How I get Better Time Management in (2021)

Let’s talk about how to get better time management. Most of us have busy lives and we want to give all aspects of it our best. I have found having a few tools is a game changer when it comes to managing my time. In this post I will discuss what tools and how I use them to plan my time.

We want to be effective and productive. For purposes of this post, "Time Management" is the act of scheduling tasks effectively so to get to the execution phase. With a family, day job and starting a new business in 2017, I had some challenges but was still able manage my time with a single calendar. However, once Kelley Defense began to grow significantly in 2019 it became nearly impossible. It was obvious A change was needed.

Before we start, I want to make it clear the most important appointments you have are for the ones who are most important to you. All significant events for your family and friends, as well as things important to them, are included in my calendars. This will prevent you from scheduling appointments on top of significant personal events.

Let's see the Tools!

Now. These are the tools I find necessary to manage and schedule my time effectively. They allowed me to go from 5 to 10 single client training events a year to multiple 10 to 15 client events per quarter with nearly the same amount of effort. Plus during this time I added merch sales, and became the co-host on a fast growing podcast that is now in the top 5% most popular podcasts in the world. Here are the tools:

  • Task Lists

  • Calendars

  • Contact Lists

  • Notebooks

Task Lists

There truly is nothing more important than your Task List. It is critical to know what tasks must be completed each day. If you only implement one of these tools listed, it should be Task Lists. I maintain two lists. One for daily tasks and one for execution phase tasks. My daily tasks such as meetings, appointments, emails to send, voice calls or Zoom calls to be made, for example, are listed for the current day and next day. These are simple list form in order of occurrence with small details. You can use a notebook, note cards or even a smartphone. I keep mine in a portfolio alongside my calendar. The second task list is an execution phase list. These are items you want to accomplish or address at any specific appointment. I use notes cards and dry erase boards.


It is extremely difficult to manage your time without having some type of calendar. This day and age there really are no excuses. Nearly everyone has a smartphone on them with a very powerful calendar app. I, on the other hand, use an old school calendar portfolio which also contains my task lists. This creates easy of synchronicity between the two.

Contact List or Address Book

Maintaining contact lists is not only an extremely wise business practice, but also a huge time saver. Constantly tracking down email addresses and other information of previous contacts is horribly inefficient. If you have an item on your task list “Send email to Shirt Vendor about Pricing” you shouldn't have to spend a lot of time tracking down email address and proper name spelling with a well-maintained contact list. I use my smartphone to maintain all my contacts. It's always with me and they are easily backed up and accessed remotely.


Always have something to write with! Can you use your smartphone? Yes, at the very least. You can type in notes or use voice dictation. I have found that not to be effective for me, so I keep a legal sized notepad and pen, again, in my portfolio.

So let me know what you think!

Which tool do you think you will try first?

Is there a critical tool I missed?

Either way leave me a comment below and share this post now!

Mark Kelley

#blog #kelleydefense #warhoggtactical #ontherangepodcast #timemanagement

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