10 English Verbs Related To Time Management

Learn English verbs related to time management. Speak about time management in formal and informal conversations.

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Speak better English with Harry - Episode 313

English time management verbs

Hi there, this is Harry and welcome to my podcast where I try to help you to get a better understanding of the English language so that you can communicate with your colleagues, your friends, your family, and even strangers. When you travel, using small talk, phrasal verbs, expressions, and of course, also trying to improve that grammar, which is really critical, and pronunciation.

I’ll give you my contact details at the end of the podcast. If there’s somebody you think might benefit from this, or indeed, if you want to write to me directly to organise online English lessons, whatever you wish to do, then, of course, you can write to me.

English verbs related to time management

English verbs related to time management. Study English advanced level. English lessons on Zoom and Skype www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english

Okay, so what are we going to talk about in this particular podcast? Well, today we’re going to talk about time and particularly time management. Of course, what could be easier, you would say. Yes, and I often wonder why people can’t manage their time better? Why perhaps they can’t turn up on time for a lesson? Or they can’t turn up on time for a meeting? 

As an Englishman, time is very important. We get very upset when people don’t turn up on time, and we’re left waiting. But some people in some jurisdictions don’t mind whether they’re late or don’t mind whether other people are late, but other people like to prioritise their time. And they feel that their time is so precious that if it’s wasted, it’s a lost opportunity.

So we’re going to talk about verbs related to time management. And when you’re doing staff reviews, or you’re having your own review in your company, time management comes up time and time again, about somebody’s failings or weaknesses. 

Yes, you’re really, really good, but time management could be better. 

Okay, so these are all verbs related to time management. I’ll give them to you one by one, and then we’ll go through them and hopefully give you some examples that will explain the word a little better. 

Okay, here they are:

  • to prioritise
  • to anticipate something
  • to schedule something
  • to jot something down
  • to delegate something to somebody
  • to stick to something
  • to be inundated
  • to set something aside
  • to break off something
  • to accomplish 

Okay, so let’s go through them one by one. 

English verbs related to time management

The first 

to prioritise 

When we prioritise our time or prioritise some action, it’s to put it first or at the top of our list. 

I like to make a little to-do list every day and lots of people still do it, even though it’s a little bit antiquated. I write it down on my notepad next to my laptop, and I see the things that I have to do every day, okay, and I prioritise the difficult tasks. So if I get them done, I can slap myself on the back and say, ‘Yep, that’s okay.’ It makes the day feel a little better. 

So to prioritise means to put things more important or more difficult, up at the top of your to-do list so that you can get them done, and everything else seems like a doddle, as we say. A doddle meaning so simple, so easy. 

So we can prioritise the meeting with a boss. We can prioritise some family time. We can prioritise some research or some preparation for some business meeting, presentation, whatever it is. 

To prioritise means to put it first or if not first, put it at the top of the list.

Okay, next, 

to anticipate something

When you anticipate you’re thinking ahead, or you’re expecting something to happen. It may or may not happen but if you anticipate it. If it does happen, then you’re prepared. If you’re not prepared, and it happens, well, you’ve got a bit of a problem, okay? 

So to anticipate something is to have an expectation that it will happen

Let me give you an example. 

If you’re preparing a business presentation, or you’re preparing for that job interview, you might anticipate the type of questions you’d be asked. So often when I’m preparing people and helping them to prepare for job interviews, we try to anticipate the questions they are likely to be asked. And the lucky thing is in the modern world, still, the same questions are usually asked in slightly different ways, but they still ask the same question. So it’s not so difficult to anticipate the questions that you might be asked. 

If you’re going to do a business presentation, it might be a little bit more difficult because you’re not quite sure what somebody will want to know. About delivery times or the product or the cost or the details of the marketing plan. So to anticipate those things can be a little bit more difficult. 

Or if you’re going to meet friends for dinner, you might anticipate or think ahead, well, how are they going to dress so you will dress accordingly whether it’s formal or informal or casual, whatever that might be. 

So, always when we’re anticipating something, we’re thinking ahead, we’re planning ahead so that we don’t get caught out or there are no surprises. 

I hate surprises, good or bad. I don’t like surprises. So I like to anticipate what’s going to happen. I’d like to anticipate what the weather is going to be like. I don’t have to anticipate that too much here. Every time I look at my laptop, it tells me it’s raining now, rain to stop or rain coming. So it’s not so hard to anticipate the weather in Ireland. Okay, to anticipate something.

