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Outside interference. I triage email and social media so that I use my time on worthwhile things. If I didn’t, I’d be doing things to other people’s agendas.

I focus on my clients and am present fully with them, and that means shutting down interruptions and unscheduled conversations.

Do you have any other tips?

Email triage and great tracking will make you more productive and tools that track your time are an asset. When you see how much time you really have, and how you fritter it away… well… you’ll never go back to the old way of doing things 🙂

Stuart Walker

Stuart Walker

 

Stuart is the founder of Nichehacks – a popular blog about digital marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m not great at it I’ll admit, but I have improved a lot since going through Eat That Frog at the start of the year.

I have all my day to day tasks scheduled ahead of time on Google calendar, so I know what I’m doing each day.

Try to break each task down into smaller tasks and have a plan so I know exactly what I’m doing.

I get the big tasks out the way first, mostly, as advised in Eat That Frog.

I use StayFocused to block distracting websites.

And Rescue Time to record where my time is going.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I get overwhelmed easily if I schedule too much and often procrastinate a lot. My brain doesn’t seem to be able to handle thinking about too much at once.

Do you have any other tips?

  • Record your time so you know where it goes.
  • Block distractions using an app.
  • Do your biggest and most complex tasks first. Don’t spend the first 2hrs of your day checking email or messing with social media, analytics, or other unimportant tasks.

Have a day to day plan scheduled out in advance.

Make sure your goals are clearly written down with deadlines and tasks to achieve them and you’re referencing them regularly to make sure you’re working towards them.

 

9

Erica Duran

 

Erica is a business coach for modern online entrepreneurs & freedom based luxury lifestyle designer. You can learn more about her at Ericaduran.co

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I guess my favorite time management tactic is only to work on things that I actually want to do. If there is ever a “should” or “supposed to” I delete it off my list or delegate it.

Taking each task and seriously discerning if it should even be done in the first place is a great way to nip things in the bud and not get overwhelmed. Just because something is a good idea, it should not go on your to-do list.

Keep a separate list of ideas that are simmering and evaluate that list once a week to see if any are ready to graduate to your actual to-do list.

Another tactic that has literally saved me years of time and tons of money is investing in coaching. No matter what topic I needed support in or what I desired to learn – I would seek out a coach or someone that was doing what I wanted to do and asked for their mentorship.

I avoided many costly and expensive mistakes by seeking coaching.

On a practical level, I use Asana to manage my projects, tasks, and team. I was using a paper day planner from the time I was 15 years old till just a few months ago.

My business recently exploded, and I had to finally shift to a more modern and robust system that could also handle my team.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge when managing my time are my natural energy levels. Sometimes I have to work against my natural rhythms to “fit in” to normal business hours.

For example, I love running in the evening during the sunset. But, it makes a lot more practical sense to run first thing in the morning, so I am not watching the clock all day.

Another challenge for me is underestimating and/or overestimating the time something will take to complete. For example, we tend to overestimate the time it will take to do something that isn’t really all that inspiring like unloading the dishwasher.

It actually takes me less than five minutes to do, but my mind tells me that it takes longer, and I should put it off. On the other hand, if it is something that you enjoy or get lost in, like writing a blog post, that type of task I tend to underestimate all the time that elapses while writing.

I estimate that I can “squeeze” in a blog post before my next phone call, and it ends up taking three hours.

Do you have any other tips?

I’ve tried hundreds of time management and productivity tactics over the past 25 years or so. The one thing that is always consistent with my time management is the fact that it always changes.

Different projects sometimes require different systems. For example, when I launched my podcast, last year I used the SCRUM method to keep track of everything that had to be done.

But that method doesn’t really seem to work for me personally for other projects. Your time management strategies must be custom to you, and it is OK to change them when one method stops working for you.

10

Marissa Brassfield

 

Marissa Brassfield is a productivity expert, branding consultant and communication efficiency specialist who helps entrepreneurs and high-performance teams become ridiculously efficient. Her coaching programs and workshops help entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial teams scale their impact. She runs Ridiculouslyefficient.com.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

From a personal productivity standpoint, I wake up early and spend the first 2.5 hours of the day on my mind, body and family. I meditate, exercise, make Bulletproof coffee for my husband and me, and then we discuss each other’s goals for the day. And then I get to work!

Work-wise, I love blocking out 2-3 hour blocks of time in my calendar each week for creative work, brainstorming, and big-picture thinking.

The truest luxury in our 24/7 culture is the time and space to just think. I have whiteboard walls in my office, and in these sessions, I pick a big idea, problem or opportunity, and take the time to develop it.

I also aggressively track my energy throughout the day, and after gathering this data, I gradually adjusted my schedule so that my most important, focused work happens in the mornings, and team and client work happens in the afternoons.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Adapting to others’ schedules and preferred work styles. When it’s just me, or our small team, I can essentially dictate exactly how and when I want to work, and that’s historically how I’ve gotten my best results.

But when working with clients or external teams, I’ve got to identify their unique work rhythm, honor that, and remain just as effective as I am when I’m on my home turf.

For example, I have a client who almost exclusively works with me via face-to-face meetings. It’s just easier for him to talk his ideas out and think through projects when we’re together.

Because I’ve worked remotely (and primarily from home) since 2007, diving into the morning L.A. commute for these meetings is a tremendous departure from my regular routine and, as a result, can disrupt my all-day focus. But it’s all part of the fun!

Do you have any other tips?

Invest the time to discover your superhero skills, the unique ways you bring value to the world, and then spend as much time as you can refining, improving and expanding those skills.

Most people can improve their productivity 5x-100x simply by eliminating or delegating tasks they have no business doing, and spending more time on “highest use, best use” activities. But most people don’t invest that time upfront, and so they invest in coaches later on. 🙂

Sleep, exercise and eat well. It’s trite advice, but the first thing I take my entrepreneur clients through is a detox, in which they work towards a full week of adequate sleep, physical activity, and healthy eating.

You’d be amazed at the degree of which these three factors play into your cognitive abilities, your resilience and even your creativity.

12

Neen James

 

Neen James is a high energy, Aussie with a lot of sass. She is an attention expert, keynote speaker and lover of fabulous shoes, who delivers engaging programs that educate, and entertain audiences with real-world strategies that apply at work and home. The author of Folding Time™ and her latest book Attention™, she believes leaders profit by paying attention.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My fave technique is to use time in 15-minute increments. I break down strategies, tasks, and appointments in just 15-minute increments to ensure I am not wasting time and making the most of each minute.

Each day I set a 15-minute appointment with myself to identify my top 3 non-negotiable items that must be achieved today – it helps to focus and prioritize my day.

I use an app called Freedom which is a site blocking app and set it for periods of time I don’t’ want to be distracted by social media and other time zapping sites.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I don’t believe in time management. I think time management is out the window. Now more than ever before we need to Fold Time – that means to achieve twice as much in half the time.

The greatest challenge for me is distraction, and I have to manage my attention. I believe attention is the new currency and the new conversation.

Paying attention increases profitability, productivity, and accountability so I am more diligent in where I am focusing my attention to get the highest return on my time, attention and energy daily.

Do you have any other tips?

If your readers really want to get more done and create more significant moments that matter, they need to start focusing their attention.

Focus on the strategies that will give them the highest return and say No to the things that don’t matter. No is a complete sentence. More people need to embrace ‘no’ so they can say ‘YES’ to what really matters.

13

Maura Thomas

 

Maura Thomas is an award-winning international speaker and trainer helping busy people discover attention management as the new path to productivity. She is a TEDx Speaker, founder of RegainYourTime.com, and author of Personal Productivity Secrets and the upcoming Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management, Productivity, and the Future of Work.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I believe that time management is an outdated idea, and attention management is the new path to productivity. Controlling your attention means effectively managing internal and external distractions and single-tasking for higher quality work done faster.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge of managing time is that time cannot be managed. But the greatest challenge I see my clients facing is their decreasing attention span and the battle against constant distractions, both internal and external.

Do you have any other tips?

Master external distractions by regaining control over:

  1. Your environment (close your door if you have one, wear headphones and/or put a Do Not Disturb sign on your desk),
  2. Your technology (work in offline mode, put your phone on silent not vibrate, shut off alerts and app notifications, check messages in-between other tasks, not during)
  3. Your own behavior (practice mindfulness, work your “focus muscle” by setting a timer for increasing stretches of uninterrupted work, reverse the erosion of your attention span by setting aside technology-free times whenever possible.)
  4. Master internal distractions by learning a workflow management process to regain control over the details of life and work and to relieve the burden on your brain of having to “remember” everything. This will quiet the internal chatter that keeps your brain “spinning” and prevents downtime and restful sleep.

14

Jamie Todd Rubin

 

Jamie a prolific science fiction writer, blogger, software developer, and dad of two young kids. You can learn more about him on Jamierubin.net

What are you favorite time management tactics?

I try to automate as much as possible. If I find myself doing something more than once, I look for ways to automate it so that I don’t have to worry about it.

This can be as simple as using a text expansion tool like TextExpander or Keyboard Maestro, to writing code that automatically tracks how much I write each day.

By automating the routine stuff, I find that I have more time to focus on the stuff that requires thinking.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Learning to expect the unexpected and be adaptable was and is my biggest time management challenge. With my writing, I used to think that I needed a set time every day when it quiet to get it done.

Over the course of more than 2-1/2 years, where I wrote every single day, I learned that if I had 10 minutes to spare, I could write. I learned that I could write with the TV on in the background, and the kids running around playing.

I was surprised by this but pleased as well. It taught me that being flexible with my time was a big help to managing it.

Do you have any other tips?

Going paperless has helped free up time that I would otherwise spend searching through filing cabinets or stacks of paper. A quick search in Evernote turns up what I am looking for in a few seconds. Multiple that by several times a day and the time savings really starts to add up.

15

Ryan Biddulph

 

Ryan is the engine behind Blogging from Paradise. He is an author of 125 eBooks. Featured on Virgin and Forbes. He can help you to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I take a 5-10 minute break each hour to detach a bit from my work, to chill out, and to stay on track. Short, frequent breaks reveal to me when I am wasting time and when I’m using time effectively.

Meditating is another fab time management tactic; I become more and more aware of how I choose to spend my time by sitting in quiet for 20 minutes each morning. Truth serum, these meditation sessions are.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Factoring in my travel/tourist activities. I am a full time, pro blogging, globe-trotting traveler. I enjoy my lifestyle immensely but am challenged at times to build my day around my offline or travel activities.

