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Time management skills
6 min read

11 Time Management Skills for Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, you’re responsible for every area of your business. But how do you juggle multiple tasks and responsibilities in a productive and healthy way?

Here we explore 11 crucial time management skills, which can help overwhelmed and overworked entrepreneurs take back control of their work schedule to be more productive and achieve their business goals.

1. Prioritisation

Do you often face a barrage of tasks competing for your attention? Prioritisation is the key to ensuring that you tackle the most important tasks first. Start by assessing urgency and importance. You can use frameworks such as the Eisenhower Matrix to help with this:

List tasks
Write down all tasks that need to be completed.

Assess urgency and importance
Evaluate each task based on its urgency and importance. Urgent tasks require immediate attention, while important tasks contribute to long-term goals.

Quadrant placement
Place tasks into one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant 1: Urgent and important (do first)
  • Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent (schedule)
  • Quadrant 3: Urgent but not important (delegate)
  • Quadrant 4: Neither urgent nor important (eliminate or postpone)

Action plan
Start with tasks in Quadrant 1, addressing them immediately to prevent crises. Next, schedule tasks from Quadrant 2, ensuring they receive attention before they become urgent. Delegate tasks in Quadrant 3 to capable team members. Finally, consider eliminating or postponing tasks in Quadrant 4 to focus on high-priority activities.

Regular review
Make sure to regularly review and update the Eisenhower Matrix as your priorities shift. Adjust task placement as needed to maintain focus on what matters most.

2. Goal setting

Goal setting provides clear objectives to work towards, guiding your actions and decisions. By defining specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, you can effectively prioritise tasks and allocate your time accordingly.

Project management tools like Trello, Asana, or provide a platform for tracking progress towards these goals and breaking them down into manageable tasks.

3. Planning

A well-thought-out plan is the foundation of effective time management. By developing realistic timelines and contingency plans, you can reduce risks and manage expectations. Structured plans for daily, weekly and monthly activities can help you stay focused on goals and avoid any distractions that can derail progress.

Tools such as Google Calendar, Microsoft Outlook, or can assist in scheduling tasks and appointments, helping you stay organised and focused on their priorities. Project management platforms also provide helpful planning features – for example, includes Gantt charts, task dependencies, Kanban boards, data dashboards and more.

Ensure you regularly review and update your plans to track progress, identify deviations, and make necessary adjustments to stay on course.

4. Delegation

It’s natural to want to do everything yourself, but this isn’t a productive or healthy way to run a business. By entrusting tasks to capable team members or outsourcing them, you can leverage the skills and expertise of others, freeing up valuable time to focus on high-impact activities that require your attention.

Delegation not only distributes your workload but empowers your team members – encouraging a sense of ownership and accountability.

Delegating tasks will also help you prioritise your responsibilities, ensuring you allocate time to strategic decision-making and business development.

Collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, and Asana facilitate communication and task assignment, making delegation seamless and efficient.

5. Single-tasking

Focusing on one task at a time can boost productivity and reduce the cognitive load associated with multitasking. By dedicating undivided attention to each task, you can sharpen your focus, leading to increased productivity and higher-quality work.

This approach reduces the mental strain associated with multitasking, promoting a sense of calm and control while minimising stress levels. (Ideal, right?)

Apps like Focus@Will, StayFocusd and the Forest app encourage single-tasking by providing tools to minimise distractions and maintain focus on the task at hand.

Time management skills

6. Time blocking and batching

Allocating specific blocks of time for different tasks or activities can help you maintain focus and productivity throughout the day.

Time blocking also helps prioritise your most important tasks, ensuring they receive the attention they deserve. It also provides a clear overview of how time is being spent, allowing for better planning and optimisation of resources.

Calendar apps like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook, coupled with time-tracking tools like Clockify, will help you to plan your day effectively and block out distractions.

Batching is also a helpful technique as part of time blocking. By grouping similar tasks together and completing them in designated time blocks, you can minimise context switching and improve your productivity.

This approach also reduces the mental overhead associated with transitioning between different types of tasks and allows you to focus your energy on one type of activity at a time.