English verbs related to time management

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to schedule something

People get a little bit confused here about pronunciation. The two pronunciations to pronounce this word 

to schedule /ˈʃedʒ.uːl/  or 

to schedule /ˈskedʒ.uːl/

Both of them are acceptable. Now, some people prefer /ˈʃedʒ.uːl/. Some people prefer /ˈskedʒ.uːl/.

Okay, so whatever you choose, you can stick to that. 

So when you schedule something, you put it in your diary, you put it in your calendar, your Google Calendar, you put it in your calendar, on your phone, wherever your list is or record. It’s a schedule. 

Okay, so you’re talking on the phone to your friend, and he asks you, 

What’s your schedule? Like next week? Can you meet me for coffee?

What’s your schedule? Like later today? Can you put me in for a meeting? Yeah, sure, no problem. I’ll put that in my calendar now. And I’d see you at about four o’clock. 

So when we schedule something, we put it into our calendar, where we’ve got a gap

I’ll schedule a meeting with the boss next week, and I’ll talk about my promotion or my salary review. 

I’ll schedule a conference call with those suppliers late next week. It might have to be changed, but at least it’s in the diary. And I can change it if I need to or find a time that’s more suitable.

And we often use that phrase when we’re writing emails to people. 

Why don’t we schedule a meeting later in the month? 

I’ve scheduled a visit to your area. And perhaps we can catch up for coffee, dinner, whatever it might be.  


to jot something down

As I said, this is quite informal to jot means to write down something quickly. Or might just write a quick note or an informal note or a couple of letters, something that you will recognise later on. 

So the teacher might ask the kids,

Jot down your homework.

Meaning take a quick note of what page we’re on.

Or if you’re talking to somebody on your mobile or on a Zoom call, you might make quick notes on a notepad to jot down something that you must remember to do. 

Yeah, so you’re sitting there while everybody’s talking. And you just remember, ‘Oh, I’ve got to go to the supermarket.’ So you write a note to yourself on your to-do list, you jot it down quickly. 

Or you jot down something you want to ask at the end of the meeting when the opportunity arises. So whoever’s hosting the zoom call says, ‘Well, that’s all I need to talk to you about. Does anybody have any questions?’

And you look at your note that you’ve jotted down, and you raise it then. 

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Next is a little bit more formal 

to delegate something 

Usually, we delegate something to somebody

Delegation is one of those buzzwords in business. Everybody wants to know, are you a good delegator? How do you delegate? You should delegate better. 

Okay, so to delegate something is to take some work that you have, and get other people to do it, okay? So it’s a sign of good management. So you don’t have to do everything yourself, you have to get other people to work for you. 

And delegating is one of the ways to do that. So you have some administration to do, you have some people to contact, you have some marketing plans to write. So you call in your team, and you go through the work, and you delegate it to different people. You can contact him, why don’t you take those few clients or customers. Get in touch with them. Set up a few meetings, we need to talk to our suppliers, why don’t you do that.

So you delegate the work. Off you go, sit down, put your feet up, and do a bit of lateral thinking and thinking outside the box. 

Okay, so delegate means to take work, pass it on to others

And of course, to monitor it, monitor it to make sure that it has been completed or done or actioned. 

English verbs related to time management


to stick to something

Again, a little bit informal to stick to something. 

If you’re cooking and you don’t put enough oil in the pan, your meat will stick to the pan. So that’s one way of looking at it. Not quite what we’re talking about here.

To stick to something in terms of time management is to make sure you stick to your schedule. So you don’t spend too much time with one person, and then you’re running late for the next meeting. And then you have to send an email to say, ‘I’m really sorry, I got held up or a bit delayed,’ and then the whole day falls apart. 

If you’ve got a schedule, try and stick to it. 

So you spend your time at your first meeting, giving yourself enough time between calls and meetings to get on to the next Zoom call or to get down to the next office for whatever meeting you have. 

Some people set up their week, at the end of the week on a Friday afternoon. They may spend the time organising the meetings for the following week and they like to stick to that schedule. 

So to stick to it means not to make many changes, or even any changes, we can stick to our plans.

We’re going to have a holiday at the end of August, the weather doesn’t look so good. So I’m not sure whether it’s the right thing to do. But let’s stick to our plans. Who knows the weather might improve? 

Or if indeed, it’s just a simple plan about what you want to do on a Saturday afternoon.

