How is Time Management Related to Productivity?
Whether you’re a freelancer or the owner a successful business or startup, trying to manage our time is something we all struggle with.
At times it can really feel as if 24 hours just aren’t enough to get everything done. This is where time management comes into play. Time is extremely precious to us all, and in the case of business, time is money. The more efficiently you divide your time to do your tasks, the more productive you’ll be, and the more money you will make.
In order to maintain a sense of work-life balance, your time management skills need to be top-notch. Some entrepreneurs respond to the dilemma of lack of time with utmost focus and purpose, while others stress themselves out.
For those who fall into the latter category, all you need to do is take definitive actions to manage your time more efficiently, and you’ll gradually find your work getting done in a more efficient and effortless manner.
What is Time Management?
Time management can be defined as the mindful process of properly planning and organizing your tasks. It’s the method of exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent dedicated to certain activities, mainly with the goal of increasing productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Not only has it been a vital part of business and project management for years now, it’s also slowly becoming an element of the education sector as well as our personal lives, owing to the super-busy, modern world we live in.
Peter Drucker, the influential management consultant, educator, and author, had once remarked that, “Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed.”. This could not be more true.
In the early 20thcentury, time management originated as a business practice alongside time and motion studies. It was an integral part of Frederick Taylor’s (also known as ‘the father of scientific management’) time studies, and also Frank and Lillian Gilbreth’s motion studies.
What started off as a business efficiency technique, soon led to the creation of standard times being assigned to tasks, along with the inception of the assembly line technique of mass production, and then transforming to become a vital business tool.
Why is Time Management Important?
The results of time management can be seen both in your personal and professional life. It signifies dividing your day in a manner such that you can make proper use of every moment. Good time management helps create the perfect balance between your work life and your home life. Poor time management leads to excessive stress and a general unhappy ambience in your head.
Here’s why time management is so important, and the benefits a dedicated approach to improving it can imbue:
- Improved Performance and Efficiency
When you dedicate certain blocks of time throughout the day to different tasks, you’ll be able to accomplish your tasks faster and much more efficiently. You’ll see yourself getting more productive and avoiding time-consuming distractions.
With a proper schedule, you’ll know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have to complete the task, thereby not wasting another second trying to decide what to do next. Time management lets you focus on the essential tasks and prioritize accordingly.
- Deliver Work on Time
How many times have you missed a deadline because you weren’t able to finish the task on time? Not only does this lead to you receiving a bad bottom-line results, but you end up feeling incompetent, which hurts motivation and long-term morale.
By a dedicated approach to time management, you can start working on your projects far ahead of time and even get them done before time so as to have a buffer period in case any changes or adjustments need to be made. With more time at your end, the quality of your work is bound to improve as well.
- No More Indecisiveness
When you have limited time, and crucial decisions to make, you can often end up choosing the wrong options and jumping to the wrong conclusions due to a lack of time. Whereas big decisions obviously take up a lot more time, small decisions can be time-consuming too.
Good time management can help you become less indecisive and take better decisions.
You can do things like make lists and evaluate each option carefully before landing on a decision. Instead of staring at a messed-up to-do routine, create a proper plan so you don’t end up taking incorrect decisions that can lead to long-lasting repercussions.
- Boosts Confidence
Being able to finish your work on time gives you a sense of great accomplishment and boosts your confidence. Finishing your to-do lists on a daily basis is a huge motivating factor, mainly because you live up to the expectations you set for yourself.
An added sense of confidence improves your work and also leads you to take up fresh opportunities. Not only does it give you more confidence in the workplace, thereby improving your reputation, it also brings about a positive change in your personal life.
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Imagine this: you’re at work and you already have a huge pile of tasks to get to. If someone dumps a new task on your table at that moment, how is it going to make you feel? Extremely stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, right? Managing your tasks on time helps you get rid of that stress and anxiety because you manage to stay on top of your game.
Be it work-related assignments or your personal to-do lists that include grocery shopping, doing your laundry, going for a spa day, and so on; time management helps you accomplish all of it, while not having to stress over the little details. Not only does this improve your physical health, your mental health witnesses a significant improvement as well.
