25 time-management tips for work


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When it comes to being your most productive and efficient self at work, proper time management is a must. Time management is a skill that nearly every employee should have. But it can be challenging to develop. So what is time management? And why is it so important for employees? Let’s find out.

What is time management?

Time management is the practice of allocating your time to tasks productively and efficiently. Often, time management involves planning out your daily activities and exercising conscious control of your time as you complete those activities. Some common themes for effective time management include clear goals, priorities, and expectations.

You can apply the practice of time management to any part of your life, including professional and personal time. But in professional spheres, perfecting time management is one of the most vital skills employees should develop.

Why is time management important?

Practicing time management in the workplace is important because it can help you meet deadlines and be productive at work. Time management can also improve your mental health. You’ll feel less stressed, knowing how to allocate your time for each task. Experiencing less stress at work can help you achieve a better work-life balance.

Having poor time management skills can result in late assignments, poor work quality, and higher stress. You may feel less balanced in your work and experience burnout as a result. Burnout can stifle your creativity and leave you frustrated and angry with your assignments or employer.

By implementing practical time management skills, you can do more than impress your boss and co-workers. You can become an integral member of your team, proving you’re a dependable, productive, and efficient employee. With that in mind, let’s dive into 25 of the best time management tips for work.

1. Create a daily task list

Start every day with a list of the tasks you hope to accomplish. Once you get into work, write down your to-do list and prioritize those tasks appropriately. As you finish those tasks, check them off the list. Enjoy the sense of accomplishment you get with each check, and keep the momentum going!

2. Prioritize your tasks

Writing out a list of tasks is one thing. But you also have to know how to prioritize those tasks. Prioritize the most immediate tasks first. These tasks might be those that are due sooner or take more time to complete. If a task feels too big, break it into smaller tasks to make it feel more realistic. After that, you can organize your tasks based on importance, due date, or requester.

There are a few different methods of prioritizing that you can apply to your to-do list. One is the ABCDE method:

  • A tasks the most important tasks.
  • B tasks are the less important tasks.
  • C tasks are tasks with no consequences—they’re nice but not necessary.
  • D tasks are tasks for delegation.
  • E tasks are tasks you could eliminate.

Other methods include the 80/20 method and the four Ds (delegate, delete, defer, or do). Finding the method that works for you can help you better organize your list and prep for your day.

3. Do the most critical tasks in the morning

Once you’ve created your list, dive into your most important task. The sooner you can start working on it, the faster you can check it off. If you have a big task that might take all day, break it down into smaller tasks. Completing those smaller tasks can help you feel more accomplished as the day goes on.

4. Track your time

Tracking time is the best way to master time management. Estimate how long it will take you to complete a task. Then monitor the time you spend on that task and compare it to your estimated time. Monitoring your time can help you be more conscious of the flow during the workday. And with the right time management solution, you can track time for each task and keep a history of all the time you spent on a project. You might even find a tool that helps you create and view reports of your time based on project, task, or team.

5. Minimize distractions

Distractions are the enemy of anyone trying to manage their time. Find ways to block out distractions as much as possible. Turn on “do not disturb” on your phone or work computer. Listen to your favorite music to block out noisy office chatter. And if you have to, go offline to avoid things like social media, the news, or emails.

6. Avoid multitasking

Multiple studies have shown that multitasking overloads the brain. Instead of getting more done at once, multitasking can have the opposite effect. Multitaskers are more prone to errors, take more time to complete projects, and focus less. The brain can only focus on one or two things at a time. Switching between tasks only disorients the brain, so avoid it if you can.

7. Use time management apps and tools

Besides tracking your time with a time tracking solution, other time management apps and tools may help you monitor or organize your to-do list. Apps like Freedom can help you block sites that might distract you. Meanwhile, project management tools like Asana, Airtable, and Trello can help you organize, prioritize, and visualize your tasks. You can even sync these apps with your time tracking solution to improve task visibility and track time on projects.

8. Perform audits of your time weekly

If you want to improve your time management skills, the best way to do it is by auditing your time. Every week, record how much time you hope to spend on a project. As you complete assignments, track your time until you complete them. By the end of the week, you’ll have a record wherein you can compare actual time spent and estimated time spent. Use this to make adjustments to your time management plans. Continue to review your results week over week to see trends and gradual improvements.

9. Create meeting agendas

Some meetings are productive, and some meetings could have been emails. To avoid the latter, create agendas for any meetings you’re hosting. Define the meeting’s purpose and share your notes with the team before the meeting starts. Any prep you do beforehand can help you run the meeting smoothly. And if you get done early, everyone will appreciate having time back on their schedules.