👩‍🦰 Why don’t we go and we’ll do a bit of shopping? The weather’s not so good. So we can spend an hour or so in the shopping centre, we can grab a bite to eat. And then we can go to the movies if you’d like. 

👱 Why don’t we just stick to this plan for the moment? And if somebody comes up with something better, of course, then we can review it. 

Okay. So usually when we’re talking about ‘stick’, it is sticking to a plan, sticking into an arrangement. 

If you’re playing a game of cards, there may be an opportunity to change your cards as part of the rules of that game. 

I’ll stick with the hand that I’ve got. 

That usually means that you’ve got a good hand you’re sticking with it. 

So if you’re playing poker, and you’re looking around the table and somebody takes one card, somebody takes two cards and comes to your turn,

No, I’ll stick.

So everybody looks at you and goes ‘Hmm, he’s got a good card, or he’s got some good cards in his hand. Perhaps he’s bluffing.’

Okay, so to stick to something. 

English verbs related to time management


to be inundated /ˈɪn.ʌn.deɪt/

Now, this is usually used in the passive form. Okay, when you are inundated, it means that you’ve got lots and lots of things to do. Lots of calls to answer lots of requests for information. Lots of emails that need responding to. Typically when you go away on holidays, you come back and you’ve got a full inbox. Hopefully, lots of those can be disregarded because of time issues. So if they were sent to you at the beginning of your holidays, perhaps somebody has actioned them in your absence, and therefore they don’t need to be responded to. You might just need to read them for information purposes, or indeed, just put them into the bin. 

So if you’re inundated means you have lots and lots of work. 

So you ring your wife or she rings you or your partner, 

I’m going to be a little bit late this evening. I’m totally inundated with work. There’s just a lot of things that need to be done. 

I am inundated. 

I was inundated last week but things were a little better this week. 

The more informal way is to be sinking in the paper. 

to set something aside

If we want to set something aside, it means to take time out of our busy schedules, and do something different. 

So I’ll set something aside this week to have a run or to go to the gym or to go for a walk or to take in the fresh air or to meet my friends. 

So we set time aside to catch up on things that we need to catch up on administration, emails, personal time, family time, whatever it might be, you set aside time, or you set time aside to do something, and hopefully, you will achieve it. 

And that’s all part of that time management. Some time management techniques are to give yourself a couple of hours or a week where you have absolutely no appointments. You put a big line through them in your calendar or your diary, and nobody’s allowed to put any appointments in that time. And you can just sit back and do nothing. 

And it’s amazing how refreshing that can be, you look forward to those couple of hours on a Wednesday afternoon, or a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon, or the first hour on a Monday morning, whatever it might be.

To set aside time to plan time to do nothing. 

English verbs related to time management

to break off something 

When we’re talking about time, we might be running out of time. And if we’re on a telephone call or a Zoom call, and it’s gone on a little bit longer, you might break off that conference.

To break off means to stop what you’re doing, and then pick up on something else

It could be meeting with your team. It could be something to do with the kids or family here.

And then finally, 

to accomplish 

Well, this is the ultimate in time management because when you accomplish something, you do it, okay. So at the end of the week, you can sit back, lean in the chair, put your feet on the desk and say, 

Well, what did I accomplish this week? What was I successful in doing? What have I achieved that I get through my to-do list? 

And as I said before, I have my to-do list next to my laptop most of the day, and I don’t look at it at the end of the week, I look at it each day, and I look for the ticks. And I also look for the little X’s something that has to be carried forward. But when I accomplish something, it means I do it. Okay. And when I’ve done it, you get much more satisfaction. 

So to accomplish the tasks that you had to accomplish. The completion of a written paper or thesis or whatever it might be. It doesn’t matter how big or how small it is. It’s serious enough that you can pat yourself or clap yourself on the back. 

Okay, so verbs related to time management, let me give them to you one more time. 

  • to prioritise
  • to anticipate something
  • to schedule something
  • to jot something down
  • to delegate something to somebody
  • to stick to something
  • to be inundated
  • to set something aside
  • to break off something
  • to accomplish

Well, whatever you’re doing, I hope you manage your time well. 

That’s the end of this particular podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it. And I hope you’ve understood the expressions that we’ve used and the verbs connected with time management. As I said at the beginning, if you want to contact me, you can do so on www.englishlessonviaskype.com

Very happy to hear from you. Very happy to get your suggestions as to what you might like me to include in future podcasts. Okay, well, time is running out. Thanks for listening to me. Join me again soon.

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

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