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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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5 Time Management Tools that Help Me Find More Time & Energy to Pursue My Goals

When I initially launched my business and was still working full-time, I had to learn to manage my time wisely to ensure I could take on client projects on top of my day job. And as my business has grown, it’s become crystal clear that time is one of my most valuable resources…and the one I have the least of!

I’m constantly learning to be more efficient and effective with my time. Even now that I’ve gone full-time with my own business, there’s always one more thing I could be working on. It takes intention and focus on being productive and meeting my goals without spending every minute of the day and night behind a computer. Here are the top five time management tools I use to help me make the most of my time!

time management tools hand placed on a black clock with a pink background

Time management tool #1: Cut down on unnecessary communication

I recently read an article that said average workers spend 103 hours in unnecessary meetings and 352 hours talking about work every year. That’s a lot of time spent just talking about the work you have to do! Personally, I’d rather be crossing things off my to-do list – and I think that makes clients happier, too! So, how can you spend less time on unnecessary communication?

  • Schedule fewer meetings: I’m going to be brutally honest: most meetings usually aren’t that efficient, and they take a lot more time and energy than they have to. I try only to have meetings when it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary – and I never take meetings on Mondays or Fridays, so I know I’m guaranteed a couple of meeting-free work days every week.
  • Limit checking email: It can feel like you’ll miss out on something if you don’t check your email a couple of times an hour, but I recommend only checking it once or twice daily. I’m the most productive in the morning, so I usually don’t even look at my email until 11 a.m.! 
  • Set better boundaries: Instead of trying to be available all the time on all of the messaging apps, I consolidate communication into one app that works best for my clients and me. Whichever one you choose, check to see if it allows you to set offline hours (and set them!) so you can have distraction-free time in your business.
  • Keep meetings focused: OK, so you can’t avoid meetings entirely! But you can set a clear agenda of what needs to be discussed and decided. That way, you can stay on task and be efficient with everyone’s time.

Time management tool #2: Use the Pomodoro Method & a cube timer

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Method? Basically, it’s a time management technique where you break the workday into 30-minute chunks of work time (“pomodoros”), separated by five-minute breaks. After four pomodoros, you can take a longer 15- or 20-minute break. Setting a timer helps me focus on making as much progress as possible in a short time. I use this cube timer for my pomodoros, so I don’t get distracted by using the timer on my phone.

Time management tool #3: Choose your top three tasks each day

As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t do everything on my to-do list in one day! But I can usually manage at least a few tasks, and narrowing the list down to three must-do priorities helps me stay focused and feel like I’m making progress. The choice can seem overwhelming if you have a long to-do list, but you don’t have to pick your top three randomly! I set my priorities based on any deadlines I have and which tasks will impact my long-term goals most. If you’re a paper planner person (I am!), try the Full Focus Planner! I use it to help me set my three tasks each day.

Time management tool #4: Have your groceries delivered

If you haven’t already switched to grocery delivery, you should know it’s such a game-changer! Not only do you save the time and energy it takes to go to the store, but you won’t have to deal with the hassle of making a list, hunting for items all over the store, or getting tempted by treats while you’re shopping. I recently tracked how much we spent on groceries in a month when we went shopping versus a month when we used Instacart. It turned out that even with delivery fees and tips included, we SAVED money by having our groceries delivered.

Bonus tip

Get a robot vacuum! My favorite is this one – it automatically runs twice a day and helps our whole house stay cleaner because there’s less dust, dirt, and dog hair lying around!

Time management tool #5: Schedule all of your “adulting” tasks on one day

I keep a running list of all the grown-up things I need to do and take care of them on a specific day. The little things – returning items to the store, repairing things around the house, writing thank you notes, and dentist appointments – can add up and become a huge distraction during the work week. I stress less about getting all those tasks done when I know there’s already time set aside for them. Plus, it’s fun to make a whole day of it and grab a lunch or treat while running errands!

Finding the time and energy to go after your goals is challenging! So often, it can feel like we know exactly what we want to do to grow our businesses, but there’s never enough time to make it happen. I hope these time management tips and tricks will help you find more time in your life and your business!

Looking for even more time-saving hacks? Checkout my list of favorite tools and resources to help you save time (and money!)