Mastering the Clock: 10 Time Management Tips Every Marketer Needs


“He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”
– Victor Hugo

Knowing how to manage your time can be overwhelming, given the minimal time you have in a day to complete all of your tasks and projects. Meetings, phone calls, and email exchanges can consume a significant part of your work day.

Sometimes, it may feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done, which can cause you to feel lost and unmotivated. Here are ten tips to help you make the most of your time so you can tackle your tasks efficiently and effectively.

Check, Please!

Plan Your Day with a To-Do List

As a marketer, there is always a lot to juggle, am I right? From short-term goals, such as posting on social media, to long-term goals, such as finding a vendor to help with an ongoing business issue. Rather than only having one to-do list, creating a master to-do list with ongoing projects and a smaller, daily to-do list limited to the size of a post-it note can help ensure nothing falls through the cracks and you’re not biting off more than you can chew each day.

Having the two to-do lists can help organize your day so you know precisely what needs to be completed and can prevent you from forgetting any tasks or having intrusive thoughts. According to The National Library of Medicine’s research study, “Unfinished goals caused intrusive thoughts… and those who ultimately executed their plans were those who also exhibited no more intrusions.”

Some prefer to form their to-do lists before leaving work, planning a specific task to start the next day, while others use the first five minutes of their day to prepare. Whether using a digital or paper to-do list, make sure to cross off completed tasks, as the sense of accomplishment can help fuel you into finishing the next item on your list.

To-Do or Not To-Do – That is the Question


Up against a creative deadline? According to the Journal of Consumer Research, people exhibit a “mere urgency effect,” a psychological tendency to pursue urgency over importance, even if the urgent task is relatively unimportant. When prioritizing, it is crucial to acknowledge and understand your tasks’ importance and urgency to determine which to complete first.

For marketers, this means carefully evaluating the urgency of tasks like campaign launches or content creation deadlines. When looking at your to-do list, organize your tasks by dividing them into high, medium, and low priority. Prioritizing can help prevent you from wasting time on non-urgent tasks that can be worked on later, effectively making the most of your day.

Taming the Temptations

Manage Distractions

One of the main eaters of time is distractions. Distractions can include phones, the internet, social media, emails, and sometimes co-workers. To manage distractions such as these, you can implement the “do not disturb” function on your phone, add app limits to prevent infinite scrolling, use a website blocker, or try to keep office visits from lasting longer than necessary.

Research conducted by the University of California Irvine and Microsoft reveals how blocking software can increase productivity and allow people to focus longer. While it can be difficult, eliminating distractions can help increase your productivity and improve time management.

Tick Tock Goes Your Clock

Planning Based on Your Biological Clock

Ever notice how some people work better in the morning compared to the afternoon? According to an Accountemps study of professionals, 44% are most productive in the early morning and 31% in the late morning. By understanding what time of day you are more productive, you can schedule more difficult, time-intensive tasks like developing a presentation or analyzing sales data during these times. Planning your day based on your biological clock can help you leverage your personal productivity.

Shhh… It’s Time to Focus!

Plan Focus Time

Feeling overwhelmed? Planning uninterrupted focus time to work on complex projects can help ensure you don’t get distracted or sidetracked by other tasks. Medium, an online curator of human-interest stories, experimented with its staff implementing focus time, where they did not have meetings or answer phone calls or emails. Over the years, their data revealed that focus time resulted in being 23% more productive.

Designating and blocking a specific hour or two of focus time on your calendar can help with productivity, as you understand that during that time, you have to work on your project without interruption. Creating a routine you can stick to allows you to manage your time and tasks effectively.

Multitasking Madness

Avoid Task Switching

Although many believe that multitasking is a method that can help increase productivity, research conducted by Washington University and the University of Stirling shows the opposite to be true. Although it may feel more productive in the moment, multitasking, also known as task switching, places more demand on your brain, which makes you more inefficient and prone to errors. Instead, increase your productivity and improve time management by focusing on one task at a time.

Passing the Baton

Delegate Tasks

When you have a lot on your plate, delegating your tasks can help free space in your schedule so you can focus on the essential matters at hand. However, it is important to note not every task can be delegated, so it is necessary to know your team’s strengths and what they are currently working on to ensure they are not overloaded. The Harvard Business Review suggests conducting an audit using the six T’s to determine which tasks to delegate: Tiny, Tedious, Time-Consuming, Teachable, Terrible At, and Time-Sensitive.

Additionally, supervision rather than micromanaging is essential when delegating tasks, as micromanaging leads to duplication of effort, burnout, and the erosion of trust. Make sure to impart clear directions and an open channel of communication so the delegate can ask questions. Knowing when to delegate tasks is an important facet of time management and can lead to a more efficient day.

Press Pause!

Take Breaks

Although it may seem counterintuitive to time management, taking breaks throughout the day and walking away from your computer for a bit is essential to productivity. Breaks allow the brain to recharge and can improve concentration as you begin your next task. Remote work particularly supports this practice, offering flexibility to schedule breaks that align with individual productivity rhythms and enhance overall work-life balance.

Additionally, a study done by Microsoft reveals that short breaks allow the brain to reset, reducing a cumulative buildup of stress and allowing people to be better engaged in their meetings and tasks. Overall, the study emphasized how breaks are necessary for one’s well-being and essential to completing quality work.

All Aboard the Productivity Train! Leave Procrastination Station Behind

Fight Procrastination

Procrastination is well-known as the thief of time, so it is important to know how to combat procrastination to complete your tasks. Studies discussed in an Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management article indicate procrastination can stem from factors such as lack of motivation, deficiencies in self-regulation, external locus of control, perfectionism, disorganization, and poor time management.

To deal with procrastination, avoid temptations, such as mindless scrolling on social media, doing pointless tasks, or wasting time on projects that are not needed. Using Managing Distractions in Tip #3 can help keep distractions at bay.

Another method to fight procrastination is to commit to working on the dreaded task for at least fifteen minutes each day. By working on it, even if just for fifteen minutes, you have completed the first step of starting the project, which can motivate you to continue working. Once you identify what is causing you to procrastinate, you can learn how to overcome it.

The Time Master’s Toolbox

Try Time Management Techniques and Tools

If you continuously struggle with time management, implementing tools and techniques can help you save and organize your time wisely.

A popular technique known as the Pomodoro Technique focuses on using a timer to set how long you will work on a project, for example, 25 minutes, and then setting a 5-minute timer for your break and repeating the process. This allows you to focus within the working timer and gives your brain a short break before resuming or starting your new task.

In addition to the Pomodoro Technique, there are also the Time Blocking and Eisenhower Matrix methods, as well as time-tracking and productivity apps that can help you manage your time.