Why Time Management Remains a Problem

Mike McKay
April 18, 2024

In the world of business, where things are fast-paced and ever-changing, one would assume that time management is a skill perfected by every business owner. Yet, the persistent struggle with effective time utilization remains the biggest adversary, not only for starting entrepreneurs but even for seasoned industry leaders. Whether it’s the constant demands of a growing business or the sacrifice of personal moments, time reigns supreme as a top concern. 

It is an issue that has intrigued many, and much has been written in an attempt to address it. In fact, a quick Amazon search produces over 50,000 results on time management, highlighting a significant interest in the topic. However, the irony is clear — those who need time management the most often feel they don’t have the time to explore effective strategies. Why is this so?

Unpacking the Value of Your Time

The core issue lies in understanding the value of your time. In the simplest terms, your time is worth your annual revenue divided by 2000 work hours in a year. This simple formula places a monetary value on every hour you spend working. You might be asking, “Why is this concept crucial?”

Consider this: as a business owner, you are the decision-maker. Your choices shape the destiny of your business, determining everything from pricing and product mix to employment decisions. Your time, therefore, directly influences the revenue your business generates. And if you spend an unreasonable amount of time on low-value tasks, you are hurting your revenue and business. 

The Owner’s 9 Block: Visualizing Task Value

Now, how do you categorize business tasks according to their importance and potential impact? Let’s make this easier by introducing a visual tool we call the Owner’s 9 Block. This chart organizes tasks based on their value to the business, ranging from high-value strategic activities to low-value, routine tasks. Identifying where each task falls on this spectrum helps you understand which activities need most of your attention, and therefore impact how you allocate your time.

matrix showing a breakdown of tasks and estimated value per hour for each task.

The example above illustrates a $500,000/yr business where the Owner’s Time is valued at $250/hr ($500,000/2000hr = $250/hr). Tasks are categorized in the Owner’s 9 Block chart, with the top right being the highest value tasks at the Owner’s Time Value and the bottom left representing minimum-wage value tasks. Though low-value tasks are inevitable, spending time on them can cost the business significant money. Efficient time management is crucial to maximize productivity and profitability.

Creating a Default Calendar

Another practical solution to overcome time management challenges is to implement a default calendar. The default calendar is a structured approach to allocate time for high-value tasks, ensuring they receive the attention they deserve.

Steps to Create a Default Calendar for Business Success:

List Your Key Tasks:

  • Identify crucial tasks for your business on a weekly basis.
  • These include high-value activities such as marketing, sales, finance, proposal writing, and skill development.
  • Create a comprehensive list and set it aside.

Rank and Schedule:

  • Revisit the list from the previous week.
  • Add any new tasks that came to mind during the week.
  • Rank the tasks in order of priority.
  • Identify a recurring 2-hour block in your calendar and schedule this as dedicated time for essential business tasks.

Evaluate and Adjust:

  • During your scheduled block, start with the top task and work through as many as possible in 2 hours.
  • Evaluate whether the allocated time is sufficient for your tasks.
  • Test your ability to follow the calendar. If not, consider adjusting the block to a different time in week 4.

Expand Gradually:

  • Final test of your ability to complete tasks within the designated time block.
  • If successful, add another 2-hour block to your calendar, creating two dedicated time slots.
  • Repeat the process for the next 4 weeks, gradually increasing dedicated time blocks based on your business needs.

Here is an example of a fully-developed default calendar:

By persistently following your default calendar, even with just a few weekly task blocks, you can significantly lessen the daily overwhelm that you experience, allowing you to achieve your time management goals more consistently and enjoy a greater sense of accomplishment.


While it’s true that time management remains challenging, it is not an impossible task. By recognizing the monetary value of your time, implementing effective time-saving measures, and utilizing actionable tools such as the Owner’s 9 Block and default calendar, you can strategically allocate your efforts to high-value tasks, maximizing your business productivity, profitability, and potential.

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