How to Achieve Effective Time Management

Maggie Sun
3 min readMay 10


Time management is important for achieving goals, increasing productivity, improving decision-making, reducing stress, and finding a better work life balance.

Successful time management entails four crucial steps.

1) Goal Setting

Set goals using the SMART method — introduced by Peter Drucker in his framework of MBO, Management by Objectives — which in essence is to make sure that the goals you set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

2) Prioritization

Prioritize tasks based on Eisenhower Matrix:

For example, look at your daily tasks and determine which are:

  • Important and urgent: Do these tasks right away.
  • Important but not urgent: Decide when to do these tasks.
  • Urgent but not important: Delegate these tasks if possible.
  • Not urgent and not important: Set these aside to do later.

3) Delegation

Delegate as much as you can to free yourself for strategically more important and urgent tasks. When you delegate, place emphasis on the following points:

  • Choose the right person for the task: Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your team members and choose the person who is best suited for the task you want to delegate.
  • Set clear expectations: Be clear about what you want the person to accomplish, by when, and how. Make sure the person understands the task and what is expected of them.
  • Provide resources and support: Make sure the person has the resources, information, and support they need to complete the task successfully. This could include providing training, guidance or access to necessary tools or equipment.
  • Trust and empower: Once you have delegated a task, trust the person to complete it and empower them to make decisions and take ownership of the project. Give them the autonomy to find their own solutions and approach the task in their own way.
  • Provide recognition and feedback: When the task is completed, provide feedback and recognition for a job well done. This will help build confidence and motivation for future tasks.

4) concentration

Concentrate on your tasks in every way you can to maximize your efficiency. For example, minimize distraction from your personal smart phone by muting it during your work, put up a sign of “No Disruption” at your door to stop your colleagues or your family from occupying you with something else, or use a pair of headphones to block the noise around you in an open workspace.


Jackson, V. P. (2008, Nov. 18). Time Management: A Realistic Approach. JACR.

What Is Time Management? (n.d.). MindTools.

A Brief Guide to Time Management. (2023, Apr. 17). CFI.

Related articles and book:

Agile Leadership Explained: We Can All Be Agile Leaders and Change the World Together! (Kobo)

Agile Leadership Explained: We Can All Be Agile Leaders and Change the World Together! (Amazon)

Collet, B. (2019). Agile leadership. (Online course).



Maggie Sun

MBA, certified agile coach and experienced strategy analyst, specializing in business agility, agile leadership, Beyond Budgeting, and general management.