Time – one of those things working professionals can’t get enough of.
Whether you’re a newbie or veteran, you always need another hour to tick tasks off from your to-do list.
It’s difficult to take control of every single minute of your day especially when there are too many distractions around. Since childhood, our parents and teachers have advised us to spend time and money wisely. In this article, we are going to take you back to the importance of time management but with a little spinoff. Today, we would be talking about the importance of time management in the workplace.
Before delving straight to its importance, let’s first see what time management actually is:
What is time management?
Time management is the process of planning and exercising conscious control of the time spent on specific activities to work smarter than harder. It is a juggling act of various things that help you increase efficiency and strike a better work-life balance.
Improving your time management at work allows you to enhance your performance and achieve your desired goals with less effort and more effective strategies. However, failing to manage time or poor time management skills at work can result in:
Missed deadlines and appointments
Procrastination and lack of focus
Lack of professionalism
Inefficient workflow and low work quality
Poor professional reputation
Strained workplace relationships
Work and life imbalance
Time is an irreplaceable asset. It is more valuable than money, especially in today’s fast-paced, overly-competitive business world. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time. Be sure that you spend your time where it matters most to you.
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Benefits of time management in a workplace
There are many advantages that come along with proper management of time. In your professional life, time management can benefit you in the following ways:
Deliver work on time
Allocating a finite time period to tasks help you complete them on time. It also helps you to manage your workload in the most effective way. When you have time-boxed tasks, your brain gets rewired to follow the structure and accomplish those activities within the desired time-frame. Thus, you can easily deliver work on time if you have managed your time well.
Provide a better quality of work
As a dedicated employee, you are expected to provide work of certain quality and standards. With the proper utilization of time and prioritization of activities, one can easily provide a better quality of work. Prioritization helps you focus on important tasks by keeping them in the highest priority which enables you to work on them with full attention and focus. Hence, the quality of the work is improved.
More productivity and efficiency
It is no secret that effective time management skills make you more productive and efficient as a working professional. These skills are helpful in helping you finish tasks as early as possible without compromising on the quality of work. Your overall productivity often goes for a toss when you’re working on unimportant tasks but effective time management skills let you tick off tasks that are both important and urgent on time.
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Much less procrastination
“I will do it later” – This is an excuse that we all have made at some time. The meaning of time management is not just about doing more in less time but also to reduce the urge to delay and procrastinate over important tasks. Applying good time management tricks enable you as a founder, leader, or employee to work smarter rather than harder. It instantly eliminates procrastination by ensuring that you’re familiar with the tasks added in your to-do list and when it needs to be finished.
Less stress and anxiety
There are times when employees feel overwhelmed due to too much work on their plates. This can not only hamper your productivity but also take a toll on your overall health. Excessive stress and hypertension can lead to heart diseases, depression, obesity and more. Knowing what to do we can reduce unnecessary stress and tensions from your life.
Improved quality of life
Effective time management skills don’t just benefit your professional life but can also improve your life outside of the office. If you keep things under control on the professional front, you get more time to focus on your personal life and relationships. Knowing the fact that tasks and activities are on track will bring a sense of calmness in your personal life. As you feel calmer and less stressed out, your quality of life improves automatically.
More opportunities and career growth
Being punctual with your work will not only increase your effectiveness but will also help you earn a good reputation at work. When managers and seniors know that you always complete your tasks on time, it could lead the way for more promotional opportunities at work.
More time for leisure and recreation
When was the last time you had time for yourself doing things that you really enjoy? Can’t remember, right? Fortunately, with good time management, you get more free time in your day to do the leisure and recreational activities that make you happy. Ultimately this helps you to create the perfect balance by working smart all day and having a reward of your choice in return.
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5 Steps for better time management at work
Time management is not rocket science. Frankly, anyone can learn this art with a little practice and learning. So here are a few steps that tell you how to become a time management expert:
Use a time tracking software
This is the best thing you can do to significantly improve your time management skills without making things complicated. Smart time management is the need of the hour for project managers and teams juggling multiple tasks at the same time.
Without using a good time tracking tool, you are putting yourself and your team at a great disadvantage. When you don’t know where exactly your team’s time is going, and which tasks are taking how much time, how are you supposed to detect time-wastage at the workplace?
How ProofHub’s Time Tracking Software Helps You Master Time Management Skills
On the other hand, using a powerful time tracking system, like ProofHub, that also offers a suite of project management and team collaboration features enables you and your team to stay on top of your schedule.
Given below is the list of features offered by ProofHub’s smart time management software that enable project teams to improve their time management skills and deliver work within set deadlines without compromising the quality.
