Most of us feel like we just don’t have enough time to do everything we want and need to do. During the pandemic, when many people were asked to stay at home and suddenly had more time on their hands, it turned out that some of the jobs they felt they simply didn’t have time for usually, they actually just didn’t want to do. Like laundry, painting the shed, or tidying up the cupboards. Time management is important because it usually isn’t lack of time that causes the problem, it’s bad time management.
Time management is all about the way you organise and plan your time. This may seem obvious, but for many it isn’t. We’ve all had days when we feel we’ve worked continuously but achieved very little. This can often be due to poor time management.
Dedicating time to learning about time management may feel a waste of time in itself, after all you could be getting on with actual work. But understanding time management and learning how to apply it to everyday work and tasks can be hugely beneficial, and it’ll save time in the future.
Good time management will result in:
- Your work being more productive and efficient
- Less stress
- A greater awareness of goals and how to reach them
- Others knowing they can rely on you
Alternatively, bad time management can result in:
- Missing important deadlines
- Always feeling like you are behind and failing
- A bad reputation
- Poor work quality
It is never too late to learn about time management techniques, regardless of your position. We all pick up bad habits, by applying time management techniques you can ensure you are working to your greatest ability.
Benefits of time management
Achieve your goals
Setting goals is essential. It gives you a plan and an aim. They should be achievable and measurable, ideally the SMART method – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. Time management training will help you identify your goals and reach them faster.
Get more done in less time
When time is managed properly you will get much more done, and have more time left for activities you enjoy. A time limit will help you be more focused and efficient. By calculating how long tasks should take you will recognise quickly if they are taking longer than usual and help you manage this. For example, if you have to make 5 cakes for an event but one cake goes wrong and takes longer than usual, you know immediately that this means you may miss the deadline. Knowing this will focus your attention on solving the problem – either delegating the task to someone else who can help you reach your target, or using the time you have left effectively. If you know how long it should take you can more accurately solve a problem.
Avoid and solve problems
By organising your time well you will have a decisive plan and appropriate time scales to deal effectively with any issues that arise. Use your calendar. Give attention to long and short term projects. Be clear on your deadlines. Think about what days you will dedicate to which tasks, link these to your deadlines so you allow yourself plenty of time to complete projects, delegate where possible, and solve problems.
Feel more motivated and energised
Spend time thinking about your day, your week, your month. What is important and deserves your time? What isn’t important? By identifying this you will free yourself up to focus on the things that make a difference, to your work and yourself.
Feel calmer and less stressed
When you properly manage your time, you don’t have to worry about missing deadlines or forgetting errands – because you already planned your time to avoid this. As a result, you’ll feel less stressed and this will impact every area of your life.
The highest achievers always manage their time well. By understanding and applying time-management techniques, you can improve your ability to work more effectively, reduce stress and feel in control.