"How will I get this done on time? I only have three days to complete this project! How do I balance everything? I don't want to disappoint our clients."

Mariya was stressed and confused. Her manager had asked her to take on a huge clinical research project and she was having trouble figuring out how to do everything on time.

A woman in an office with hand on her head, looking stressed.

Throughout your career, you may frequently find yourself in a similar situation. There may be multiple, competing deadlines or you may have a huge project with numerous components. What can you do to get through these situations?

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Effective time management skills might help! Use these strategies to help you better manage your time for a work project.

What is Time Management?

Time management involves finding ways to organize and accomplish your tasks in a successful way in a limited time frame.

Improving your time management skills requires focus, discipline, planning, and decision-making!

A digital timer counting down from 25 minutes.

Benefits of using time management strategies:

  1. Your quality of work increases.

  2. Your stress level decreases.

  3. You may be able to distribute extra time to other projects.

  4. Your self-confidence increases.

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Time Management Skills & Strategies: Part 1

Strategies you can use to organize and complete projects include:

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Eisenhower Matrix

Organize tasks by the following categories: Immediate, Later, Delegate, and Delete.

In Mariya's situation, she could organize some of her tasks in the following way:

  1. Immediate: Finish Trial A's adverse event reports & submit to sponsor

  2. Later: Respond to emails, data entry

  3. Delegate: Ask team member to collect & ship patient blood samples

  4. Delete: Frozen shipments

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"Eat That Frog"

Complete the highest priority task before going on to other tasks.

For Mariya's project, her highest priority task is finishing up the adverse event reports for ten patients and submitting them to the trial sponsor.

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Task Batching

Organize and list out similar tasks and complete them all at once.

In Mariya's case, she could collect the various blood samples throughout the day and ship them all together at one time. She could also set aside a few hours to just work on adverse event reports, as the reports have a standard template and workflow.

Time Management Skills & Strategies: Part 2

Additional strategies include:

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  • Plan out your work day & set aside blocks of time in your calendar

  • Decide on timelines and deadlines in advance

  • Reflect on how you currently spend your time

  • Openly communicate with your team and supervisor

Some helpful skills & methods:

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  • Create a to-do list or checklist

  • Set goals

  • Delegate tasks

  • Try not to multi-task; do your best to complete one thing at a time!

Example: Mohammed's Project

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Mohammed's manager just assigned him a client project that is due in two days. He has listed out all of his tasks but isn't exactly sure what to do next. He'd like your advice on how he can effectively use the Eisenhower Matrix method to better manage his project.

Flaticon Icon Here are some of his tasks:

  • Start drafting storyboard

  • Meet with content expert to clarify a few concepts

  • Finalize project outline document and project management dashboard

  • Organize client files

  • Respond to emails

To incorporate this method, Mohammed can organize his list into four categories: Immediate, Later, Delegate, and Delete. By organizing his list into these four categories, he can then focus on the immediate tasks and make a plan!

A computer screen showing a project document. A green icon appears with the words


Mohammed's client would like an update on the project's timeline and would also like to see a basic outline. Based on the client's request, which items should Mohammed list in the "Immediate" tasks column in the matrix? Select all that apply:


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Kara has two competing projects and is unsure how to tackle both at the same time. She tends to procrastinate and work a lot of overtime to get things done. She wants to start using effective time management skills and needs your advice.

She usually spends her day in the following way:

  • 9-11am: Emails

  • 11am-12pm: Meeting

  • 12-12:30pm: Project Work

  • 1-2pm: Emails

  • 2-4pm: Project Work

  • 4-5pm: Emails

  • 5-7pm: Project Work (Over-Time)


Which strategies would you recommend she use? Select all that apply:

Take Action

A GIF that shows a to-do list.

The next time you have a huge project or multiple, competing deadlines, keep the following time management skills tips in mind:


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