Time management is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work.
Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling the amount of time you spend on a specific task(s) in order to work efficiently.
Effective time management comes easier to some people than to others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills. Without strong and proper time management your work, business and well being can suffer.
Time management is the key to efficient working.
Businesses especially small businesses need to maximize the time they have available to grow their business and proper time management skills can help you do that.
Why is time management important?
Time management is very important because it helps you control your workday so you can build your business without stress or compromising your work-life balance.
7 benefits of proper time management
1. Improve your performance
When you learn to map out time out of your day for all your important task(s), you will have a better idea of everything you need to accomplish and how long each task should take. When you have a schedule to follow, you will likely find that you spend less time deciding what to work on or procrastinating and more time getting down to important work. Time management can help you focus on just the essential task(s) ahead of you and avoid time-consuming distractions.
2. Production of better work
When you are not constantly racing to meet a deadline, you can put more effort and thought into your work. Time management helps you prioritize your task(s) so that you ensure you have enough time available to complete every project. The quality of your work increases when you are not in a haste to complete it ahead of a fast approaching deadline.
3. Delivery of work on time
Proper management of your time involves assigning every task on your list to a specific scheduled time. Many people use time management to allow themselves several days to complete a project, or finish it ahead of the due date to provide a buffer for any challenges that might arise. If you properly schedule the time needed to complete your work, you will be able to hit your deadline(s) every time.
4. Reduction of stress
It is inevitable to become gripped with anxiety when you have a full list of task(s) to accomplish both for work and in your personal life. Good time management can help you prioritize your to-do list and set aside the time needed for your most important task(s), so you know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have available to complete everything. Prioritizing your task(s) and giving yourself enough time to accomplish them can help reduce your stress level drastically.
5. Improvement of career opportunities
Time management can help you become a more reliable business person who always submits and offer high-quality work by your due date(s). This in turn will make you more valuable as a business person and improve your professional reputation, which can help you find new clients, customers and opportunities to expand your business.
6. Boosting of confidence
When you manage your time properly and successfully meet your deadline(s), you will feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities. Consistently finishing your daily to-do list is a huge motivator that can drive people to further improve their time management skills and take on new work opportunities.
7. Become more efficient
When you understand how to manage your time effectively, you will become more focused at work which allows you to accomplish more with less time available. For example, instead of trying to work on a big project when you have 15 minutes free before a meeting, you can accomplish a few small task(s) in that time and save the bigger task(s) that requires more brain power for when you have a big mapped out time free. You will be able to work more efficiently to achieve more with less time.
Steps to help you management time more effectively
1. Plan ahead
Planning out your time in advance is the most important element of good time management. Understand when you are most productive; maybe you are most alert first thing in the morning, or perhaps you hit your stride at night. Save your most important and challenging task(s) for when your productivity is highest. Schedule simpler or smaller task(s) for time when you are less alert. Get a good sense before you start each day of how much time you will spend working on everything on your task(s) list.
2. Prioritize Task(s)
Evaluate every project you need to work on to determine what task(s) are most urgent and important and make those your top priority for the day. Leave less important task(s) or project(s) that have not yet become urgent for later, when you have more time available to focus on those less crucial project(s).
3. Eliminate distraction
Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers. Social media sites, Smartphone and disruptive co-worker or neighbour can all distract you from your priorities and derail your schedule. According to a study by Think Money, a third of business or workers are distracted as much as 3 hours of the workday. If you find certain distractions are too much of a temptation, consider leaving your Smartphone locked in a desk drawer during the day, or using a browser extension to block the websites that are most distracting to you.
4. Do not multi task
Multitasking may seem like a good way of getting extra work done, but in reality, it actually decreases your productivity. Instead of completing multiple project(s), you may end up starting but not finishing any of them. The best way to manage your time is to focus on a single task at a time and give it your full attention while you are working on it, to avoid mistakes.
5. Reward yourself for good work
This is very important. Rewards can be a great motivator for good time management. Give yourself a small reward for every task you accomplish in the day. For instance, you could celebrate finishing up a report by taking a 15-minutes walk outside. Rewards keep you motivated on the work and can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
6. Focus on value
There will always be new task(s) coming your way; task(s) which will steal your time, if you let them. You need to remember that you do not have to get everything done. Even if you wanted to, you could not do it. So, rather than focus on the quantity of work, identify the most important task(s), the task(s) which will add real value and focus on them. When you focus on task(s) which add value, you add value to your life.
When you look back on your life in years to come, are you going to remember the quantity of work, or the quality of experience?
7. Wake up early
Rise early to increase productivity. Cultivating the habit of rising early is not easy, but is can help you save extra time and manage your day better.
Once commitment and discipline become your daily companions, the benefits you get in exchange for early wake-ups will work productivity and effective time management.
Some phone application that can help us manage time better
Of course we all might have used this application at one time or another. If you have not, then just maybe you have never had a phone.
We mostly use this application to schedule our wake up time. It can also be used to schedule appointments.
On most Smartphone, your inbuilt calendar application enables you to enter notes or reminders for different days and set alarms for them. Taking advantage of this feature will help you to organize yourself so that you do not have to try to remember every date.
3. To Do List
This is an inbuilt application on some phones. And others have to download it. This application helps you give structure to your day by allowing you to list out all the tasks you have for the day, in the order in which you want to work on them.
1. But what if you have done all the above and you still do not have time?
2. What if you have honestly put in efforts to apportion your time and you still cannot seem to get the important things done in time?
Then you need to learn the art of TIME LEVERAGE
Using the leverage of time is the most fundamental strategy for success. There are only so many hours in a day that you can work. If you use only your own time, you can achieve only so much. If you leverage other people’s time, you can increase productivity to an extraordinary extent.
How do you leverage on other people’s time
1. Learn how to delegate work to other people.
2. Train and empower others (through team building).
3. Bring in experts and consultants to cover skill or knowledge gaps.
4. Outsource non-core task(s) to people with the experience to do them more efficiently.
We all have different life aspects such life, work, family, etc and we must come to understand that we must apportion time to each of these aspect in order to strike a balance and live a fulfilled life at the end of the day.
The Holy Book did say ‘there is time for everything – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8’ and adhering to this instruction will go a long way in shaping our lives towards achieving a fulfilled and well spent life here on earth.
Always create time for your family and loved ones, friends, etc because in the end, you did have missed a whole lot out of life trying to work always and claiming too busy.
Remember: We are work to earn a living and not living to work or earn.