I’ve learned that doing things in reverse to most travel bloggers – building my day and budgeting my time around the offline stuff – helps me manage my online time well.

Do you have any other tips?

Follow your fun. Since I genuinely enjoy writing eBooks, promoting eBooks, blogging and tweeting, I manage my time effectively because I stay on point more easily versus the days where I didn’t love what I did online.

Do what makes your heart sing, and you’ll manage your time more intelligently.

Carthage Buckley

Carthage Buckley

 

Carthage Buckley is an experienced and enthusiastic learning and development professional with extensive coaching, mentoring and motivational skills and a proven ability to empower others enabling them to achieve their full potential. Learn more at his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have found over the past few years that the most important time management tactic is to be crystal clear about what it is that you are trying to get done. When you are clear on what you are trying to achieve, it is much easier to identify the tasks which require your focus and attention.

Even more importantly, when you are clear about what you want to do, it is much easier to identify the tasks that you should not be spending time on. You can then say ‘No,’ delegate them, outsource them or defer them.

From my experience, too many people are trying to organize task lists and to-do lists which are full of tasks which they shouldn’t be doing at all.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge with regard to time management has always been saying ‘No.’ I’m a nice guy, or at least I think I am. I like to be helpful, and I am from a culture which encourages you to help out if you possibly can.

I have found that on many occasions I have gotten caught up in helping others so much that I have failed to give enough time to my priorities.

For example, there was one year where I gave over 400 hours of my time to a local club. I gave this time over a period of 5 months. At the same time, I was trying to get my business going.

It simply wasn’t viable for me to give that much time away but I didn’t even notice what I was doing until I took some time out to examine where my time was going.

Do you have any other tips?

Some additional tips would include:

  1. Protect your time. If somebody else wants to take your time for their task, make them justify it. You will often find that they are just looking for an easy way out of doing it themselves and, when you challenge them, they will soon find somebody else to dump their work on.
  2. Know where your time is going.
  3. Learn to understand how your energy levels work.
  4. Perform a weekly review of your tasks and projects so that you know how you are progressing. If you are falling behind with anything or something has slipped through the cracks, you can quickly take corrective action before you fall too far behind.

Audrey Thomas

Audrey Thomas

 

Audrey is an author, speaker, and productivity expert. Her speaking engagements have been described as authentic, relevant and practical for groups ranging from small corporate training sessions to 1,000+ audience keynote presentations.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When I need laser focus, especially when a deadline is looming, I use a timer and an incentive. I set the timer for 45-60 minutes and then reward myself afterwards with something fun…a quick walk outside, 10 minutes on Facebook or some dark chocolate!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Thinking I can get more accomplished than is humanly possible.

Do you have any other tips?

I office out of my home, so potential distractions are many. I learned years ago to ignore the doorbell, leave the laundry for the weekend, and to treat my office hours as if I worked in an office building.

Gabriella Sannino

Gabriella Sannino

 

Gabriella is an international marketing consultant & SEO Strategist. She is the founder of Level343 – a digital marketing agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Using Google Calendar, Hootsuite to share our content (including clients). I always take time during my day to write down my TDL (to do list) I work closely with my partners in order to make sure we are all on the same page.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Interruptions, but I’ve learned they are going to happen, so I do allot time during the day for fires that need to be put out.

Do you have any other tips?

  1. I try to complete most important tasks first
  2. Have a healthy outlook on life
  3. Make sure you schedule your important work into habits
  4. Don’t get overwhelmed with  your to-do list sometimes you can’t finish everything in one day

helene segura

Helene Segura

 

Helene is certified, professional organizer. She can help you find the root causes of your organizational challenges and create the easiest solutions for your brain type, personality, and work style.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

At the end of each day, I map out which tasks need to get done the next day and how long each one will take. Then I schedule those tasks onto my calendar in between the appointments that are already on there.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’ve been studying neuroscience and behavior management for years in order to be a better consultant and coach for my productivity clients, so time management isn’t a challenge for me.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management is all about mind management. Once you realize that you’re in control of your clock and can tell your time what to do, your work life and personal life will become less stressed.

If it helps your readers, my new book addresses every time challenge that busy professionals face and gives them the strategies and tactics to solve every single roadblock:

The Inefficiency Assassin: Time Management Tactics for Working Smarter, Not Longer (New World Library)

Details are at http://www.TheInefficiencyAssassin.com

John Boyens

John Boyens

 

John is sales productivity expert and business strategist. Learn more about him on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Never confuse activity with productivity

  • Learn the difference between urgent and important
  • Ask yourself throughout the day:

“Is this what I want or need to be doing right now?”

  • If yes, then keep doing it.
  •  If not, stop or delegate the activity.
  •  At the end of each day create a “to-do” list for the following day. Mark items as “A” and “B” in priority.

– Set aside two hours right away each morning to do the important “A list” items and then do the “B-list” items in the afternoon.

– Let your voice mail take your calls during your “A list” time.

  • Learn good meeting management skills.

-Ensure that all meetings have a purpose, time limit and include only essential people.

  •  Concentrate on doing only one task at a time.
  • Maintain accurate calendars…abide by them.
  •  Know when to stop a task, policy or activity

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The realization that you cannot possibly do everything that there is to do in any given day. You have to consciously decide what you are going to do with the amount of time that you have at your disposal.

Do you have any other tips?

My 6 keys to time management include:

  1. Know how you spend your time
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Prioritize your activities
  4. Minimize interruptions
  5. Learn to delegate
  6. Set aside uninterrupted time

 

Louisa Jewell

Louisa Jewell

 

Louisa is a positive psychology expert and founder and president of the Canadian Positive Psychology Association.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I get laser-focused on what needs to get done and then I use the Pomodoro technique.

If I give myself too much time to get something done, I usually use all the time allotted. Instead, the Pomodoro technique allows me to get focused and spend the appropriate amount of time on things.  

Also, every meeting I used to book was for one hour by default. Now I try to book meetings only for the time required such as 15 or 30 minutes. This has had a huge impact.

Another thing I do is I don’t multi-task. I focus on one thing at a time. For example, I turn off email for hours while I get work done. This makes me hugely productive.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Email! I take weekends off from email. I find this completely energizes me, and I can get way more done in the week with that positive mental energy. Plus I actually enjoy my family, friends and my city which also fuels greater goal attainment.

The problem is, when I get back into the office I will have hundreds of emails on Monday morning that I need to respond to!

Do you have any other tips?

I don’t manage my time. I manage my energy.  The more I can do to fuel positive mental energy, the more productive I will be with the time I have.

Elizabeth Bradley

Elizabeth Bradley

 

Elizabeth is a passion-fueled writer, digital strategist, and Blog Mentor for Life & Health Coaches. She’s also the co-founder of Thriving Healer, where she ghostwrites for holistic brands.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I choose two to 3 main tasks I need to get done for the day and only focus on those. This helps me stay productive and limit the time I spend elsewhere.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is that I do two things in my service-based business: freelance writing and consulting/coaching.

Both require different actions ( i.e., for the coaching I do Discovery Calls) so each day can vary in what hours I work and for what client.

I just had a writing project due for a tourism board, and it was something that came up recently and had a tight timetable of when it was due. I had to stay up late researching it, which meant I slept in the next day.

But I’m glad I have two different services I offer as it gives me great satisfaction to be following on both complimentary passions.

Do you have any other tips?

My tip is only to do what is essential for your business at all times. Don’t spend hours on social media. And I’m a social media strategist telling you this!

People waste a heck of a lot of time on SM networks instead of being strategic. One needs to be strategic with everything they do, from client acquisition to promotion and marketing.

David Hartshorne

David Hartshorne

 

David Hartshorne is a freelance web content writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, long-form, shareable blog posts. When he’s not checking out the latest digital marketing tools, you’ll find him chilling out in Spain.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The best strategy that works for me is to focus on One Thing At A Time. In fact, I wrote a blog post, How To Focus and Achieve Mind-Blowing Results as a Solopreneur where I share all the details.

But in a nutshell, my method is to decide what is the most important thing right now and focus my time completing that task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is (a) deciding on which task to focus on and (b) not getting distracted while working on that task. I break my day into chunks so that I get the proper breaks to refocus my energy and complete my one thing.

Do you have any other tips?

Find a method that works for you. Everyone is different. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you, so experiment and find the most productive way for you.

Ciara Conlon

Ciara Conlon

 

Ciara is a productivity consultant at Lead with Productivity where she helps people recognize the barriers to high performance assist them in creating the habits that foster success.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

The single thing that has transformed my productivity and my life is using my calendar to schedule my work.

Every task that takes longer than a half hour will get a block in my calendar. I start with a “mind download” getting everything out of my head and then I prioritize my work by deciding when I am going to do it.

Things don’t always go exactly to plan, but at least I have captured the work to be done and can reschedule when necessary. Procrastination gets knocked on the head when you schedule your work (except for taxes 😉

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying focused; I get distracted easily, by noise, thoughts or a bit of dust. I have tackled this challenge by using headphones when I work; I use Focus at will digitally remastered music that encourages your alpha waves and helps you to focus.

I often use a website called Groove Otter which is based on the Pomodoro technique. This technique pushes you to work in short periods of time and to take regular breaks.

Do you have any other tips?

Meditation and exercise are the biggest contributors to my productivity. Exercise gives me the energy to keep going, it helps me feel more positive and optimistic about life and gives me the confidence to go for the things I want.

Meditation calms and centers me. It’s the off switch for the incessant ideas and plans. It has helped me to pull my brain back on target when it wanders.

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

 

Ian is the author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Email Persuasion and has been named as one of the Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales and one of the “resources of the decade” for professional services marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My best tactic is simple: I take time away from the office on a Monday morning to plan out my week in detail. Then I try to stick to that plan.

I usually go to a local coffee shop and using pen and paper, I not down all my priorities for the week, mainly based on the next steps in big projects I’m working on and then topped up by any important activities from my general to-do list.

I then put time in my calendar to work on those activities – basically, I schedule a “meeting with myself” and make sure that time is then sacrosanct, and I don’t overbook it with anything else.

Then during the week I print out my schedule for the day and pin in near where I’m working, so I always know what my priorities for the day are and what to do next.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is that I’m easily distracted – that’s why I do the planning and keep my schedule visible.

