“Make use of time, let not advantage slip.”
I’d like to think ol’ Billy Shakespeare was talking about rolling d20s, but he probably wasn’t.
Either way, time is the most valuable thing that you as a DM have. You have limited prep time, and you have limited play time.
So be aware of how you’re spending it.
It’s not a bad idea to just jot a quick timestamp on your notes for the next few sessions at major points.
Beginning or ending a combat? Timestamp.
Putting forth an important decision? Timestamp. And then another when the party makes a decision.
Doing this will give you two vital pieces of information, both sides of the same coin. First, you’ll get a sense for how long things take at your table. Second, you get a sense for the things that your party engages with and likes to spend the most time on.
You might notice that a simple combat encounter took nearly an hour. Find a way to tighten that up.
You might notice that the party spent nintey minutes shopping and trying to find ways to customize their gear. Maybe introduce a few ways to do just that.
Make use of your time, both in planning and in observation.
Design a Monster for Tome of Beasts II – Kobold Press
9 Ways To Recruit New Players – Roleplaying Tips
Jeremy Crawford on Dunamancy Spells – Sage Advice
Return to the Barrier Peaks – Deck II – Dyson’s Dodecahedron
Monster Loot – Curse of Strahd – DMsGuild – $1.95
Dice Towers: Monster Art – DMsGuild – $2.00
Item Pricing Guides [BUNDLE] – DMsGuild – $3.73
Now get out there and tell a story!