Time management

Conquer Your Workday: 10 Time Management Hacks for Busy Project Managers

Dive into our blog to uncover 10 practical time management hacks specifically designed for busy project managers
Jenna Green
5 mins

Feeling like you're constantly playing whack-a-mole with tasks and deadlines? You're not alone. A whopping 72% of project managers struggle with time management, according to a recent PMI study. Poor time management can lead to missed deadlines, budget overruns, and increased stress. But what if you could reclaim control of your schedule and achieve exceptional results? Mastering time management hacks is the key to unlocking project success, boosting productivity, and minimizing stress.

 This guide equips you with 10 practical time management hacks specifically designed for busy project managers. With these actionable strategies, you'll be well on your way to conquering your workday and leading your team to victory.

The 10 Time Management Hacks Every Project Manager Should Be Aware Of

1. Tame the Task Avalanche: Prioritisation is Key  

Feeling overwhelmed by your ever-growing to-do list? The Eisenhower Matrix can be your saving grace. This simple tool categorises tasks based on urgency and importance. Focus on high-importance, urgent tasks first, and delegate or schedule less critical ones. Don't let your to-do list control you – prioritise ruthlessly and watch your productivity soar.

💡Tip: Each morning, spend 10 minutes organising your tasks using the Eisenhower Matrix:

- Urgent and important: Do these tasks immediately.

- Important but not urgent: Schedule these tasks.

- Urgent but not important: Delegate these tasks.

- Not urgent and not important: Eliminate these tasks.

2. SMART Goals: Your Roadmap to Success

Don't just aim for "get things done." Set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. "Finalise project proposal by Friday" is a SMART goal, while "work on the proposal" is not. SMART goals provide clarity, direction, and a sense of accomplishment. These time management hacks will help you craft goals that are actionable and keep you focused on achieving project milestones. Use our template to get started.👇

SMART Questions

SMART Answers

S - Specific

What is my goal? What am I trying to accomplish? [Be as specific as possible]

[Your answer goes here]

M - Measurable

How will I know I have achieved my goal?

[Your answer goes here]

A - Attaintable

Is my goal realistic?

[Your answer goes here]

R - Relevant

How relevant is my goal?

[Your answer goes here]

T - Timebound

When do I need to achieve my goal by? {Be as specific as possible}

[Your answer goes here]

💡Tip: At the beginning of each project, set three to five SMART goals. For instance, instead of saying "improve team communication," set a goal like "Hold weekly 30-minute team meetings every Monday at 9 AM to discuss project progress and address any issues."

3. Time Blocking: Schedule Your Wins

Treat your workday like a primetime TV schedule. Utilize time management hacks like time blocking to schedule specific time slots for focused work on different tasks. This prevents procrastination and ensures you dedicate enough time to crucial activities. Block out time for emails, meetings, and focused work sessions to keep your day organised and avoid feeling scattered.

💡Tip: Block out specific times for different types of work in your weekly calendar. For example, reserve 9-11 AM for deep work (like developing project plans), 11 AM-12 PM for responding to emails, and 2-3 PM for meetings. Stick to these blocks to minimise context switching and maintain focus.

4. Delegate Like a Boss (and Free Up Your Time)


You don't have to be a superhero. Empower your team by delegating tasks based on strengths and skill sets. This frees you up to focus on strategic planning and high-level project oversight. Delegation is a powerful time management hack that allows you to leverage the expertise of your team and optimize everyone's time.

💡Tip: Make a list of all the tasks on your plate. Identify three tasks that can be delegated and assign them to team members who have the skills to handle them. Provide clear instructions and set deadlines. For example, if a team member is good with data, delegate the task of creating weekly progress reports.

5. Silence the Sirens: Manage Interruptions Proactively

Constant distractions are productivity killers. Set clear communication practices with colleagues using these time management hacks. Inform them of your focused work periods and establish dedicated times for checking emails or attending meetings. Don't be afraid to politely silence notifications or request colleagues to schedule meetings during designated times.

💡Tip: Establish "do not disturb" periods during your day. Communicate these periods to your team, and use tools like Slack’s "do not disturb" mode to minimize interruptions. Schedule specific times to check emails and messages, such as once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

6. Embrace Technology: Your Time Management Toolkit

Managing calendars manually doesn't need to be the norm. Project and time management tools such as Trello, Asana, and Magnetic can assist you in organizing tasks, collaborating with your team, and overseeing project progress. Additionally, these tools can provide insights into your time usage, enabling improved allocation of time and resources in the future.

💡Tip: Integrate a project management tool like Magnetic into your workflow. Start by setting up a board for your current project, listing all tasks, deadlines, and responsible team members. Use these tools to monitor progress and keep everyone aligned.

7. The Pomodoro Technique: Work in Focused Sprints

Prevent burnout by using the Pomodoro Technique, a highly efficient time management strategy. By working in concentrated 25-minute sessions with brief breaks, you can stay energized and focused all day long. Make use of timers and breaks to enhance concentration and prevent information overload.

💡Tip: Download a Pomodoro timer app and commit to working in 25-minute sprints followed by 5-minute breaks. After four sprints, take a longer break of 15-30 minutes. This can help maintain high levels of productivity and prevent burnout.

8. Tame Your Inner Procrastinator

We've all been there - and one thing is for sure: procrastination is the killer of productivity. Identify your procrastination triggers (social media, anyone?) and develop strategies to overcome them. Incorporating simple time management hacks into your workflow can help you keep procrastination at bay. Try putting your phone away during focused work periods or rewarding yourself for completing tasks on time. By Implementing these simple strategies and silencing the inner voice of procrastination, you'll see your productivity soar.

💡Tip: Identify your biggest procrastination triggers and set up barriers to them. For example, if social media distracts you, use website blockers like Freedom or Cold Turkey during work hours. Set small, achievable goals and reward yourself when you complete them.

9. Build a Culture of Transparency for Remote Teams

Managing remote teams requires clear communication. To get the most out of your team and prevent roadblocks along the way, establish communication channels, set expectations for availability, and leverage collaboration tools to keep everyone on the same page. Utilise these time management hacks to ensure your remote team feels connected and informed, fostering a productive and collaborative work environment.

💡Tip: Set up regular virtual stand-up meetings, such as a 15-minute daily check-in using Zoom or Teams, where team members can collectively share their progress and challenges. Use collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to keep communication open and transparent.

10. Track Your Progress and Celebrate Wins!

Taking control of your time is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor your progress and adjust your time management hacks as needed. Celebrate your wins, big and small, to stay motivated on your time management journey. Tracking your progress allows you to see the impact of your efforts and identify areas for further improvement.

💡 Tip: Use a tool like Excel or a project management app to track your progress on key tasks and goals. Set weekly review meetings to discuss progress and obstacles with your team. Celebrate milestones with small rewards like team shout-outs, virtual coffee breaks, or small gifts.

Conquer Your Workday with Magnetic

Magnetic is an all-in-one workflow management platform that makes it easy to manage the full lifecylce of projects from start to finish. From managing projects and delegating tasks, to tracking time and managing resources, Magnetic streamlines workflows for better project outcomes.

Like what you see? Book a demo or start your free trial today!