- Add timesheets:
Add multiple timesheets to record time data and use them for accurate client billing, payroll processing, estimation, management accounting, and save money for your company by tracking the efficiency of your team members.
- Set time estimates:
Give your team a clear target time by setting time estimates for different tasks. Define how much time it should take to get work done. Know if the time taken exceeds the estimated time or is completed within set time limits.
- Have a Bird’s eye view for all time data:
Using time tracking software provides you with a Bird’s eye view of all time data of individuals across all projects without having to jump through projects.
- Track time manually or using timers:
Track how much time you are spending on each task by tracking time manually or using timers. Start and pause timers every time you switch tasks or take a break.
- Time reports:
Create custom time reports of people and projects. See billable hours, billed hours, and non-billable hours from your timesheets.
- Improved privacy:
You can limit the visibility of your timesheets to selected people to prevent unauthorized access.
- Export and Archive timesheets:
You can export timesheets and archive them for later use.
“And that’s not all! Discover and Explore ProofHub’s efficient and simple-to-use time tracking software by signing up NOW and sharpen your time management skills beyond your expectations!”
Planning plays an important role in time management as both go hand-in-hand with each other. You can make the most of your time only when it is thoroughly planned. When we talk about planning, you don’t necessarily have to follow a strict routine, instead, it means making smarter decisions of knowing the right time to do a task or an activity. The idea behind time management is to work smarter than harder and make time to do other things as well. You can use project management software to plan your tasks and save time smartly. Best-seller author Brian Tracy once said, “Every minute you spend in planning saves 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000 percent Return on Energy.”
Prioritizing your daily tasks is the key to successful time management. That said, many employees start their day with unimportant tasks or something that can be easily done later. Prioritization helps you realize that not everything you do is important. It is important to focus on your priorities to achieve success at work. Figure out the most important tasks and the ones that are urgent. This categorization will help you focus on what actually needs to be done. You can use various project management tools that help you set your priorities straight from the day a project starts.
Multitasking is one of the biggest time-wasting activities. Instead of accomplishing too many things, you end up achieving nothing out of them. The best way to utilize your time is to take one thing at a time and accomplish it before jumping to the next thing. Make a list of tasks that need to be accomplished in terms of their priority. Not only you would be able to focus better but there would be lesser distractions as well. And no distractions mean less likelihood of mistakes.
Cut off distractions
In our everyday life, distractions cost us many valuable hours in a day. Mobile phones, chatty coworkers, social media are some of the common distractions at work that almost cost us three hours a day. To not let these distractions eat up your time, it’s better to cut them off completely from your schedule. Take a moment to learn about the things that distract you. If social media and mobile phones are halting your productivity, set a fixed time in a day where you can check your social media.
Also read: How to Avoid Distractions at Workplace
Schedule your break time
Taking regular breaks while working is an effective way to stay productive all day. But it’s effectiveness is subject to management risk, especially when you start taking too many breaks. It’s obvious that you can’t power through a big project or task in one go, you need a break. What’s even better is having a well-scheduled break time. Take a walk, so some quick stretches, or plug in earphones and listen to your favorite music, do whatever helps you to relax and gets back to work with energy later – but don’t take more than 10 minutes.
Find your most productive hours
The next time management hack is to match your highest priority work to your highest productivity hours. The basic idea here is to check in with yourself frequently to track when, where, and how you’re the most productive. Research clearly shows that our day is driven by cycles that affect how alert and motivated we are. For example, you might be at your highest brain capacity, with your best focus and attention, before lunch hour, and slow down significantly in the evening. So, if you have a project that involves critical decisions and complex thoughts, the best case scenario is to manage it in your “golden hours”.
Accept your limitations
Even with 110% effort, there will be occasions where you simply cannot get things done within the specified time frame. This is the point where you accept that there are limits to how productively and efficiently you can manage your time. For example, if you have got twice the normal workload in a day, outsourcing and delegation are your best shots. Don’t just assume that you can get everything done that you wanted in any given time frame. Remember, doing this will only make it harder to manage your time effectively.
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Effective time management skills can have a positive impact on your work and life in general. When you learn to take control of your time on a daily basis, you improve your ability to get things done, make better decisions and most importantly, gain ultimate control of your key priorities.
I hope this post will be helpful in learning about the importance of time management in the workplace.
Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder and CEO of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. He’s one person always on a lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams, and organizations. You’ll find him saying, “Let’s go!” instead of “Go!” many times a day. That’s what makes him write about leadership in a way people are inspired to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.