7. Time tracking

Monitoring how time is spent can provide valuable insights into productivity and areas for improvement. With time tracking, you can hold yourself accountable for how you invest your time, fostering discipline and driving productivity.

Time-tracking tools like Toggl or RescueTime will help you track time spent on tasks and activities, identify inefficiencies, and make informed decisions on how to better improve your productivity.

8. Minimise distractions

Distractions can disrupt even the most well-laid plans. You can minimise distractions by:

  • Creating a distraction-free workspace: Designating a quiet, organised workspace can help reduce external distractions and create an environment conducive to focus and productivity.
  • Setting boundaries: Establishing clear boundaries with colleagues, clients, and family members regarding availability and interruptions can help minimise unexpected distractions.
  • Using productivity tools: Employing productivity tools such as website blockers (e.g., Freedom or StayFocusd) can help limit distractions and maintain concentration. There are even platforms such as Focus@Will that offer sequenced playlists of instrumental music intended to improve your productivity! Noise-cancelling headphones can also help you focus.
  • Implementing time blocking: Allocating specific time blocks for focused work and setting aside separate time for tasks like email, phone calls, or meetings will help you stay on track and avoid interruptions.
  • Practising single-tasking: As mentioned, focusing on one task at a time rather than multitasking will help you maintain concentration and complete tasks more efficiently.
  • Setting your phone to ‘do not disturb’. If your phone is constantly buzzing, consider setting it to ‘do not disturb’ when you’re working on tasks. If you’re concerned about missing any emergency calls, you can customise this feature on your phone to allow for certain numbers to get through e.g. your children’s school, key clients, etc.

9. Automate routine tasks

By leveraging automation tools, you can streamline those repetitive processes, freeing up valuable time to focus on high-value activities that drive business growth.

Automation also ensures tasks are performed consistently and accurately every time, minimising errors and improving overall quality.

As your business grows, automation will allow you to scale your operations without exponentially increasing your workload, helping to maintain your productivity levels.

Platforms like Zapier and IFTTT automate workflows, while social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite allow for scheduling posts in advance. CRMs also offer automation – such as HubSpot and Zoho. There are a number of automation tools out there. Make use of free trials to put them through their paces to ensure your final choice/s best fit your goals, team, audience, industry and offering.

10. Consider an AI-powered virtual assistant

An AI assistant can significantly enhance your efficiency by taking on a wide range of time-consuming tasks – from scheduling to email responses, data analysis to strategy planning.

Bill Gates has commented that soon, everyone will have their very own personal assistant through Artificial Intelligence (AI). He believes that as IT develops and improves, we’ll move away from having separate apps for specific functions, and we’ll be able to vocalise to our devices what to do. Your device will get to know you, just like a human personal assistant would, to make intelligent recommendations based on your personality and needs. (Mind-blowing, isn’t it!)

Examples include Apple Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana and Samsung Bixby.

11. Regular reviews and adjustments

Time management is an ongoing process that requires regular reviews and adjustments. By conducting weekly or monthly reviews of your productivity, you can identify areas for improvement and refine your time management techniques accordingly.

There are several tools available to track your productivity, catering to different preferences and needs. As well as the time tracking apps, calendar apps and project management tools already mentioned, other helpful options include:

  • Note-taking apps: Apps such as Evernote, Microsoft OneNote, or Notion allow you to capture ideas, organise information, and track progress on tasks or projects, serving as a centralised hub for productivity-related activities.
  • Goal tracking apps: Platforms like Strides, Habitica, or GoalsOnTrack help you set and track progress towards personal or professional goals, providing motivation and accountability to stay on track.
  • Spreadsheets: Using tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, you can create customised productivity trackers tailored to your specific needs, allowing you to monitor progress and analyse data in a format that works best for you.

Choose the tool or combination of tools that align best with your workflow and preferences to effectively track and improve your productivity.



While it’s common to hear the phrase ‘you get out what you put in’ – don’t apply this phrase to your business in terms of time. Re-frame it to represent the quality of your input, rather than the hours on the clock. The above skills will help you – and your team – work smarter and in a way that’s healthy, productive and effective, long term.


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Jenny Lambert

Jenny Lambert is a freelance writer, interiors blogger and Etsy shop owner with extensive experience working in marketing, digital and publishing roles.

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