Looking for ways to improve your daily life through better time management? We asked fifteen professionals, including CEOs and professional speakers, for their favorite time management hacks. From the single calendar and to-do list strategy to task prioritization with the Eisenhower Matrix, discover the top tips that have transformed their productivity. Here are 15 tips for better time management in a busy world.

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  • Single Calendar and To-Do List Strategy
  • Advance Task List and Time Allocation
  • Weekend Work for Reduced Weekday Load
  • Bundling Everyday Tasks for Efficiency
  • Priority List for Focused Work
  • Productivity Boost With the Pomodoro Technique
  • Time Audit for Conscious Time Use
  • Batch Processing for Concentrated Work
  • Distraction-Free Mode With an iPhone
  • Timeboxing for Task Prioritization
  • Regular Breaks for Effective Time Management
  • Two-Minute Rule Against Procrastination
  • Flex-Time Accounting in Your Daily Schedule
  • Mindful Pause for a Refreshed Focus
  • Task Prioritization With the Eisenhower Matrix

Single Calendar and To-Do List Strategy

Use one daily life-managing calendar and one daily life-managing to-do list. Do not try to remember anything! (Save your brain power for remembering fun things, not all the things you have to do and places you have to go each day!) 

Anytime you think, “I need to go…”, put it on your calendar. Anytime you think, “I have to do…”, put it on your to-do list. If you do this, when you have a couple of minutes to do things, you will know what you need to do and be able to get things done right away!

Jennifer Barnes, Professional Speaker and Organizer, JB Organizing

Advance Task List and Time Allocation

Balancing a 9-to-5 professional life (as schedules vary) alongside an active personal life can be a real challenge. The day extends from 8 to 6, with the responsibility of managing personal and social dimensions as well. To prevent overwhelming feelings and ensure tasks are accomplished within the designated time frames, a task list for the upcoming day is prepared in advance.

A task-sharing method is adopted, including the allocation of time slots for each task throughout the day. Although not every task can be completed as intended, tasks that hold the most value and require focus are proactively prioritized, capitalizing on the morning alertness. 

By delegating tasks based on timelines, a sense of ownership flourishes, motivating others to fulfill them within self-imposed constraints. While it might not be the ultimate strategy, it has proven advantageous thus far.

Priya Vyas, Marketing Executive, Naman Integrated Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

Weekend Work for Reduced Weekday Load

As an owner of an e-commerce store and someone who has to wear many hats at once, effective time management is paramount to the quality of daily life.

One of the best memes shows a man throwing away his work, saying, “I don’t care about this, it’s Friday!” The caption of the next image reads “Monday,” and the same guy is reaching down and picking up the paperwork that he threw away.

This is funny, but it’s incredible how working even a little on weekends can reduce workloads during the working week. Try to work 2 hours a day. There’s still plenty of time to do other things.

Niall Lynchehaun, CEO and Business Owner, Midland Stone

Bundling Everyday Tasks for Efficiency

At our work, we often try to segment tasks into categories in order to make better use of our hours. Likewise, I have found that bundling my everyday tasks is also an effective time-management hack for my daily life. 

Though we rarely think of it, many of our daily projects are related and can be combined to lessen the time spent on each one. Therefore, finding those connective threads can be helpful.

By looking at my schedule the day before, I can easily identify the areas in which I can combine tasks. For example, a trek to the supermarket can be followed by a run through the carwash, or picking up my dry cleaning can be paired with a trip to the ATM. 

This strategy limits the lost hours of having to make additional trips. By finding the simple connections between my daily responsibilities, I can bundle them and better manage my time—‌improving my daily life.

Ryan Rottman, Co-Founder and CEO, OSDB Sports

Priority List for Focused Work

One of my favorite time-management hacks is to make a priority list. When I write out all the tasks that need to be done in order of importance, I know exactly what needs to be tackled first. 

This helps me focus on the important stuff and keeps me from getting sidetracked by less urgent tasks. It also allows me to quickly reschedule tasks if unexpected circumstances change my schedule. 

By taking a few minutes each morning to plan out what I need to accomplish, I maximize my productivity and reduce stress throughout the day.

Scott Orn, Chief Operating Officer, Kruze Consulting

Productivity Boost With the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique has been a game-changer in increasing day-to-day output. For those who place a premium on efficiency, this method can be game-changing. Work sessions comprise 25-minute chunks, i.e., Pomodoros, separated by 5-minute breaks. 

A 15- to 20-minute pause is taken every time four Pomodoros are completed. This unique approach improves the ability to focus and prevents burnout. 

Significant increases in both the quality and quantity of output have been observed since properly segmenting jobs into specific time periods. This straightforward method helps keep your job and personal life in proper proportion.

Rene Delgado, Founder and CEO, The Indoor Golf Shop

Time Audit for Conscious Time Use

When I started tracking where my hours were going, I was in for a surprise. The eye-opening reality check showed me where I was wasting time and where I could make meaningful shifts. Now, I’m much more intentional about how I use my time. 