My natural tendency is to jump in to responding to emails or doing something I find the most interesting rather than what’s important. So keeping the plan visible in front of me works well rather than having it buried in my computer.

Do you have any other tips?

Never fill up your schedule completely. I always aim to fill about 50% of my schedule with activities with planned tasks at most. In the kind of business, I’m in, there will always be lots of ad hoc requests and things coming in, and of course the planned activities never quite go according to plan.

So be realistic and leave plenty of gaps so that you don’t get badly behind schedule.

Nate Shivar

Nate Shivar

 

Nate runs ShivarWeb, which is a website about helping DIYers, freelancers & small businesses build better websites & do more effective marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  • Decide what is truly a priority
  • Work on each priority in turn
  • Batch non-priority tasks to a single block of time (e.g., do all email once per day at Noon)
  • Establish a defined, deadline so that I’m forced by constraints to only work on what’s a priority

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Getting started and getting in flow on my priority task

Do you have any other tips?

  • Use something to measure your active work time. It’s easy to assume that you are working “a ton” on your most important activity – but you probably aren’t. Track your time – the data won’t lie.
  •  Make sure your environment is telling you that “it’s work time.”
  •  Establish that hard deadline to stop working – otherwise, you’ll drag on forever rapidly decreasing your output per hour.

Mike Asbury

Mike Asbury

 

Mike helps individuals and groups to achieve a better focus on their strengths and achieve tangible results in their lives.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I love scheduling time for most tasks.  Let me first point out that I am a huge believer in Evernote!  Evernote gives me ALL of my resources at my fingertips at all times.

By keeping every resource at my fingertips at all times, it saves me a LOT of time searching around for “where I might have put that file.”

That said, I subscribe to David Allen’s theory that I should do the task right now if it can be done in two minutes or less.  If it is going to take longer than that, I put it on the calendar.  That gives it a place to live (not in my brain) and makes sure I budget time to give it my full attention.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge, like that of most folks, is INTERRUPTIONS.  I used to be a slave to email and text messages.

There was something palpable about having a message buzz me.  To quote Peter Griffin, of Family Guy fame, when he shared his dislike of “The Godfather,” a buzzing message alert “insists upon itself.”

It really does, so I changed alerts on my phone, and I close email when I’m attending to something I have put on my calendar.  It will all be there when I’m done, and I don’t need the distraction when I’m focused.

Do you have any other tips?

In a nutshell, focus.  Eliminate as many distractions are you can.  Do quick things quickly to get them off your list.  Make time for fun.  Make time for family.  Make time to help another person.

Make time to invest in yourself.  These are all important elements in having a productive and well-rounded life.  Best of luck!

Lori Vande Krol

Lori Vande Krol

 

Lori Vande Krol founded Life Made Simple LLC, based in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2005.  As a national speaker and productivity expert. Lori helps individuals and businesses better manage their time, space and information.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I find that when I don’t spend time each week planning my week and my days, then I start to feel overwhelmed, and my stress increases.

While I use Outlook for calendar and task lists, I use a paper planner for planning and task management. I am also a big fan of “eat that frog” meaning I try to accomplish the task that I least want to do, early in the day.

Then, my mind is opened up for increased productivity throughout the rest of the day.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I love to do short, administrative or technical tasks. I really have to block time and push myself to do more focused tasks such as writing.

I find that moving to a different location for these focused tasks, and choosing a certain length of time before taking a break, works the best for me. Check out the Pomodoro Technique for a defined way to do this.

Do you have any other tips?

There are many different theories, techniques, tools and apps relating to time management. It is easy to get overwhelmed. First, learn what your largest challenge is and then search for a solution(s) to address that challenge.

Finding the right mix of techniques and tools takes time, but you will be rewarded with increased productivity and reduced stress.

Krista Rae

Krista Rae

 

Krista is WordPress Developer and blog strategist. She helps creatives elevate their biz, increase conversions, and boost engagement by crafting strategic blogs

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I manage my time by planning my days in advance and by sticking to a similar schedule each day. For example, my day starts with scheduling social media posts and answering email.

I then move to working on items related to my own business such as finishing up blog posts, updating my website, and creating new paid content. After lunch is when I focus on client work. I generally choose one client project to focus on for 3-4 hours each afternoon.

Doing things this way allows me to give my full attention to a single project with a clear mind, rather than getting distracted and jumping to a new task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I definitely struggle the most when I don’t start the day with a plan. This is when I easily find myself jumping around to different tasks without making any real progress or scrolling through social media.

Sometimes I can pull myself out of it by making a modified version of my schedule, but a lot of the time I fallback to using the Pomodoro technique with timed periods to work on different tasks. That extra bit of structure definitely helps when my mind is all over the place!

Dom Wells

Dom Wells

 

Dom Wells is the owner of Human Proof Designs. This site exists to make starting a niche website that much easier.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have to keep experimenting until I find what works best for me. You’ll hear people talking about meditation or doing XYZ, but really, we’re all different and have to manage our time differently.

You’re not going to fail if you don’t do what someone else says. Keep figuring out what works, and learn some discipline.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Discipline! When I’m doing something that I enjoy, I can focus better than most people, but if it’s something monotonous, a 30-minute job can take me hours because I get distracted, or put it off.

I get better at this the more I learn to outsource things that I really don’t enjoy, or don’t need to do myself.

Do you have any other tips?

Time isn’t free, so if something is taking up your time and you’re not adding value to it, outsource it. I saw a quote recently about how a million dollar business isn’t created by having the owner do five dollar tasks. That really hit home.

Unless the task is something you specifically need to do yourself, get someone else to do it. If you can’t afford someone else to do it, try to increase your prices, or get another income source.

Arman Assadi

Arman Assadi

 

Arman is a former Googler with a lifelong mission to help more people live adventurous and fulfilling lives. Or at least above average ones.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

By far my favorite is my weekly review and planning process. What we need to understand is that what gets scheduled gets done.

But scheduling isn’t enough; we need to be conscious and proactive about how we spend our time, if we’re not, all we do is react all day long and become a slave to other people’s wants/needs.

My weekly review process has been downloaded and implemented by thousands of people, and many say it’s been life-changing. When I don’t do this, my week is only 25-50% as effective. When I do it, I feel on top of the world. You can access it here.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Missing my rituals that allow me to be proactive rather than reactive. The key ones are the weekly review/planning and my morning rituals process.

Do you have any other tips?

Whatever you do, create a system. Trying to “flow” throughout the day doesn’t work, and it’s a misinterpretation of the word flow anyway. Effective leaders manage their time wisely, and they do this my creating chunks of time.

Also, read about maker vs. manager time and if you’re naturally a manager, consider adding a block of maker time to your schedule in the mornings. You’ll love it and begin to cultivate your creative side.

Anthony Metivier

Anthony Metivier

 

Dr. Anthony Metivier is an experienced author, professor, story and memory course creator. He has taught thousands of students in  different countries and worked as a memory coach and adviser to top ESL instructors and language school administrators around the world

What are your favorite time management tactics?

As I talk about in Mandarin Chinese Mnemonics And Morning Memory Secrets, my best time management tactic is to get the important things done before the computer goes on in the morning.

By winning the morning, the noise of life online has no means of disturbing the most precious tasks that make a difference to my progress as an author and “video professor.”

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Online interruptions. Skype is great, but one text message can lead to hour long discussions that take steam away from important projects. It’s important to have it on only when I can afford to be taken away from whatever I’m working on.

Do you have any other tips?

It’s important to have focused goals and plans for completing them. I don’t believe you have to limit yourself to “one thing at a time,” but you do need a structured outline in order to manage everything.

I also recommend taking care of diet, exercise, work posture and sleep. Without these critical elements in place, you’re not really managing your time. Make sure that everything you do curves toward longevity, not delaying decline.

Dave Schneider

Dave Schneider

 

Dave is a Co-Founder of blogger outreach software Ninja Outreach

What are your favorite time management tactics?

For me, it’s important to have a clear to-do list with a lot of options so that I can get things done depending on my mood or ability. If I don’t have a full to-do list, I flounder.

Also, I try to do the least pleasant things in the morning when I have the most motivation.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My biggest challenge is not getting distracted by email or chats. It’s hard to find a solid block of time of 4 hours, which is what I feel like I need for certain activities.

I don’t do well splitting large tasks into small tasks of say 30-60 minutes each.

Do you have any other tips?

Track where your time is going so you can analyze where you can make improvements. I use RescueTime for that.

Chris Dreyer

Chris Dreyer

 

Chris is SEO specialist and founder of Attorney Rankings – a full-service law firm marketing agency.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is to do the most important tasks first. These are priorities for your business, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck by knocking them out immediately.

When focusing on a task be sure to limit distractions so that your entire focus is on the task at hand. That way you’re working in the most efficient manner possible.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Learning to say “no” more often.  My core personality is to help others when people ask for attention.

This leads to a scope of work creep where you start doing things that aren’t necessarily profitable or the best use of your time.  Learning to say no more frequently is something I’m working on personally.

Do you have any other tips?

  1.  If you’re a Gmail user, don’t waste time with folders.  Often the folders themselves can create problems, and you’ll typically use the search filter.  So instead activate “send + archive”.  It’s a huge time saver.
  2. Utilize project management. I prefer Basecamp.
  3. Checklists are excellent for efficiency and consistency.
  4. Record training with video to utilize for other hires.  I prefer Camtasia Studio 8 for recording screen shares.
  5. Create an operations manual
  6. Utilize VAs for tasks that aren’t the best use of your time.
  7. Create Agenda’s for meetings and stick to them.

Phil Rozek

Phil Rozek

 

Phil is local SEO specialist and can help you get visible to more local customers in Google’s local search results and beyond.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Don’t have a set bedtime or wake-up time. Sometimes you’re on a roll and want to (or should) keep tearing through work until you slow down again.

Ride the wave. But most people still need time to unwind before bed, so don’t skip your wind-down routine. Now, this means you’ll go to bed late.

So be it. If you’re like me and set your own schedule, then you should just go ahead and sleep late to take care of that hardworking brain, so it can deliver its best again.

If you have to report to work for someone else the next day, sure, you’ll be tired all day, but at least you’ll be ahead on work because you rode the wave.