10. Don’t wait for inspiration to start working

Working when you’re not inspired or motivated can be hard. However, inspiration can only come with action. And if you’re not inspired or motivated, sometimes, you need to start doing the work. Start now. The inspiration and motivation will follow.

11. Schedule your breaks

Breaks are essential for helping us focus. The brain functions best when toggling between moments of intense focus and unfocus. By adding breaks into your schedule, you can be sure you’re disengaging at optimal times. Use your breaks to get a drink, grab a snack food, chat with co-workers, or go for a walk. Your brain will be grateful for the break.

12. Keep a list of backup tasks

When you’re in your flow, there’s nothing that can ruin your mood quite like waiting. Maybe you’re waiting to hear back from a teammate. Or you’re waiting to see your doctor for an appointment. Whatever you’re waiting on, use those moments to take care of smaller tasks. Catch up on missed calls or respond to emails. You can even take a moment just to relax and catch your breath.

13. Organize your desk, task list, inbox, etc.

Keeping an organized physical and digital space can help you avoid distractions. The organization will also save you from scrambling to find old emails, notes, or a pen in all your clutter. When it comes to organizing your emails, use folders or labels to group project emails together. For your desk or physical space, keep minimal objects on your desk. Organization and efficiency go hand in hand.

14. Use your calendar

Use your calendar to track projects, due dates, and what you hope to accomplish throughout the week. If you use a digital calendar, you can set up reminders,  create schedules, set up time blocks, and create recurring events. You can also share your calendar with your team so that they know when you’re available.

15. Skip ahead when you feel stuck

Struggling to find the right words, code, or data? Skip ahead to an easier task if you can. Perfectionism and getting caught up in the minutia can only slow you down.

16. Communicate your workload with your team

Once you’ve made your to-do list in the morning, spend a few minutes communicating your agenda to your team. Communication is vital for a business to function well. Plus, it can help you manage your time—and help your team manage their time. Understanding when you’ll be available and what you’re working on can help your teammates manage their schedules and when they need your time.

17. Delegate nonessential tasks if you can

As you create your to-do list, you can choose to delegate low-priority items to teammates. If your whole team shares their workload, it may be easier to hand off low-priority tasks to teammates with lighter workloads that day.

18. Check your email once a day

Instead of answering every email immediately, dedicate a portion of your day to answering them all at once. Some people may prefer to answer all their emails in the morning. Others may prefer checking their emails while they have lunch. Whatever you prefer, turning off email notifications and only checking your inbox once can free up a lot of your time at work. But don’t forget to communicate your email schedule with your team, in case they need to contact you with something urgent.

19. Learn to say no

Learning to say no can help you avoid an overwhelming workload or last-minute requests. It can put you in charge of your workload and help you set boundaries with others. It can give you a sense of empowerment. Without these boundaries, you may be more prone to burnout and poor time management.

20. Group similar tasks together

As you think about your daily schedule, consider grouping similar tasks together. After all, some tasks require the same type of thought. For example, you might answer all your emails or calls or update your calendar with upcoming or recurring events in the same time block. Grouping these small tasks can save you a lot of time and help you prevent overwork.

21. Find your flow state

Your “flow state” is your ability to “get in the zone” and be engaged mentally. Typically, your flow state exists in a space between boredom and anxiety. Work on recognizing when you find your flow state, and try replicating that environment when you need to get down to business.

22. Focus on your work-life balance

The time you spend away from the office can influence how you work in the office. That’s why work-life balance is so important. If you’re struggling with time management, it could be that the stresses from other areas in your life are affecting your ability to work. Improving your work-life balance can mean getting more sleep and exercise, finding a hobby, or spending more time with your family.

23. Practice removing bad habits

Psychologists believe learning a new habit can take anywhere from 21 to 66 days. Unlearning habits can take just as long. Bad habits can include checking social media or responding to social texts or calls at work. These can get in the way of trying to improve your time management skills. Try to identify your bad habits and work to avoid or unlearn them. Create a strict schedule and stick to it, and those habits may disappear before you know it.

24. Make another to-do list for tomorrow

Want to be extra proactive with your tasks? Use the end of your workday to create a to-do list for tomorrow. When you get in the following day, you’ll have a few extra minutes on your schedule to dedicate to your work.

