Business AdvisoryTrades and Construction

Ten Time Management Techniques for your Trades Business

Jeff Broughton Jeffrey Broughton
25 November 2021
4 min read

25 November 2021

Effectively leveraging time management strategies can help trades businesses spend their time in the right areas, as well as spend that time effectively.

Related: Check out Tradies workbook: Own your time and get hours back in your day

There are several time management techniques and strategies that tradies can use but it’s important to remember when it comes to time management, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. We are all wired differently and perform at our productive best in different ways. So, the strategy that works for your mate, Joe, may not work for you.

We’ve compiled ten time management strategies tradies can use to help them spend their time more effectively.

1. Identify your key projects for the year

Start working backwards from your vision. What are the key achievements that you need to make in a year’s time that will enable you to reach your vision? These are now your key priorities for the year. These are your important by not urgent activities.

2. Prioritise your big rocks

Big rocks are your urgent and important activities. Every planning session should start by identifying your big rocks, the mission critical activities that need your immediate attention.

Be careful not to get trapped into thinking that just because a task comes with a deadline, it is a big rock. A task can be urgent, but it may not be important.

3. Planning

Planning is the basis of effective time management. After all, time is your scarcest resource. Planning should be focused on your priorities (your big rocks). These are both your important and urgent activities and your important and not urgent activities.

4. Plan tomorrow today (PTT)

At the end of each day, plan tomorrow today. Focus on the big rocks and the challenging tasks first. As Mark Twain once said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

5. Set your work week

Switching off is crucial to your long-term success. As hard as it is, you should set yourself set work hours as research shows that you will be more effective with your time if you put boundaries in place with your time.

6. Remove distractions

Every day you will face a number of distractions, each one stealing your time. As the leader, it’s important to minimise distractions and to say no. You are the boss and people want to talk to you, that’s natural. But you don’t have to deal with every issue they have.

7. Focus, focus, focus

As human beings we like to think we are effective multi-taskers, but contrary to popular belief there are very few people who can be effective with more than one or two tasks on the go at any given time.

Give your brain the time and space it needs by removing distractions and being disciplined about spending blocks of time focusing on one task at a time.

8. Self-management

It is important to prioritise your own health and well-being by living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. To manage, starts with managing thyself. Make sure you eat, drink and sleep well, get in your daily exercise, spend time with family and spend time on your hobbies. You need to bring the best version of you to work each and every day.

9. Have purposeful meetings

Meetings are a key communication tool; however, meetings can end up being a huge time waster. Use structure and planning to help ensure you run effective meetings that don’t waste people’s time.

10. Mastery for you and the team

You want to create a culture of continuous improvement where you and your team are always looking to improve.

The better you and the team perform, the better results you will achieve. Spend the time investing in professional development in the areas where you and the team can contribute the greatest to the organisation.

Tradies workbook: Own your time and get hours back in your day

It doesn’t take long for most trades business owners to discover that time is their scarcest resource. Before you know it, the demands of work take over, your schedule is out of control, you are working long hours to try and manage it and you come home every day stressed out!

The good news is, there is a pathway forward. The Tradies workbook: Own your time and get hours back in your day can help provide the structure and planning you need to learn how to shift your mindset and develop a plan that will help you take control of your time and schedule to give you back hours in the day.


Jeff Broughton
Author: Jeffrey Broughton | Associate Partner