Have a couple of multi-hour chunks when you don’t check email. I’m not saying you only check it once or twice a day. But checking it constantly is a nervous twitch, and you need to stop it if you want to get anything else done.

Email people at off-hours, whenever possible. This is the best way to slow down the pace of the back-and-forth, so it’s not email volleyball.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Keeping emails brief.  The trouble with one-liners is they don’t usually don’t END the conversation, so you end up playing email volleyball.

Keeping phone calls with clients brief.  I love talking with them, so it can be tough.

Do you have any other tips?

Experiment.  No two people are the same.  Don’t let anyone tell you there’s a “right” way to manage your time.  Finding what works for you is a never-ending quest.

Also, walk a couple of times a day and do some more intensive exercise 5-6 days a week. You can’t do your best work at an efficient clip day after day if you’ve got a chair growing out of your butt.

Susan Payton

Susan Payton

 

Susan is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications.  She helps small businesses look better through words & social.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I schedule all my tasks on Google Calendar. I block off time to work on each task, so I never feel time-crunched or miss a deadline.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’d say putting effort into my own admin. I put all my energy into my clients, and don’t tend to budget time for my own needs!

Do you have any other tips?

Automate. Whether it’s email marketing or social media updates, if there’s a tool that will do something for you, leverage it!

Nicholas Scalice

Nicholas Scalice

 

Nicholas is an inbound marketing consultant. He helps people and companies from all over the world build powerful inbound marketing engines using tools, tactics, and strategies that actually work

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I am a big fan of the Pomodoro Technique. Basically, I try to work in short 25-minute bursts and then take a 5-minute break. This allows me to get deep work done, but not get burned out. It is also helpful to turn off any distractions during these sprints.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Even though I try to manage distractions, they are still my #1 challenge. From email to phone calls, to Skype messages, there always seems to be something trying to beep or buzz and get my attention.

I am taking steps to address this. The best thing I did in this realm recently is to remove audible notifications of new emails from my phone. I can still see when new emails come in, but I am no longer distracted by the sound. It makes a big difference.

Do you have any other tips?

One of my favorite time management tips is to multitask when possible. My favorite place to multitask is at the gym. I’ll either listen to podcasts while working out, or go through email while on the stationary bike. It’s a great way to get more done in less time.

Daniela Uslan

Daniela Uslan

 

Daniela helps bloggers to find their superpowers, define their voices, and grow their audiences. Learn how at her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

When it comes to using time well, I do 2 things:

  1. Cut out distractions. I find that when I am working while Facebook, Twitter, and my email are open, it’s much more difficult to get anything done. I do my best work by closing down my website browser and using Scrivener to keep me focused.
  2.  Working with my purpose in mind.

I’m not great at blocking out certain periods of time and being very scheduled with my time. I am good at deciding what my most important goal/purpose is for the week and making sure that I get everything done in order to achieve that goal.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I struggle with putting too many things on my to do list and then stressing myself out trying to get them all done. I find that I’m more successful when I have 1 or 2 things to accomplish for the day than if I start with a boatload of goals that I can’t achieve.

I also struggle with getting sucked into the black hole of Facebook. I run a large Facebook group, and it’s easy to go in there and not come out for hours. So I try to set a timer and limit the amount of time I spend in there.

Do you have any other tips?

It’s easy to feel that if you’re really busy and working really hard, you’re being very productive. Often, the opposite is true. Before spending time on something, think about why you’re doing it. Make sure it’s actually going to move the needle for you.

Barry Schwartz

Barry Schwartz

 

Barry Schwartz is the CEO and owner of RustyBrick, a New York Web service firm specializing in customized online technology that helps companies decrease costs and increase sales. He is also an editor of Search Engine Roundtable and news editor at Search Engine Land.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Having a routine and scheduling everything else around it.  So you block out time for things throughout your day, to do specific tasks and leave holes in there to have meetings, client calls, etc.  I think a structured day is a key to making sure you get things done.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Traveling makes managing time hard for me.  It takes me off my routine.  So if I go to the west coast, I still want to wake up at 5 am ET, which is 2 am PT.  Not healthy but you work with it.

Do you have any other tips?

Use a calendar, set reminders and make sure you have a task management process.

Nathan

Nathan Gotch

 

Nathan is the Founder & CEO at Gotch SEO – a digital marketing agency in St. Louis, MO.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  1. Do the hardest task first thing in the morning: this is effective for me because I have my highest energy levels in the morning. I use this time for activities that require lots of cognitive exertion such as writing blog posts or developing products.
  2. Use the Pomodoro: the Pomodoro technique is easily the most transformative time management method I have ever used. I use it all-day, every day.
  3. Schedule time blocks: multitasking destroys my productivity and diminishes my willpower. That’s why I schedule 2-3 hour blocks for focusing on a single task.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My incessant need to invite distractions via email, Yahoo.com, or social media. I have to battle this need to be distracted on a minute, hourly, and daily basis.

Do you have any other tips?

Avoid your email inbox as much as possible and use application blockers if you are really having issues not staying focused.

Lastly, don’t over-complicate your day. I’m guilty of scheduling my day as if I have unlimited willpower. Don’t do this. Know your limits and try to focus on the tasks that matter the most.

Ebong Eka

Ebong Eka

 

Ebong was named by Business News Daily as “One of the Top 15 People to Follow about Entrepreneurship”. In addition to being a keynote and TEDx speaker, Ebong is also a small business brand ambassador and TV, Radio, and Social Media personality.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Favorite tactics are including accountability partners and using pain, i.e., if I don’t complete a certain task by a certain time, I have to make a donation to an organization I dislike.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is distractions – via online, people calling my phone and other people’s emails.

Do you have any other tips?

Make a list of tasks that have intention & results. For example, don’t say “I have to finish my website.” instead say “I have to finish my website so I can sell my products or services.” Focus on what you’re good at and outsource the rest!

Peter Banerjea

Peter Banerjea

 

Peter is Co-Founder of SuccessIsWhat.com, a blog on productivity for professional success. He has coached several entrepreneurs and leaders from Fortune 500 companies to become more productive and achieve their goals faster. He is a contributor to top blogs like Huffington Post, Fast Company, Addicted2Success and more.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My current favorite time management tactic is to make the right decision – the decision about what’s most important to my life at this point of time.

The reason why most of us feel rushed, stressed, fatigued, or unhappy is because we are not living life in accordance with our innermost values. In fact, most of us are not really aware of what those values are. It doesn’t mean that they don’t exist, we are just not aware of them.

We need to actively ask ourselves about what’s important and act on those realizations.

For instance, you might realize that you need to dedicate much more time to family, or that you need to finally spend lots of time on making a career shift. The moment you know what’s important to you, lots of things fall in place.

You can dedicate your energies with an incredible amount of zeal and accomplish far more with your limited time.  We all need to make choices about what we want to focus on.

You simply can’t do everything. The key to high productivity is knowing what’s most important to you and dedicating yourself to it with passion.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge in managing time is to maintain high levels of concentration. I have taken a number of steps to manage distractions, but one of my favorite ones is to make sure my communication channels (email, phone, etc.) don’t distract me.

I minimize notifications, go offline and sometimes even switch my phone off.

Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby

 

Sharlyn Lauby is an author, writer, speaker, and consultant. She is president of ITM Group Inc., a consulting firm which focuses on developing training solutions that engage and retain talent in the workplace. The company has been named one of the Top Small Businesses in South Florida.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m an organized person. That’s a priority for me. So when I need to get something done, it gets scheduled on my Outlook calendar. That way I can manage my time. It’s great for projects.

I recently started color coding activities so I could see (just from a color perspective) how I was spending my time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I will admit that I occasionally over schedule myself – which stresses me out. But to compensate for that I have started declaring “me” time on my calendar. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to have time for myself and even more important not to feel guilty about it.

Do you have any other tips?

I would tell anyone trying to find their time management groove, do what works for you. It does take some trial and error. Test drive different systems. Find the system that helps you deliver your best results.

Luke Jordan

Luke Jordan

 

Luke works as SEO specialist in Boom Online, which is digital marketing agency. He also runs an online marketing blog.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite tactic is to have everything planned in advance. There are many ‘to-do list’ tools out there that are great for this, but having a to-do list is definitely my most efficient way of getting things done – and getting the right things done at the right time, too.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I think like a lot of people, procrastination and getting distracted is a big issue for me. My mind tends to wander from idea to idea, or from idea to Reddit if I’m not too careful.

Being focused on one idea at a time – the to-do list is again helpful here – helps to combat this.

Do you have any other tips?

Don’t just read tips online, put them into action. A lot of people have knowledge, much fewer know how and when to put them into practice.

Paula Rizzo

Paula Rizzo

 

Paula Rizzo is the founder of ListProducer.com and the author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use a version of the Pomodoro technique daily. It’s the method where you focus on one task for 25 minutes and then take a short break.

You set a timer or watch the clock and power through one thing.  If you get distracted, you stop the clock.  25 minutes is a bit too long for me, so I do 10 or 15-minute chunks.

I also never answer my phone unless the person on the other line has an appointment to talk to me at that time.

If I answer when they don’t, then I get distracted and start working on whatever thing they are looking for instead of finishing what I was in the middle of.  I have boundaries and rules that I set to stay more efficient.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’m a TV producer by day, so I’m hyper aware of time.  I know exactly how long something will take me to do most of the time so I can allot enough time to finish it.  

But my big problem is  I like to procrastinate just like anyone else. It’s one of my dirty little secrets.  So I really need to push myself to get started on a project and build momentum. Sometimes I’ll pick a few easy tasks to get myself going.

Do you have any other tips?

Saying NO has been one of my greatest boundaries. I used to say yes to everything but now I really manage what I say yes to and if it best serves me.  It takes some practice to flex that no muscle but once you do it’s really freeing.

Timo Kiander

Timo Kiander

 

Timo is the Founder of Smart Productive Work. He can help you to become more effective and focused.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Here are three of my favorites that I follow everyday:

  1. Go to bed early

In order to get the maximum of two hours of distraction-free time for myself, I go to bed early.

I used to stay awake till midnight, but then I made a mutual decision with my wife that we’d like to get to bed earlier.

When you go to bed earlier, you’ll also get up earlier. However, the motivation has to be there; why is it important for you to get up earlier? Is it because you want to exercise? Want to work on your projects? Want a hassle-free morning before going to work?