To start, keep a record of your activities throughout the day for about a week. Note down what you’re doing and how much time you’re spending on each task or activity. 

Once you have this record, you might notice patterns—like spending more time than you thought on social media or getting lost in email. Then, ask yourself if these activities align with your goals or priorities. If not, consider making adjustments.

Dom Wells, CEO, Onfolio

Batch Processing for Concentrated Work

Group similar tasks together and tackle them in dedicated time slots. For example, instead of responding to emails sporadically throughout the day, set aside specific times (like once in the morning and once in the afternoon) to process all emails at once. 

This reduces the constant context-switching, allowing for deeper concentration and increased efficiency. This approach can apply to other tasks, such as making phone calls, handling administrative tasks, or creating content.

Nyla Rose, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, JuseBeauty

Distraction-Free Mode With an iPhone

The “Work Focus” mode on my iPhone really helps avoid distractions from notifications, emails, and calls, and lets you concentrate on the task at hand throughout the time you set it for—whether it is all day or just a few hours at a time. No more checking my phone every time it pings and getting distracted by things that are not important.

Patty Hickok, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, Sr. Director Employee Relations, HRIS, and HR Operations, NANA Regional Corporation

Timeboxing for Task Prioritization

Timeboxing is the only realistic approach to improve time management. In business experience, the most effective time-management hack is learning how to prioritize and identify how long to spend on every activity during the day. 

The technique is known as timeboxing, which sets the time in your daily calendar for every task. This means implementing a consistent system to assign tasks to your daily schedule.

One of the most challenging aspects of achieving harmony in daily life is effective time management. As a business and hotel specialist, working with many people looking to organize their tasks and spend their time effectively has been common. Some argue there is no one way to measure the time spent on tasks. It all depends on how a person feels at the end of a day’s work. A to-do list is not helpful, as it only shows what to do.

Francois Gouelo, Co-Founder and CEO, Enso Connect

Regular Breaks for Effective Time Management

Being a business owner is rewarding but challenging. Finding the right work-life balance isn’t easy, but it is essential. One time-management hack that has supported this is taking a break. I know, it seems counterintuitive. 

When you’ve got so much on your plate, the last thing you want to do is stop. But you must, otherwise, you’ll burn out. I’ve learned that taking regular breaks means I can manage my time more effectively and maximize what I achieve. I schedule my breaks and plan them out so that I’m not tempted to just skip them and push through. 

I’m not great at just relaxing, so instead, I switch gears. I might do a quick workout, walk, or cycle. I find doing something physical energizes me and gives my brain a chance to switch off. Interestingly, this is often when I come up with ideas, inspirations, and solutions. 

It gives my subconscious some time to figure things out. It also boosts my mood, which helps me show up better, both professionally and personally.

Alex Ebner, Owner, Ace Medical

Two-Minute Rule Against Procrastination

Following the “Two-Minute Rule” helps me reduce tendencies to procrastinate during the day. The premise is that if a task takes less than two minutes to do, then it must be done right away—not soon or later, but now. 

It’s more of a mental conditioning to work on straightforward tasks as soon as possible. Having this mindset makes me act promptly so the tasks, no matter how easy, won’t stack up for later until they get overwhelming.

Aktug Dogan, CEO, Refermate

Flex-Time Accounting in Your Daily Schedule

Always account for flex-time in your daily calendar. For example, as a business owner, I need to plan my schedule in advance, but inevitably, things pop up that I couldn’t anticipate, such as a client meeting taking longer than expected. 

However, since I keep an empty block on my calendar, I can stay calm during unexpected tasks and still accomplish everything I need to.

Shelley Hancock, Founder and President, Shelley Hancock

Mindful Pause for a Refreshed Focus

One of my favorite time-management hacks is what I call the “Mindful Pause.” A few times per day, I set aside just a few minutes to close my eyes, breathe deeply, and center myself. 

It might sound counterintuitive to take breaks when we’re talking about time management, but this pause refreshes the mind and clears it of any built-up stress or anxiety, helping me to return to my work more focused. 

This gives me a clearer perspective and renewed energy, leading to improved productivity and creativity. Also, it’s a practice anyone can adopt, no matter how busy their schedule is. Just a few minutes daily can really make a big difference.

Bayu Prihandito, Psychology Expert, Life Coach, and Founder, Life Architekture

Task Prioritization With the Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower Matrix is the best time-management hack I’ve known. It is simple—categorize tasks into four quadrants based on their importance and urgency. Now, prioritize the tasks as:

  • Important + Urgent: Do it now
  • Important + Not Urgent: Schedule it for later
  • Not Important + Urgent: Delegate it
  • Not Important + Not Urgent: Remove it

This framework is the alchemy of task prioritization. Leaders can focus on things that matter the most by skipping superfluous tasks.

Shivbhadrasinh Gohil, CMO and Co-Founder, Meetanshi