- Better Career Opportunities
When you dedicate a specific amount of time to each task at your workplace, you get things done on time and even before the due date. Once this positive way of submitting work on time is noticed by your seniors and managers, they know that you’re a trustworthy employee, and come to you whenever they need to get something done. This acts as a ladder towards better career opportunities and even chances at more promotions in the future. Proving that you’re dependable is a huge plus in your career graph.
- A More Fulfilling Personal Life
Being stuck at work all day isn’t fun for anyone. However, since time managements eliminates the stress of being buried under work all day, you get to spend more time in your personal life. You can enjoy some quality time with your friends and family, read a book, watch a movie, go to the gym, and do everything that makes you happy. This in turn affects you in a positive way as far as your mental health is concerned, and good mental health also translates into you doing better at work. Therefore, it serves as a benefit in every manner.
Ways to Improve in Time Management
Different people have different ways of managing their time. However, there are some basics that work for everyone. The level of self-discipline it brings along and your ability to motivate yourself all depends on your time management strategies.
Some simple ways through which you can manage your time are as follows:
Planning out your day in advance is one of the most important elements of time management. You know yourself the most, therefore, you’re also aware of when you’re the most active. Perhaps you’re a morning person who likes to get all the work done during the daytime, or maybe you prefer the nighttime more and are able to complete your tasks better when it’s dark outside and quiet around.
Before you start your day, have a clear idea of what your schedule looks like. It might seem unnecessary to plan ahead of time instead of diving into the day straight ahead, but it serves so much better to plan in advance. Schedule the lighter tasks for when you’re less active, and the important ones when your productivity is at its peak.2. Prioritize
Of the ten tasks you have in a day, not all of them will be too urgent. Therefore, it’s necessary to prioritize. Make a to-do list and categorize or list the tasks based on their order of priority. Finish the important and urgent ones first and leave the less important ones for later. Don’t let the lists get too overwhelming either by scheduling multiple tasks at the same time. Categorize your tasks as “important and urgent”, “important but not urgent”, “urgent but not important”, and “not urgent and not important”. These distinctions will help you get your priorities right.3. Eliminate Distractions
We’re always surrounded by distractions. It could either be the will to scroll through Instagram and Facebook, or being disrupted by noisy coworkers. Having your smartphone around serves as the biggest distraction these days. Therefore, it’s imperative to get these distractions out of the way. It might require a lot of will power, but keep your phone away locked up in a drawer, or enable browser extensions to prevent the addictive sites from causing you to waste your time instead of finishing your work.4. Delegate
Whether you’re a part of a big corporation or own a small business, delegating tasks is always necessary. It saves you a lot of time, and lets you focus on the tasks that need your special attention and expertise. The reason you hire people is so that they can make your work life easier, so, make use of it wisely.
Take a look at the tasks in hand and assign them to your workers based on their skills, experience, interest, and authority. Explain the task to them as much as possible, but also allow them to personalize it. Check up on them from time-to-time, making sure to not get too overbearing. Once the task is complete, give them a small reward so that they feel motivated to take up more work in the future.5. Stop Procrastinating
At times we just don’t want to work. It could be for several reasons; perhaps the task is too daunting or overwhelming, or maybe you’re just physically tired. However, you have to stop procrastinating at some point. Often a task feels like a lot till we actually get to it, post which is gets much easier to do. You can also break the task into parts or intervals so that you don’t have to do it all at once.6. Make Time for Yourself
Amidst all the hard work and hustle, we often forget to take time for ourselves. This results in sleeplessness, fatigue, mood swings, and a general unpleasantness. Therefore, taking time out for yourself is equally important. Take a nap in between tasks, eat healthy, spend some time reading, or perhaps listen to some relaxing music.
Rewarding yourself after successfully finishing a task serves as a great motivator, too. You can go for a little walk after completing a big assignment, or maybe watch a favorite show of yours, and so on.
Oh - and remember to always eat healthy and take care of yourself, because nothing affects your productivity more than a lack of internal energy.
The more motivation you have, the quicker you’ll get your work done, and the only way to get your work done effectively and efficiently is through proper time management. Whether you’re trying to look after your home, expand your business, or take care of your empire, a dedicated and analytical time management strategy will bear fruit in every aspect of your life.
Avoid multitasking, use planning tools, get rid of time-wasting sources such as phones and unexpected visitors, and make sure to take out some time for yourself. It’s the little things that combine together to help in managing your time effectively and making the most of your productive self.