For us, the benefits of morning time overruled the reasons for staying awake (watching TV), so at some point, we decided to make the switch.

Normally, I get up around 6 a.m. without an alarm clock, and I’m ready to start my day right then.

  1. Time block important tasks

For certain activities, time blocking works great. I like to use it on two occasions.

First, I time block my meditation and reading time. This helps me to set clear limits on how much time I spend on those things on a daily basis.

Then, I also time block my most important activity for the day, writing. In my case, I try to write for at least an hour (equals 1000+ words) from Monday till Friday.

For me, time blocking is just picking the important tasks, and then setting the timer on for a pre-defined time.

  1. Define a plan

In order to keep on track on what I should be doing every day, I plan my days on two levels.

First, I have tasks listed out in my task list.

To make that schedule even clearer, I also jot down a rough schedule (based on the tasks on my list) on a piece of paper. This gives me an overview of things I should do.

I try to keep the schedule flexible. At the same time, I tend to put all the important activities before noon. This way, they get done while I’m most energized.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Doing too much work on my own.

There are various aspects of work that I could outsource, and I’m looking forward to implementing different ways to delegate (or eliminate) to get certain work off my chest this year.

Do you have any other tips?

Plenty – just that there is not enough time or space to go through each one of them here 🙂

Seriously, you should definitely look at the list of the commitments you have and try to find ways to eliminate them. This way, your life gets simpler, and you can truly focus on the things that matter the most to you.

Also, in order to learn more about time management, it’s your duty to not just study it, but also implement what you have learned. That’s the only way you can improve your effectiveness and see what strategies work for you.

For instance, if getting up at 5 a.m. is out of the question for you, but 07.3o a.m. is more suitable (considering that you now get up at 8 a.m)., then stick with that plan.

Only you know your environment and situation the best, so apply the lessons that suit your situation.

PL

Pooja Lohana

 

Pooja is a freelance copywriter and can help you to simplify your content marketing. She is featured in MarketingProfs, Problogger, Hongkiat, JeffBullas.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I am a fan of simplicity, so my best time management tip is the good old notepad and a list of to-do items (no more than 6).

As a writer in the online marketing niche, I receive invitations to trial out several online products, which I love and am thankful for.

Although I believe digital apps serve value to so many people in so many ways; personally for me the traditional notepad works best.

It is distraction-free and it gives you the joy of physically “ticking things off”. I also like to create my to-do list the evening before so I’m all set the next morning when I get to my home-office desk. This may sound simple, but it has saved me hours.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

According to Tony Robbins, there are 6 core needs that humans want to fulfill. One of them is the need for Variety, which happens to be my favourite.

I love working on new projects, new challenges, new deadlines. It brews creativity and is hugely satisfying. Yet, it can bring chaos, which leads to “busyness” and is easy to confuse with productivity.

I’ve found a neat way to manage this is by taking an inventory at the end of the day of the number of your “done” tasks, rather than looking at the to-do’s.

Do you have any other tips?

Sure! I’m passionate about the topic of productivity and have written extensively in my Kindle books. They might help 🙂

Jordan Kasteler

Jordan Kasteler

 

Jordan Kasteler is a seasoned professional and an Internet Marketing consultant specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Focusing on one task at a time (vs multitasking) 2) while it sounds contradicting to #1, using multiple monitors (I have 5) 3) take breaks vs burning out working non-stop

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Practicing what I preach on #1 and #3 above 🙂

Do you have any other tips?

Saying “no”. It’s hard for me, but I try to practice it when requests aren’t the best interest of my time. Usually, that means keeping things to emails instead of phone calls and meetings where “small talk” is expected.

Tamar Weinberg

Tamar Weinberg

 

Tamar Weinberg is a professional hustler: a passionate customer champion advocate, inbound sales leader, digital marketing strategist, and freelance writer. She is Mashable’s 6th hire in 2007 and has helped grow the company tremendously through her sales efforts that have spanned six full years.

She had a baby 2 days before she sent me her tips!

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactics are to learn to be effective at multitasking and getting things done as they come in. I don’t ever like pushing things until later.

If someone needs my attention now, I give it to them. This is also why I maintain inbox zero; delaying a response to an email correspondence just adds more to your plate.

Similarly, it’s about not saying yes to too many things and knowing where your limits are.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is usually the stuff that comes up that’s not planned for. I can tell you that I expect to do X hours of work, but then all of the sudden, my computer crashes and I have another X hours of work to add on top of that.

Naturally, it causes me to be less efficient, but in terms of time management, it’s about preparing for the unknowns and working in the time to take care of everything.

Do you have any other tips?

My main tip is to use a system that keeps you fully accountable for everything you do. For me, that’s Remember the Milk baked into Gmail.

I have a to-do list that I maintain religiously, both for todo items and for meetings that happen throughout the day. If something is overdue, I work very hard to make sure it’s the first thing I do the next day.

Jennifer Horowitz

Jennifer Horowitz

 

Jennifer is a copywriter and SEO specialist. She also specializes in conversion rate analysis. Learn more about her at her website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Color blocking my calendar works well for me – it’s a great way to see visually what categories I need to focus on.

From there I use Todoist to manage my tasks and prioritize them. I always do the tasks I don’t like first, so they are out of the way. I also try to do tasks that other people are waiting on.

Lastly, I have to stay out of my email and social media while I am working on my creative tasks.

It drains my energy if there are problems, and it’s a time suck.  I have learned to be proactive and not reactive. It allows for greater control of my time and higher quality work product.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Prioritizing is hard because there are so many different ways you can prioritize something.  Usually, I try to prioritize by revenue producing activities and revenue impacting activities (like dealing with problems before they negatively impact revenue), and then everything else.

Do you have any other tips?

It really comes down to discipline and organization. If you spend the time once and create a good system and then follow it, you should do great.

It helps to remember why you are doing various tasks and prioritize based on that – if they are steps towards a goal or due date they are a priority over everything else.

Ted Rubin

Ted Rubin

 

Ted is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. You can learn more about his at his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I do my best to address as much as I can as it comes… same day in, same day out when possible. When not (which is often), the best way for me to keep track is my email, so I push everyone to follow-up with me there if the interaction or request for a deliverable started somewhere else.

The emails that have not yet been addressed to my satisfaction remain closed, so I know they are still active. I also aggressively use my calendar because it keeps me on track for things that need to be done by certain dates.

If you want something from me, I request and expect you to add it to my calendar. If it’s me looking to you for something, then I will add. I rarely drive, because if someone else is driving, I can be using my time more effectively, and when I will be driving, I arrange using my phone for calls during that time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Too much to do, too little time. This is a 24/7 social world, and once you build a brand, especially one built upon responsiveness, it is difficult to control the incoming.

Do you have any other tips?

Be self-aware about your ability to multi-task… some are better at it that others. Also, make sure to be aware of those around you and how your behavior is affecting them.

Are you paying attention to where you are walking and talking… AND driving? Are you getting in the way of others or annoying them with your engagement? Are you missing things with your kids, a time you will never get back, by trying to be too efficient with your time?

Pay attention, evaluate as you go, and take the time to actually “think” about things.

Harris Schachter

Harris Schachter

 

Harris Schachter is a digital marketer at a Fortune 200 company – Capital One and hybrid marketing consultant in Richmond, VA. He also runs Optimizepri.me.

Thanks for reaching out. I’d be happy to answer these questions; I think time management is probably one of the least talked about, yet most important, topics in the marketing world. Here we go:

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite tactics are as soon as something comes up, deciding whether or not to do it right now, and where it falls in priority of all the other things I need to do.

Some people immediately stop what they’re doing in favor of the most recent, but just because it is recent doesn’t mean it is more important. This helps me spend my time wisely and helps me focus.

Another thing I like to do is say no. If I get a meeting invite that isn’t crucial for me to be in attendance, I just decline. Saying no is another skill I suggest everyone to learn.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is estimating how much time a body of work will take. In agile methodology, sprint planning is used to define the work and acceptance criteria for the next couple weeks.

The problem is you can never really know how long something will take due to unforeseen events, requests from leadership, or otherwise. Even after a number of sprints, you can never really know exactly how much time or effort something will take (especially in marketing, not software development).

Do you have any other tips?

My only other tip is that if something takes less than 5 minutes, just do it now. Otherwise, you’ll put all these small tasks aside and create a huge list of work which could otherwise been taken care of in bite size pieces.

Dan Petrovic

Dan Petrovic

 

Dan Petrovic is the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimization. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Self-imposed deadlines. I enter when something is to be accomplished by a certain date and I work towards meeting that deadline. It’s really that simple.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions. This could be your usual communication at the office, emails or me burning time on Reddit or social channels. When I really need things done, I work at night or close my door and put a DND sign on it.

Do you have any other tips?

When facing a gigantic task, it’s often difficult to make a move on it and start. But this is key. Just start. Make your first attempt, no matter how bad it may seem. This gives you something to work with and improve.

I often simply lay out the basic skeleton or structure of what I’m about to do, and that makes it easier as I start filling in the “meaty” parts. Sometimes when I work on my next talk, what inspires me is a good cover image.

I sometimes spend hours getting the cover right because once I have that done to perfection, I’m very motivated to continue this excellence throughout the content that follows.

Andy Crestodina

Andy Crestodina

 

Andy is Co-founder of Orbit Media. He is a top-rated content marketing speaker and keynote presenter at national conferences.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

“Time blocking” is a great way to manage time. It involves setting aside time for specific activities. For example, if you’re a writer, schedule one hour with yourself every morning to write. Don’t check email.

Don’t look at social media. That time is for writing. Sit down and write!

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions. Email. People walking into my office. I also have a bad habit of scheduling too many back-to-back meetings. If one meeting runs long, the others all get pushed back, and I’m late for everything.

But the biggest problem is email. I’m using a combination of tools within Gmail to help, but it’s still a constant struggle…

Do you have any other tips?

Delegate! Great things are not all accomplished by one person. If you want to tackle bigger projects, you have to leverage your team.

Even if you’re a blogger or content marketer, this can be very effective. Here’s an example of what a senior marketer might do to delegate and automate tasks: 5 Marketing Tactics for Senior Marketers.

Jake Bohall

Jake Bohall

 

Jake Bohall is the Vice President of Angular. Jake is recognized as an online columnist, entrepreneur, and serves as a board member of an educational non-profit.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I used a suggestion made by Chris Winfield, to spend some time early in the morning establishing what my accomplishment goals for the day will be, and deciding how much time I want to spend working towards each.

