What Is Time Management?
Most of us have found ourselves thinking that there’s simply not enough time in the day on more than one occasion. If only we had more time – we’d have got that job done or spent more time doing the things we love. But what is time management? Time management is a process which allows people to take control of their time and organise their priorities, it’s a vital skill in the workplace but can also help you to improve your everyday life too. The main principle behind time management is working more productively and efficiently, to keep stress down and get tasks done on time. Everyone has different opinions and time management tips, so it’s worth trying out a variety of techniques to find what works for you.
Why Is Time Management Important?
As previously mentioned, being on top of how you spend your time will enable you to work more efficiently without any extra effort. In the workplace, time management techniques can help to reduce stress, which is something of an epidemic. In the UK, there were 488,000 reported cases of work related stress in 2015/2015, making it the biggest workplace health hazard. Over time, stress can become overwhelming. It leads to poor performance and can even cause mental health problems. What is time management? Ensuring that more time is spent on important tasks to reduce stress, increase performance and boost employee motivation.
As well as the health benefits, people who can work effectively under pressure, and manage their time well, are usually more able to achieve promotions and reach leadership positions. Having a better work/life balance can help individuals to excel. It’s been observed that working a maximum of 40 hours is ideal for productivity; any more will only make you less productive in the long term. So, if you’re wondering, “why is time management important?”, now you know that there are many personal benefits of managing your time, as well as professional ones.
How To Be More Productive
Being able to work quickly and effectively under pressure is something many people aspire to but they simply don’t have the motivation. Fortunately, there are simple ways to increase both employee motivation and your own to become more productive.
Multi-tasking is often seen as a desirable skill, both inside and out of the workplace. But if you’re focussing on how to be more productive, you need to stop multi-tasking. Instead, plan when you’re going to carry out each task that needs to be completed and give your full attention to each one. List making is one of the most common time management tips but it’s one that is really effective. Having a visual representation of what needs to be done is the ideal way to keep on top of your workload.
Why is time management important? To help you achieve your goals. Without goals, employee motivation drops as there is no long-term aim to work towards. Set goals and keep them in mind so you and your team know exactly what they are striving towards. Employees who are engaged with the organisation are 27% more likely to perform at their best.
That all-important work/life balance is difficult to achieve, particularly if you are self-employed or are a business owner. When focussing on how to be more productive, many people overlook the importance of rest and time off. Ultimately, having time to recharge your batteries will ensure you can perform better in the long term. Having an excellent holiday scheme will improve employee motivation, as it allows staff to achieve a better work/life balance.
Sometimes you just need to accept that you can’t do everything and delegate. After all, what is time management if it’s not easing your workload by finding the best person for the job? This can free up your time to tackle other important tasks and can even improve employee motivation, as individuals who use their strengths everyday tend to be more 8% more productive than those who don’t.
What Are We Wasting Most Time On?
To understand how to be more productive in the workplace, individuals need to know where time is being wasted. In the UK, a shocking $80 billion per year is lost due to wasted time. One study found that, when asked, employees listed the following things as the reasons time was being wasted:
Technology errors are one of the leading causes of wasted time. There’s no doubt that technology has made most workplace processes quicker and more efficient, but our complete dependence on it can cause huge problems when technology goes wrong.
Communication issues are another big time waster, which is why most time management tips will focus on finding ways to make communication clear and direct, so you won’t need to repeat yourself constantly or chase information. Emails and IM are a huge source of distraction, so finding a way to manage this essential part of a business is a huge challenge.
Of course, employees should be able to manage their own time effectively but inadequate supervision, particularly for new employees, can cause a lot of time to be wasted due to errors. On-going training keeps employee motivation levels high and ensures that deadlines are met.
How To Boost Employee Motivation
Keeping a productive workforce is essential for the long-term success of any business. You can read all the time management tips in the world, but if your staff aren’t motivated and engaged, there’s no way that tasks are going to be completed to a high standard. There are some simple ways to boost employee motivation:
First things first, you need to create a stable working environment. At times, there’s going to be unavoidable periods of financial difficulty when cuts need to be made. However, you can remedy the uncertainty this causes by making sure that the success of the business is celebrated and that long-term goals are clear.
Everyone likes to feel valued and cared for. Taking the time to celebrate important life events shows that you value your employees as people, not only as a workforce. Small gestures go a long way! In addition, giving staff a greater level of responsibility after they have completed appropriate training can help to boost employee motivation levels and inspire them to work harder.
As well as personal milestones, make sure that workplace achievements are celebrated publically. Not only will this make individual employees feel valued, it will drive others to reach the same heights.
Balancing Work Time & Time For You
In an ideal world, we would all finish work at 5pm on the dot and leave any issues or concerns from the day to be dealt with tomorrow. In reality, it’s fairly common for people to work overtime, check emails at home and even work at the weekends to meet deadlines. Why is time management important? To improve your work/life balance!
Wherever possible, working flexibly can help you to manage your time better. Whether you have an appointment to attend or a school play that you can’t miss, being able to adjust your hours can be really beneficial. Offering this option to everyone can improve employee motivation; flexible workers take less time off, produce higher quality work and feel happier.
Sometimes the only way to achieve the ever-elusive work/life balance is to say no. Instead of signing up for overtime every weekend, schedule in some downtime. This will give you the chance to return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges.
Along the same line of thought, sometimes you simply need to switch off. Unless a work call or email is urgent, it can wait until tomorrow. Following time management tips and learning how to be more productive at work will help you to get more done in the day, so you can unwind in the evening.