25. Seek a mentor for more guidance

Find a time management mentor who can help you develop your skills even more. Mentors can help you set goals, hold you accountable, and teach you new ways to work. If someone in your office excels at time management, consider asking them for advice or asking them to mentor you on your journey.


This article originally appeared on the Quickbooks Resource Center and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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5 tips for organic business growth

5 tips for organic business growth

It’s no secret that startups have a prodigious failure rate. In fact, according to a recent Entrepreneur.com study, the four-year survival rate for a startup is just 49%.

With demoralizing stats like this in mind, entrepreneurs may be tempted to grow their profits through any means necessary, including inorganic strategies like acquisitions or mergers. However, the truth is that business owners can achieve impressive growth through organic strategies as well, allowing them to retain control of the companies they built from the ground up.


Also known as “true growth,” organic growth refers to the process of growing a business by reducing costs and increasing sales, either by finding more customers or enhancing output to current clients. On the other hand, inorganic growth occurs when a company merges with or is acquired by a second business. Entrepreneurs should take the time to familiarize themselves with the advantages of organic and inorganic growth, as well as some of the top strategies for execution, so they can decide which is the best choice for their business.

As a new business owner, you’ll likely want to increase profits as quickly as possible. By employing inorganic strategies like mergers and acquisitions, startups can grow their businesses more quickly while taking advantage of resources such as stronger credit lines and expanded market resources. Additionally, joining with another company lets you take advantage of its expertise and experience in the industry to develop your own brand.


By merging with another business, you agree to hand over some of your control and equity to another company. Not only can your initial vision become diluted, but you may also be forced to take on new business and managerial challenges before you’re truly ready. In some cases, you may have to rush to grow your staff and production capabilities to keep up with demand.

On the other hand, organic growth techniques allow you to grow your business on your own timeline. Because you aren’t sharing control with another company, you can hire employees and expand sales at your own pace. Additionally, entrepreneurs who maintain their autonomy now can sell for a larger profit later when the company is fully developed.

While retaining control of your company offers many advantages over the long haul, it can make business growth challenging in the short term. Some entrepreneurs struggle to grow beyond their current marketplace, while others find themselves cut down by the competition. Additionally, new businesses must often fight to make ends meet from month to month. Fortunately, strategies exist to help startups grow their profits without handing over control to partners or investors.

Here are just a few of those strategies to help you grow your business organically:


Want to grow a business that will feed your family and employees for years to come? The first step on the road to entrepreneurial success is starting the right kind of company.

With home-based and e-commerce businesses, you can avoid expenses like rent and commuting during the early, lean years of your company. As an added bonus, working out of the home lets you write off parts of your mortgage and electric bill. You can then invest these savings back into the business to help you grow in the long term.


A common conundrum for new business owners is whether to take your full cut of the profits or invest the money back into your company. While you may be tempted to keep some of those hard-earned dollars for yourself, you should aim to reinvest gross profits whenever possible to help your business grow. Investing your own money shows prospective clients and lenders that you are confident in your company’s long-term potential.

Not sure where to put profits? When in doubt, invest in marketing, SEO and other tactics likely to generate more business for your startup. If your income permits it, you may also want to invest in employee training and technological improvements, as these can yield large profits down the line for your company.


No matter how happy your current clients are with your offerings, you will have trouble growing your business organically if you don’t put effort into finding new sales channels. If you don’t currently sell your goods online, you should definitely consider starting a website to expand your reach to other regions. Additionally, you can introduce new products, cross-market services to your existing clients and expand to different markets. For example, a company that specializes in SEO may want to expand its services to include social media and search engine marketing.

Finally, business owners should employ market segmentation to customize their strategies according to the specific channels they are leveraging and the specific markets they are trying to reach. This way, you can create unique campaigns based on customer location and demographics and watch your sales rates skyrocket.


As a new business owner, you may feel the urge to micromanage everything that happens at your company. However, the truth is that macro-management is a far more effective way of enabling organic growth for your startup.

To keep your company moving forward, you should train top employees to take over some of your daily responsibilities. While you may be tempted to keep costs down by hiring employees who will work for less, in the long run these staff members could end up costing you more if their efforts aren’t up to par. Find people you can trust to get the job done—even when you’re not around—so you can focus on growing and developing your business in the years to come.


From minimizing spending, to reinvesting profits back into the business, organic growth strategies help ensure that you will retain control of the company you worked so hard to build. Do your research, and consider all the growth strategies available in order to give your business the best shot at success.

Do you know how sales taxes are impacting your bottom line? Check out our sales tax calculator.

This article originally appeared in the QuickBooks Resource Center and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.


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