Then, I set a timer for 20 minutes and get to work. When the timer goes off, I make a mental note of progress and decide to spend another 20 minutes on that same goal, or spend my next 20 minutes on another goal. By following this, I find myself much more productive, and I stay on task knowing I’m only asking a “20-minute sprint” of myself.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Interruptions! Working in a fast paced tech marketing company, Angular, I am constantly having to break from the task at hand to address a customer concern, a developer request for information, etc.

Do you have any other tips?

I use a combination of tools to help me with managing priorities, workflow, and stave interruptions.

For example, I use Wunderlist to help outline outstanding work and easily prioritize what I want to get done. The fantastic “ding” of checking the box is a nice reinforcement of accomplishment.

I use Trello for organizing on a project level, so I don’t spend more time organizing than I have to.

And I use Kore for it’s communication platform with my teams and the bot integration so I can combine communicating with task tracking, and get set aside time to go and “knock out” the internal questions without having to jump into my inbox where other distractions inevitably wait.

Tadeusz Szewczyk

Tadeusz Szewczyk (Tad Chef)

 

Tad has more than 15 years of experience in online publishing. You can check his blog which rarely get updated. This is the downside of success and having lots of clients.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management techniques? Wow, that’s difficult. By now I use so many of them that it’s really a tough choice. I think splitting tasks into half an hour/hour slots is among them.

Not reading emails until the actual work is done allows me to have time to manage in the first place.

Without ignoring the mailbox, I would only play ping pong sending mails back and forth and run errands in-between messages.

I also use a simple but effective to-do list tool called TeuxDeux. It allows me to drag and drop tasks back and forth.

A rigid plan, like a to-do list written on paper, would not allow me to deal with energy slumps or urgent drop in tasks. I plan the week in advance on Monday, so I need to be able to move tasks from slot to slot down the week.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge when managing time is that time is a finite resource and managing it is not a solution for the lack of it. Thus you need to prioritize before actually managing time.

  1. What’s more important?
  2. When to do what?
  3. Which tasks to drop altogether?

While I’m pretty good at juggling multiple clients/projects, social media activity and mail checking I often end up dropping my own projects from the todo list. You can see it on my blog or homepage which rarely get updated. This is in a way the downside of success and having lots of clients.

Do you have any other tips?

Time management does not suffice to ensure a high level of productivity. You need to

  1. sleep enough
  2. eat well
  3. exercise
  4. meditate
  5. move a lot

to name just a few key ingredients of success. Also, productivity in itself isn’t enough either. Being always busy or working long hours is not a sign of success.

Productivity is about accomplishing a lot in a short time frame.

You need to minimize distractions. Thus I schedule both social media and mail/messaging times.

I only use Skype for client consultations for example. I even switch off the phone to be able to work on the actual task at hand. Single tasking is perhaps the most important thing to remember.

Matthew Alago

Matt Alago

 

Matt is a Project Manager at Ipullrank.  He is an experienced digital project manager with strong background in production and seven years of experience in digital project management. He worked for CBS Interactive, CBS Corporation.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

– Take 15 minutes at the beginning of every day to schedule out your day.

– Putting DNDs on your schedule for the times you need to put your nose to the grindstone and just get something done.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

– Not always accounting for getting pulled away from something

– Not accepting that you may not get everything completed that day

Do you have any other tips?

Try to take into account the time you will be pulled away from tasks as well as the time you spend on your phone or Facebook this will help you more accurately manage your time.

Brent Jones

Brent Jones

 

Brent is freelancer and blogger. At his blog, he helps new and aspiring freelancers build their own online, service-based businesses.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Simply put, I plan everything. I’m a big believer in writing down everything that has to get done each day, and my day isn’t finished until each of those tasks have been accomplished.

I generally plan the week ahead every Friday, and when the new week starts, I simply work my plan. I avoid adding things to my plan once the new week has started… instead, I work on what’s right in front of me and schedule new tasks that arise for the following week.

The best time managers I know stay focused on executing their plan rather than waiting to be reactive to new challenges each day.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I won’t lie… I can sometimes get distracted rather easily. I have to make a point to check my email only at certain points each day, and the same goes for social media notifications.

When it’s time to focus on a bigger project, my phone gets turned on silent.

I used to try to answer everything in real time, but I’ve come to realize just how much time I lose as a result.

Emails don’t expire. Social media notifications don’t disappear. And my voicemail works perfectly. They can all be reviewed later in the day.

Sometimes managing time is as simple as having systems in place to prevent distractions from happening in the first place.

Do you have any other tips?

My best tip for achieving maximum productivity is to stay motivated. Have clear goals and understand why you are working as hard as you are. It’s easier to be disciplined and diligent when we can clearly visualize our end goals.

In other words, set goals, give purpose to your work, and find a reason to be passionate about achieving maximum productivity.

Jason Quey

Jason Quey

 

Jason is a co-founder of Decibite, hosting optimized for traffic, security, and sales. He also helps entrepreneurs connect with influencers, experts, and linchpins to rapidly grow their business together on The Storyteller Marketer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Prioritize what I want to do and knock them out, piece-by-piece, starting at the top. As simple as this sounds, this is exactly the strategy business magnate Charlie Munger used.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Keeping focused and not chasing after shiny marketing objects.

Camilla Hallstrom

Camilla Hallstrom

 

Camilla is freelance content writer/marketer and Huffingtonpost.com contributor. She runs 99smartideas.com where you can find information how to stop procrastinating and get things done.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro Technique, writing to-do lists and taking pauses throughout the day to stretch, do yoga, take a walk or jog. Changing my work environment is something that helps me manage my time.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’ve always had a pretty bad tendency to procrastinate. Fortunately, I have learned quite a lot about getting rid of this habit, but I’ll still find myself procrastinating from time to time.

The important thing is to recognize why it’s happening and then do something about it (e.g. eat a healthy snack because your blood sugar is low).

Do you have any other tips?

Read about different time management tips, then test those that resonate with you. Not all of them will work for you, and that’s fine. Use those that work and skip the rest.

Steve Wiideman

Steve Wiideman

 

Steve is SEO expert and consultant. He is a President & CEO of Wiideman Consulting Group

What are your favorite time management tactics?

5 years ago, I spent 40% of my time in email and found myself working late into the evenings. Now, I only schedule meetings before noon and push clients to use support desk or CRM so other team members can shield me from nearly 50% of the emails I would respond to.

Tools I use to manage my time include Inbox by Google (better ‘skip the inbox’ features and snoozing), better organization of tasks within our project management system, and removing all notifications from work and social media that do not specifically require my attention.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Delegation is still something I struggle with. As the senior SME in our group, I set a high bar and tend to bogart sensitive tasks that could be done by others on the team.

Do you have any other tips?  

My advice for those struggling with time management are to schedule time to work on tasks and to learn how to write like a CEO (here is one of my favorite articles on the topic).

Today I scheduled a task to watch a webinar recording and update a process doc; each one hour of blocked out time.

My time spent in email has given me back 20% of my day, which feels incredibly liberating.

Thanks to the tools I use and a focus on notifications only, I reach “Zero Inbox” by the end of each day (sure, some are snoozed, but everything important is replied to or delegated).

Lauren R. Tharp

Lauren R. Tharp

 

Lauren helps entrepreneurs with a vision give that vision a voice. And since she works primarily as a ghostwriter, you can rest-assured that the voice will be yours. She can also help you to get started as a freelance writer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I like to set alarms to help me manage my time more efficiently.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is knowing when to stop. I have trouble knowing when to take a break. Once I get started, I tend to just keep going and going until I burn out.

This is another reason why setting alarms works so well for me. Not only do they help me finish tasks within a set time limit, they help me know when it’s time to stop and get some rest.

Do you have any other tips?

Schedule breaks as well as tasks. You’ll get more done! Because, believe it or not, your body and mind need to rest to work effectively.

Erlend Bakke

Erlend Bakke

 

Erlend is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker. He is author of the #1 international bestseller “Never Work Again: Work Less, Earn More and Live Your Freedom”

www.mroutsource.com, Please let regina@mroutsource.com know so we can share it http://erlendbakke.com/ http://mroutsource.com/ https://twitter.com/erlendbakke

What are your favorite time management tactics?

90 minute of thinking deep focused work first thing in the morning.

Turn everything off and just focus on one task. After that, I can busy myself with email and phone calls, but the 90 minutes is what really makes the big difference long term.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The trick to manage time is to have a dream team that does most of the things in your business for you. I also schedule everything from gym to food to travel, so I know what I´m doing when. I also allocate days to certain businesses and tasks.

Do you have any other tips?

The Daily Update.

Get your key employees the task of emailing you a daily update where they.

Have a: Tittle: Date + hours worked

then answer these three questions

1) What I did today

2) Challenges I encountered

3) Questions I have for you

This has saved me hours and hours!

Nathan Zeldes

Nathan Zeldes

 

Nathan is work productivity expert, thought leader and public speaker.  Formerly he worked at Intel Corporation, where he focused on the improvement of knowledge worker productivity related to email, internet apps, messaging, remote working, and more. Learn more about Nathan on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  •      The most important info overload handling tip: batch email reading in fixed, preset time slots daily. In my case, I am most creative in the morning, so I do most email after lunch, and during travel on public transportation (intercity buses). Admittedly some urgent emails get replies outside these slots, but I try to keep them few. To enable all this, you must turn off all “You’ve got mail” alerts on both desktop and handheld.
  •      Conversely, I assign most morning hours to working alone on the kind of larger tasks that require creative thought and concentration, as opposed to meetings and miscellaneous small stuff. Your timing may vary depending on your biological daily cycle, but the principle applies to most everyone.
  •      I plan my day in advance the evening before, so I can start into the morning tasks right away and “hit the ground running.”

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Sticking to priorities, so important-but-not-urgent tasks don’t get pushed out by the opposite kind that keeps popping up. One trick I use here is sorting my Inbox, so oldest messages are at the top and starting every email processing time slot from these.

Since important messages will not be deleted, they accumulate at that end and this way I force myself to handle at least a few of the oldest every time. Mind you, I do keep my inbox under one screenful most if the time, so this is not a lost cause.

Do you have any other tips?

