Time Management Magic: How Online Entrepreneurs Master the Calendar for Maximum Results

Written By Michael Carrington 

Updated on March 29, 2024

Written By Michael Carrington 

Updated on March 29, 2024

Allocating enough time to focus on the most critical tasks without interruption is the key to getting more done.

"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life," according to a quote by Charles Darwin. Some take that seriously, especially business owners. They try to live each minute to the fullest, purposefully, and with intention.

That's not how everyone operates, though. Over time, some people become absolutely terrified. They start to worry themselves and put off doing things. If you are in the latter category, make use of these 12 time-saving suggestions. Once you do, time won't affect you as much and you'll become more productive.

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1. Know Your Goals

Take on projects that will help you achieve your long- and short-term business objectives. Stop wasting time on things that are unimportant and start managing your time like a hawk. Your days should only be filled with pursuits that will advance your company's growth or provide revenue. Attending networking events, for instance, can be advantageous. But, you might want to reduce how often you attend these events if you're not bringing in new business, obtaining excellent leads, networking with other companies, or finding new suppliers or service providers.

2. Make and Use Lists

Make and use lists to get better at managing your time. Just focus on making these four types of lists to keep your life from getting too complicated:

Your daily schedule: Create a calendar for your entire year so that you have, and stick to, a daily routine.

To-do lists: This doesn’t have to be overly complex. This is your basic “things-to-do” list revolved around your three or four most important and urgent tasks.

People-to-contact list: These are the folks you need to call or email. Sort this list alphabetically to make it more efficient.

Conference planner: This list has notes or reminders of what you need to talk about with your team, prospects, or leads in meetings or chats.

I find that these lists are useful. You can modify this list to suit your needs by adding or removing items. The notion is that, in order to maximize your time, you have a systematic, routine process in place for creating lists.

3. Follow the 80/20 Rule

Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto is credited with creating this idea, which is also referred to as the Pareto Principle. When it comes to time management, the theory goes that 20 percent of your efforts provide 80 percent of the results.

You might go over your to-do list, for instance. There are ten items on it that must be crossed out. Applying the 80/20 rule, you would focus on the first two items since they provide the best return on investment.

The Pareto Principle is very easy to use and not only helps you allocate your time based on your most essential goals. Just decide which few objectives or pursuits are most important to your growth or success, and give them your whole attention. With time, you'll realize that you're able to cross off most of your list items while also increasing your output.

4. Eat the Frog

According to Brian Tracy, "Mark Twain once said that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long."

What precisely is your "frog," then? "Your largest, most critical task—the one you are most likely to put off if you don't take action on it”—is this one.

Here are some recommendations from Tracy to assist you with "eating that frog":

  • "Start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first" if you have two significant tasks to complete.
  • Establish the practice of finishing your main assignment first thing in the morning, when you are most alert and focused.
  • Get started right away and commit to "working steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete."
  • Begin and finish even more crucial activities. By doing this, you will release endorphins, which will assist in creating a "positive addiction."
  • Keep practicing this technique until you’ve perfected it.

5. Just say "no"

In the beginning of my work, I accepted every assignment that my clients could provide me. My work eventually suffered, and I burned out. I simply didn't have enough time to handle every one of these tasks effectively. I took on a lot of work because I was afraid of disappointing my clients. They would probably become irate and find someone else to work for.

But as time went on, I understood that sometimes you just had to say "no." You should only take on responsibilities that you genuinely care about and that you know you have time for, as opposed to overcommitting yourself. Your clients, coworkers, friends, and family should understand and be open to working with you if you are forthright and honest about this.

6. Avoid Distractions

This is an attempt. Keep track of how many disruptions you have to get through each day. How often does a family member or coworker suddenly barge into your office? How frequently do you take a break from your work to check your computer or phone when you receive a notice from social media or email?

The average person loses six hours a day due to job interruptions, according to research! Furthermore, it takes an average of twenty-three minutes to resume where we left off.

It will need some self-control, but you must get rid of these distractions. As you feed your "frog," begin by shutting your door. Disable intrusive phone notifications, and choose particular times of the day to answer calls and emails.

7. Save Time, Take Fewer Meetings

We spend 31 hours a month on average in fruitless meetings. I'd even venture to suggest that the largest time management offender is meetings. Most people also detest going to meetings.

Even though you'll need to host meetings occasionally, you should try to make the most of them. Use IM and email instead. You'll be able to work on more significant tasks for longer in this way.

8. Make use of time while You're Waiting

You would discover that there is a lot of time spent if you were to keep track of your activities for a week. Whether it's riding the metro on your way to work every day, waiting in line at the grocery store, or using the elliptical. Use this time to reflect, read, or listen to a podcast rather than letting it pass by.

When writing his first work, renowned legal thriller author Scott Turow took this approach. He claimed that unlike other train riders, he didn't pass the time on his early trips into New York City. This will add up to something significant even if it was only 10 minutes a day, as it is time that would have been spent otherwise.

9. The 4 Ds

One of the best ways to manage your time is to filter all requests using the 4D method, which reduces interruptions, diversions, and time wasters:

Delete (or drop): Go through your inbox and find any unsolicited emails. Most of them are probably deleteable without ever being opened. To put it plainly, delete the email if it offers you nothing of value. This is especially helpful after a work or holiday journey.

Delegate: Assign tasks to others if there are any that they can do better. The majority of administrative work is outsourced. A bookkeeper can organize your books, while a virtual assistant can reply to emails and plan trips. Another option is to ask a worker to copy agendas and set up meetings. The idea is to free up time for more significant endeavors by spending less time on unimportant ones.

Defer: Certain jobs can wait till later. For instance, you are not required to reserve a hotel room at the time of receiving an invitation to a wedding. It can wait until this weekend, when you have some free time.

Do it: Sometimes you just have to give up and finish what needs to be done. Resuming your email correspondence, if a client sends you an urgent or significant message, read it through and reply right away rather than putting it off until later. This relates to understanding your priorities once more.

10. Block Your Time

Examine your schedule for the next week in a few minutes. Aside from scheduled meetings or critical engagements, what percentage of time is left unallocated?

This is the useful application of time blocking. It guarantees that your calendar contains very little free and unscheduled time. By blocking, you can also avoid accepting too many demands from other people.

For myself, I plan out my daily schedule using time blocking. I set aside time each morning for exercising, getting ready, writing, and answering emails. I set aside time for undistracted work between eight in the morning and noon. I schedule my afternoons to take naps, answer calls and emails, and conduct meetings.

11. Batch Related Tasks

To put it simply, batching is the process of working on several related tasks at once. For instance, you read and reply to emails at designated times rather than reacting to them all day long. In this manner, you avoid interfering with your workflow.

Tasks require distinct ways of thinking, which is why batching is such an effective time management strategy. By eliminating backtracking, you can decrease startup and slowdown times, clear away your everyday clutter, and sharpen your attention.

12. Take Care of Yourself

Ultimately, it has been discovered that a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a restful night's sleep will provide you with the energy, attention, and endurance to maximize your day.

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Michael Carrington

I am an entrepreneur, international consultant, and founder of successful business brands in the U.S. and Australia. With over 13 years of multinational business experience, I focuses my time on helping others achieve wealth and financial abundance by leveraging the power of digital entrepreneurship.

I am passionate about entrepreneurship, mentoring, and showing others how to earn a lucrative income with online and offline brand verticals.