Time Management...Is It Really That Easy?

Finding a strategy for time management depends on your level of self-discipline and most importantly your personality. If you incorporate some or all of the strategies, you can manage your time more effectively.  You may wish for more time, but you only get 24 hours, 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds each day.  How you use this time will depend on the skills you have learned.

How do you spend your time?

First, know where you’re spending your time. Create a log to determine where your time is going. Record what you are doing in 10–15-minute intervals for a week or two and evaluate the results.

Identify the most time-consuming task and determine a course of action. Having a sense of the time required for your normal day-to-day tasks can help you become more realistic in planning and estimating your time requirements.


Start your tasks early. If you have the opportunity, starting a task before your schedule can help you overcome the preparatory stages. Managing your time requires you to determine what is important and what is urgent.  Items that are important may not be the most urgent task.  We, however, tend to let urgent tasks dominate our lives. Breaking down into four categories, Urgent, Not Urgent, Important, and Not Important. Creating a “to-do” or “task list” is an easy way to set your priorities.  Be careful to keep your “to do” or “task list” from getting out of control.  List in order your priorities and work in order of priority.

Get Organized

Disorganization leads to poor time management.  Research has shown that clutter has a strong impact on perceived well-being.  Having an organized workspace can help you save time within your day by preventing you from having to search for materials you need to complete each task.  Tasks such as email can eat up your day. To combat wasted time, implement an email organization system that allows you to process the information in each email as efficiently as possible. Use folders, flagging, or a color-coded system to keep track of what’s what.


Time management experts recommend using planning tools to improve your productivity.  Some tools available include planners, calendars, phone apps and notebooks.  Writing down your tasks, schedules, and items to remember can free your mind to focus on your priorities.  Time tracking and daily management software or apps are becoming more commonly integrated into the workplace.  Time-tracking software lets you know how long it takes you to complete an individual task, and daily management software integrates your time-tracking results in your schedule. The key is to find one planning tool that works for you and use that tool consistently.

  • When using planning tools make sure you always record information on the tool itself.  Taking notes elsewhere that must be transferred later is inefficient and wastes more time.

  • Make sure you review your planning tools daily.

  • Keep a list of your priorities and refer to it often.

  • Make sure you synchronize.  Make sure your phone, computer, and paper planning tools match.

  • Backup your data.


Delegating means assigning responsibility for a task to someone else, freeing up your time for tasks that require your expertise.  Define the task and your expectations while allowing the person some freedom to personalize the task.  Check how well the person is progressing periodically and provide assistance but be careful not to take over the responsibility.

Set Limits

Learn the word “No”.  People will accept as many responsibilities that others ask of them to make an impression and to demonstrate dedication to work. Taking on too many responsibilities can make developing a schedule challenging. Setting limits for how many active jobs you are willing to accept from others can help avoid having an overwhelming number of responsibilities.


Scheduling is more than just recording what must be done (i.e., meetings and appointments).  Make sure you are building in time for the things you want and need to do.  Your time log should help you identify time when you are most productive and alert.  Plan your most challenging tasks for when you have the most energy.  Block out time for your high-priority activities first and protect that time from interruptions. 

Stop Procrastinating

People put off tasks for a variety of reasons.  Perhaps the task seems overwhelming or unpleasant.  One simple way to help complete your task  would be to breaking down tasks into smaller segments, completing preparatory tasks, and eventually completing the larger task at hand.  Complete those unpleasant tasks as your first action of the day to get them out of the way.

Time Wasters


  • Set aside a specific time to view and respond to email

  • Turn off notifications for email

  • Handle each item only once

  • Delete or unsubscribe from junk emails

  • Keep address books up-to-date and organized

  • Utilize shortcuts to short emails


  • Take advantage of voice-to-text features

  • Avoid small talk

  • Take necessary actions immediately following a call

  • Schedule breaks from your devices

Meetings (In Person and Virtual)

  • Know the purpose of the meeting

  • Arrive early

  • Start and end the meeting on time

  • Prepare an agenda

  • Don’t schedule meetings unless they are necessary

Visitors (Unexpected)

  • Schedule time for face-to-face visits

  • Inform visitors of your time constraints and politely offer to reschedule

  • Set a mutually agreeable time for the visit


Studies have shown that multi-tasking does not save time.  In fact, the opposite is often true.  You lose time when switching from one task to another, resulting in a loss of productivity.  Do your best to focus on just one task at a time by keeping your area clear of distractions, including turning off notifications on your devices, and setting aside dedicated time for specific tasks.


The care and attention you give yourself is an important investment of time.  Scheduling time to relax or do nothing helps you rejuvenate physically and mentally, enabling you to accomplish tasks more quickly and easily.  Monitor your screen time, set time limits or utilize built-in software on electronic devices such as phones and tablets.  Set a time each night to shut off all digital devices to give your mind time to relax.   Poor time management and too much screen time can result in fatigue, moodiness, and more frequent illness.  Reward yourself and take time to recognize that you have accomplished a major task or challenge before moving on to the next activity.  


Successful time management leads to greater personal happiness, more accomplishments at home and at work, and a more satisfying future.  Take time to evaluate how your time management strategies work for you.


Michael Kwiatek, ARM, CPM, CMCA, AMS is a portfolio community association manager at Brooks Real Estate, Inc. He's been managing properties for over 25 years. He is an active member of SEVA-CAI and currently serves on the Communications committee. 

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