Well, there’s the tip I invented myself long ago and shared with many folks: the “Five Weeks” folder trick. Here’s how it works:

  •      Set up a folder called “Five Weeks” that deletes its content automatically after five weeks.
  •      Use it as a repository for messages you’re unsure about, such as that email you want to delete, but you’re not sure if the sender might call you tomorrow and ask about it. If, when screening your Inbox, you hesitate for more than 2 seconds about deleting a message, put it into “Five Weeks” and forget it!

This simple method speeds up inbox processing considerably because it does away with the procrastination and doubt that slow down outright deletion: anything thrown into the folder can, after all, be retrieved for five full weeks.

The five-week interval was picked so that any monthly recurrent items would not disappear before the next one came in…

Larry Kim

Larry Kim

 

Larry is Founder and CTO of WordStream – the leading provider of AdWords, Facebook and keyword tools used by over a million marketers worldwide. The company employs nearly 200 people and manages a half Billion dollars of ad spend on behalf of customers.

He is also a columnist for Inc. Magazine, Search Engine Land, Social Media Examiner.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I have to be pretty firm with myself about putting my phone out of sight and only checking it periodically. It goes off constantly, and I mean every few seconds.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is fitting in exercise. Surprisingly, working out energizes us (rather than exhausts), and lowers stress. So it’s crucial to get some form of exercise every day. I aim for super early in the morning. Hence the struggle!

Do you have any other tips?

Use the time that would otherwise be lost. I find it’s worthwhile to take an Uber occasionally, so I can check and send emails instead of driving.

And since I fly a lot, I’m often stuck at boarding gates—but that’s salvageable time. Even 15 minutes can check a small task off the list, and most importantly, make you feel productive and motivated.

William Harris

William Harris

 

William is a Growth Marketer and at Elumynt. He contributes to FastCompany.com, Entrepreneur.com, TheNextWeb.com.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Batching. I love figuring out ways to batch my time so I can be the most effective at the task I’m currently focused on.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

My greatest challenge is limiting distractions.  Slack, Hipchat, email, text messages – it can all be overwhelming to turn off, but it’s absolutely necessary to eliminate the things that are getting in the way of productivity and focus.

Do you have any other tips?

Check out the article I wrote about on FastCompany – How to Work 100 Hours a Week – and Not Die.

Andy Core

Andy Core

 

Andy is a credentialed, award-winning thought leader on increasing employee engagement, productivity, and wellness motivation. Learn more about him on his website.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I practice (and preach) Big Box Time Management.  It is a concept that helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day so that you can leave work at work, enjoy your personal time more and fall asleep easier at night.

It is simply identifying what you must do in a day to feel accomplished.  That is sometimes a more productive way to refocus than asking yourself, “How can I do more?”

Here is a link to a LightBoard Video where I explain the concept:  http://andycore.com/big-box-time-management-increase-productivity-quality-life

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The biggest challenges for me are two subcategories of time management.

  • Ping management – How good am I at designing my day so that technology does not interrupt my workflow?
  • Opportunity management – How good am I at choosing the right opportunities to focus on?

Do you have any other tips?

One of the key concepts in my new book, Change Your Day, Not Your Life is that “Motivation is just momentum in disguise.”  Arrange your day and your thinking so that you can get on productivity runs throughout your day.  

For instance, the first thing you do when you arrive at work or return from lunch creates the momentum for the next few hours. Choose your first actions wisely.

Chris Makara

Chris Makara

 

Cris has over 13 years of digital marketing experience. He provides interactive & digital marketing services at his website – Chrismakara.com

What are your favorite time management tactics?

My favorite time management tactic is automation. Basically, I find that I can find additional time by automating tasks that don’t necessarily need me to do them manually.

Since they either run on their own or streamline a process, I am able to free up time that I can allocate towards other tasks that can’t be automated.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

I’d say my biggest challenge is staying focused. I’m the type of person that likes to multitask more than I should. When this happens, I will notice one of the things I was working on gets forgotten or missed.

So I do my best to tackle one thing at a time when possible.

Do you have any other tips?

A tip I would give that works well for me is to follow the “eat a frog for breakfast” mentality.

The “frog” is your biggest/worst task. By eating your frog first thing, the worst part of your day is over and can’t get any worse.

Whereas if you procrastinate, that task will hang over your head the rest of the day until it is completed hindering your productivity.

I find that this approach helps me focus on getting my high priority tasks done ASAP.

Tom Pick

Tom Pick

 

Tom Pick is B2B marketing consultant focused on web presence optimization: SEO, SEM, social media, online PR. Blogger. Tom runs a great blog where you can learn about digital marketing.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I use many tactics, from making “to do” lists to scheduling tasks based on my own productivity patterns; personally, I prefer to write in the morning and do more analytical work in the afternoons, when possible – but we are each unique.

Many people will say prioritizing tasks is the key to time management and productivity. It’s essential, but really needs to be taken one step further: the single most important factor in time management may be knowing when to say “no.”

No matter how expertly prioritizing your task lists are, you’ll never get caught up if your to-do list is endless. In other words, it’s not enough to simply judge some tasks as more important than others. It’s also vital to recognize which tasks really aren’t worth your time at all.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Discipline! Saying “no” (as prescribed above), though essential, is hard. The temptation is to try to help everyone, to never ignore or turn down a request. But sometimes that is necessary in order to devote enough attention to the tasks that really matter.

It also takes discipline to ignore distractions. It’s easy to get pulled away from the task at hand to check for text messages, new emails, what those unread Facebook notifications are all about, etc..

But effective time management requires focusing on the task at hand, and setting aside specific times for catching up on communications.

Do you have any other tips?

Avoid multitasking – it’s productivity and work quality killer. Instead, work in “bursts,” focusing on one task at a time. The Pomodoro technique recommends bursts of 25 minutes, but again, we’re all different.

I prefer bursts of about 75 minutes; that seems to work best for me. But again, we’re all different. Do some experimentation, some trial and error, to determine what “burst” length works best for you — then stick to it!

Micah Riddell

Micah Riddell

 

Micah is Director of Operations at Louder.online. He has extensive experience advising on corporate strategy and actively supporting the growth of multinational companies.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Despite it not being very cool I rely on email and calendars, my basic rules for the day are:

  • Wait 2 hours at the start of the day before checking mail; this allows important issues to turn into phone calls or messages
  • Reply immediately if:
    • It will take less then 5 minutes
    • Could lead to new business
  • Flag everything else that needs attention and assign time to it
  • Finish the day with a clear inbox

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Want to do versus need to do, I am constantly finding new ways to do business, attract new customers and create efficiencies,  this can lead to too much time being spent on the future state.

Do you have any other tips?

You won’t make up time lost by being available 24/7, do what you can with the time that you have and be sure to balance productivity and wellbeing.

Gael Breton

Gael Breton

 

Gael is inbound marketing nerd. He runs Authorityhacker with his good friend Mark where you can learn how to create authority website and build targeted traffic.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

Despite being self-employed, I like limiting my working time the same way it would be if I had a job. Except I only work 6h / day these days then make plans to make sure I stop on time.

Then I use something like Rescuetime to track my productive hours and aim at 80% productivity.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge to me is other people’s emergencies. I do a pretty good job at prioritizing my own emergencies but when other people need something “urgently” it totally disrupts your flow, and you have no way to know how important it actually is.

Do you have any other tips?

My bonus tip is to compartmentalize your life. If you have too much time dedicated to any task, you will spend way more time that you should on it (Parkinson law).

So I use my calendar app to split my days in 1-2h blocks with different activities. This allows me to get a lot more done in a single day (http://www.authorityhacker.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Sunrise_Calendar.png)

Ellen Bard

Ellen Bard

 

Ellen Bard helps you to balance productivity and self-kindness, and you can get her free PDF ‘101 Ideas to Boost Your Creativity, Have Fun, and Play’ here: http://ellenbard.com/101-ideas-creativity-fun-play/

What are your favorite time management tactics?

  • I stay organized. It saves me a huge amount of time that I know where things are on my computer and in my place, and can find things quickly when I need them.
  • I use a modified version of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology to structure my projects (including trying to stay as close to Inbox Zero as possible  http://ellenbard.com/how-to-create-a-zero-inbox/ ) to keep things streamlined and structured and to keep track of the many balls I have in the air.
  • I keep all my to-do lists in a one Scrivener file, where I can have individual documents and lists but still see an overview of them all at once.
  • I make a list for every day which pulls from these different master lists.
  • I split out decision-making time as to what I need to do, and the ‘doing’ time to make sure I have concrete actions rather than vague plans on my to-do list so I’m not wasting decision-making time when I’m ready to do things, but I know exactly what I need to do next.
  • I know the next action that needs to be done on each bigger project, and also have the resources I need available to complete that project (e.g. have the research offline if I’m writing a blog post) so I can switch tasks if my circumstances change (e.g. I am on a plane and have no internet, or my laptop runs out of battery, etc.).  
  • I try not to confuse being ‘busy’ (social media, emails, tweaking my websites, etc.) with being productive (producing content for my books or websites, working with clients, getting my work out in the world). I monitor the time I spend on websites using RescueTime on my Mac and Moment on my phone (Moment, in particular, is pretty horrifying when you realise how much frequently you do a ‘quick check’ on your phone – I recommend you do this and get a clearer picture of how much you use it).
  • I read books and blogs on the topic and refine my approach. I highly recommend Deep Work by Cal Newport for example.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Getting distracted. In order to stay focused, I use Pomodoros; an internet blocker (‘Freedom’); and a music program to enable focus (Focus@Will). I try not to multi-task, and work on one thing at a time. I don’t always succeed!

Do you have any other tips?

One other challenge I face is I often have unrealistic expectations of what I can actually achieve in a day – I would like to have a slimmer to-do list every day.

Too many things and you don’t get them done, which can feel demotivating. I try to have a realistic number of actions that I can do within the time frame, and then have some ‘bonus’ items which I can get to if I have time.

I also think it’s important to balance your work life with social activities, exercise, play, creative time and alone time. All these things help to nurture us to be in a space where we are ready to be as productive as possible – if we burn out, we’re definitely not in that space.

Shane Barker

Shane Barker

 

Shane Barker is an accomplished digital marketing consultant. From working with celebrities on digital reputation management to obtaining a #1 national ranking with PROskore as a social media consultant, Shane has built an impressive list of accomplishments in digital marketing. As a regular contributor to publications like Salesforce, Yahoo Small Business, Marketing Profs, and others, he continues to grow and share his knowledge.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

1. Setting priorities – If there are projects more urgent or take more mental bandwidth than others, I do them first thing in the morning as that is when I am the sharpest.

I don’t start doing any client calls until after 10 am. That way I can get my workout at 5 am and then start work on my high priority tasks from 6am-10am. It is best to start the day off right by knocking out my big ticket items.

2. Taking short breaks – I schedule (it is actually on my daily calendar) a 15-minute break every 3 hours as it helps me reboot and refresh the mind. During my breaks, I will check Facebook (to make sure the world is not ending soon), walk my dogs, watch some funny YouTube videos, stretch, kiss my wife, etc.!
3. Setting deadlines – For all my client work and personal brand development I always set deadlines. There are no many moving parts to all my projects, my team, and I always do a weekly review of the requirements for each project and setup deadlines.

If you don’t have a deadline how will you know when you hit certain milestones?

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Unexpected or last-minute tasks which were not included (or invited) into my daily schedule! It is hard to prepare for the unexpected, but it is guaranteed to happen so why not add a buffer to your daily schedule.

Preparation is key! I usually schedule a 10-minute buffer before and after all meetings to be ready for the unexpected tasks/calls.

Do you have any other tips?

Set goals for your team and if they hit the goals reward them accordingly. Time management is always a challenge especially when there are multiple team members on a project.

So your team finishes a project on time show them your appreciation for staying on target and crushing the project by rewarding them. I have given my team cash bonuses, gift cards, time off (with pay) and team outings.

Kalo Yankulov

Kalo Yankulov

 

Kalo is the Co-founder of HeadReach. He is an avid content marketer, web designer, and front-end developer

What are your favorite time management tactics?

First:

Do less

Recently I noticed the fewer things I have in my life the better I perform. Do only the most crucial tasks; track only the 1 most important KPI or metric; send shorter emails; avoid unnecessary meetings – talk and go out only with the people that contribute the most to your company or personal development. Less is more.

And second:

Use only actionable tasks

Here’s a non-actionable task:

“Hire an intern.”

Here’s an actionable task:

“Interview 5 potential marketing interns before 25th this month.” It easily answers to “what” – interview; “who” – marketing interns; “when” – 25th this month.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Staying motivated through the lows. Running a startup or a new company you go through a rollercoaster of feelings. In the morning you might feel like you’re going to be the next Richard Branson and buy islands, a few hours later you feel borderline depressed – this impacts your performance.

Those are the moments when you feel like you’re wasting the most of your time as you don’t feel like doing anything at all.

Aleyda-Solís

Aleyda Solis

 

Aleyda is an international SEO consultant & keynote speaker. She is the founder of Orainti. According to Forbes she is one of the top online marketing experts to watch in 2016.

 

What are your favorite time management tactics?

In order to manage my time well and maximize productivity:

  • I follow the “Eisenhower Box” to prioritize my tasks.
  • I use the Pomodoro technique to be able to focus on what really matters during reasonable periods of times. I’m a big fan and use with browser extensions such as Strict Workflow to keep focused.
  • I use Trello to manage my to-do’s and keep track of things I need to prioritize along the day.
  • I block periods of times in my calendar to make sure I allocate time for things like writing my book or a blog post.
  • Every task that should be done at a certain time are set in my Calendar with alarms to remind me 10 minute before.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Distractions & tendency to procrastinate, leaving things to do until the last minute. I highly recommend reading “How to beat procrastination” from Wait but Why, with great tips to be aware, control and minimize this behavior.

Do you have any other tips?

Yes! Having a reliable, highly accessible and centralized communication system and project management system also helps a lot, I use Slack to communicate with people I collaborate with and very simple but effective Basecamp. I really like simplicity and focusing on getting things done.

Alexandra

Alexandra Tachalova

 

Alexandra is a digital marketing consultant & founder of DigitalOlympus. She is a frequent speaker, and you can find her at all the major search industry events such as BrightonSEO, Ungagged, SEOzone, SMX, SEMdays, and many more.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I’ve grown fond of Agile and everything related to this methodology. To tell the truth, I personally think that the classical management structure – where managers are responsible for everything – doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

I strongly believe that any team member should have freedom to decide how to deliver a particular task and be fully responsible for the outcome.

If you want to have a team that we’ll be able to solve the problems on their own and be focused on the results, then you shouldn’t rely too much on the classical management, but instead you need to encourage employees to organize processes they are responsible for themselves.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The hardest part is to prioritize and to try to find a balance between routine and interesting tasks. Quite often exciting projects appear from nowhere and you can’t say “no” to these opportunities, but later on you regret it, when you’re head over ears in work.

So, I try not to give promises that I can’t keep due to the lack of time. Also, I’m quite a big fan of automation: I use a good number of tools that can spare me from any manual and repetitive tasks.

Do you have any other tips?

My final tip is pretty simple: don’t forget to find some time to seat down and analyze what you’ve done in the last 3-4 months. This simple step allows you to adjust your current activities consequently and to prioritize appropriately in order to become more effective.

As a rule, I like to turn every plane journey into an opportunity to catch up with my work: for example, when I go somewhere to deliver a speech, I have this “no distraction” time on a plane, so that I can seat down and think over my business concerns or go through my personal processes.

SteveScott

Steve Scott

 

Steve is a bestselling nonfiction writer.  He teaches others about publishing and blogs about: habit change, self help and productivity. His newest book The Miracle Morning for Writers is a huge hit.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

There are many effective time management techniques I have tired throughout the years. The ones that have worked for me the longest are:

  1. The Pomodoro Technique. This is a process where you work for a 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break. The short “work” period means that you can give absolute focus to the task at hand and actually get more done.
  2. The 80/20 Rule. The idea of this rule is that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. When you track the things you do, you can discover those 20% activities that really move the dial on accomplishment. Trying to do more of those activities and making your daily efforts that much more efficient..
  3. Walking during breaks. The mind-body connection is a strong one. Staying fit helps you stay efficient. The Pomodoro technique has a lot of “mini” breaks built into it. As much as possible, I like to fill these 5 minute breaks with short walks. These short walks fill me with energy. The “mindlessness of walking also helps me to get ready to fully focus on my next 25 minutes of activity.
  4. Focus on creative tasks first. Circadian Rhythms show that most people are the most focused and creative early in the morning. I never waste this time on emails or phone conversations. Those can wait until the afternoon. The morning is the time for my creative work. (The 20% or my 80/20)
  5. Never over schedule your day. Typically I set only 2-3 tasks to be completed in a single day. This manageable number means that I will be able to handle things that “pop up” and still give the tasks I want to complete my full focus.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

Emails that are low or medium priority: I receive 100-150 emails a day. The important stuff gets dealt with. The rest of it can be a challenge.

Do you have any other tips?

Stick to your “Core Genius”.

We all have things we excel at, and things we are just able to “do”. Effective time management means that you should always be looking for ways to scale the things you are good at, while outsourcing or delegating the things you only do passably well.

Finding your core genius starts with being brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses. What skills make you unique? What tasks fully engage your brain? What tasks never seem like, “work”?

Once you have an idea of what you do really well, you need to create systems to give you more time to focus on your strengths and less time to handle the mundane stuff.

Few of us will ever spend 100% of our time focusing on “core genius” tasks. There are always little things that must be handled personally, but you should strive to get 75-80% of your time spent on these tasks.

Maria

Maria Johnsen

 

Maria Johnsen is CEO and founder of multilingual digital marketing company Golden Way Media. She has been ranked the 6th top digital marketing influencer in the world. She is a hyperpolyglot entrepreneur, public speaker, author and search engine programmer.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I work systematically. I run many SEO, PPC and Social Media Marketing projects in different languages. Some of these tasks require more attention and some others are easy. I usually do the easy tasks first and then work on the difficult ones. I take 15 minutes pause in every 60 minutes. When I am done at the end of working hours, I take care of phone calls and emails.

After work I go to the gym and do work out for two hours. This helps me to think clearly and when I get back home, I continue working at my office until dinner time for two hours, then I close all the devices and use my time for other activities such as being with friends and going out.

I usually follow a system in my time management. I take benefit of every minute I have, when I don’t work on projects, I listen to languages in order to not forget them. People in here speak only one language, so I have to keep my languages on advanced level.

I am able to manage my time efficiently this is how I have been since childhood. And this is how I was able to manage both a full time job with a lot of responsibilities at the government and full time education as a student.

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The greatest challenge is not to lose my focus. I usually do more on projects in order to not miss the deadline in case if anything happens. I always submit my projects before due time. This way my clients are happy. Sometimes in life things happen out of blue for example you get sick, or some of your tools dysfunction, this is why I do more every day so I wouldn’t miss the deadline.

Do you have any other tips?

Do not postpone a project when you can do it today, because something could come up later which you have no control over. Don’t leave a task for tomorrow when you can do it today. This way you’re never late in submitting client’s project. Being on time is very important.

Conclusion

There is no cookie cutter solution to managing your time the best way. To find out what works, you just have to learn from the best and try everything. Some people have what it takes to take on task after task without any problems. Others seem to get lost in a field of tasks with no end in sight. What may come easy to someone else, may not work for you.

Review what you’re doing now to manage your time and then go through the list of expert techniques. The listed methods are all different in one way or another. Despite that, the experts all have one thing in common. They are all successful because they have learned what works for them.

These professionals know how to tune out obstacles and handle disruptions. This allows them to focus on their end goals. With the tips they have provided, you can list out what might work for your situation.

When you learn time management skills, you can avoid feeling overwhelmed with your business. This will also help you feel more in control of your scheduled tasks. Pause and put the focus on important tasks so that your day becomes more productive.

You are already working hard enough. Working smarter will cut down on distractions like social media. This will help you meet your short and long-term goals. Running a business is hard work and a break is good every now and again.

If you are new to the world of time management, tell us in the comments how you plan to change your bad habits. We want to know what you are going to do to work on improving your work flow.

If you are already an expert in effective time management, we also want to hear from you. Tell us your achievements and how you manage your time.

Maybe your method of time management isn’t listed? Share it with the group so we can all enjoy learning something new!

 

Start Tracking Your Time Today
Danny Donchev
 

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86 Experts Reveal Their Best Time Management Tips

by Danny Donchev time to read: 101 min
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