If you've spent any time at all in the professional workforce, you've likely already encountered situations in which the benefits of time management in the workplace have been glaringly apparent. Whether you regularly encounter time crunches created by multiple projects with the same due date or you find yourself struggling to fit last-minute meetings and project requests into your normal workload, improved time management techniques at your company can pay off in big ways for everyone involved.
Below, read about five key benefits of time management in the workplace, and explore some time management strategies that can help make them a reality for you and your organization.
Many business environments today demand a relatively high pace of work. Often, there is simply too much to do and not enough time in which to do it, a problem that is frequently exacerbated in small businesses or startups in which there simply may not be enough labor to accomplish all that needs to get done. In a high-speed workplace, one of the most crippling afflictions from which you can suffer is indecisiveness.
By practicing strong time management in the workplace, you can streamline your decision-making to help you avoid so-called "paralysis by analysis."1 Plan out specific blocks of time for specific tasks throughout your week, and for larger projects, set your own deadlines by which you will accomplish intermediate tasks as you work toward completing the entire project. Forcing yourself to make decisions and move on at a regular, predictable pace can prevent you from losing time overthinking small issues.
Maximize Your Working Time
Another hallmark of the modern professional workplace is the ubiquitous meeting. Meetings can take many forms, from daily check-ins to one-on-one chats with your supervisor, project kickoffs, metrics analysis and more. While they can be important, meetings can also create frequent and sometimes lengthy interruptions in your work day, which can make it difficult for you to get into a productive rhythm for the actual work you need to complete.
If you find yourself with only small blocks of time between meetings on your schedule in which you can get things done, try approaching your day by making a checklist of tasks you expect to accomplish in a 30 minute window. Or, if you know you have a larger task at hand that requires more focused attention, block off time on your own calendar and make your coworkers schedule meetings around it.2 Protecting your own time and maximizing your effectiveness during it are key to unlocking the benefits of time management in the workplace.
Help Your Team Grow
If you are in a management or leadership role, time management in the workplace isn't just something you need to consider for yourself. It applies to your entire team, and you are responsible for ensuring that all of your team members are able to work efficiently in the time allotted them. Effective managers know which and how many responsibilities they can successfully delegate to their teams to make sure the entire group functions like a well-oiled machine.
One of the hidden benefits of time management from a leadership perspective is the opportunity to help your team members develop.3 When you delegate responsibilities, take care to not just put people in situations that maximize their existing strengths, but give them tasks that take them out of their comfort zones as well. As your team members learn to successfully deliver results in an increasingly wide variety of scenarios, they will grow individually as professionals and strengthen your team as a whole.
Care for Your Mind and Body
Wise time management is not about just getting as many tasks done as possible, especially in workplaces that tend to demand work that seems of minimal value to your personal and professional growth, and even to the big-picture goals of the organization.4 Getting bogged down in minutiae can not only distract you from the really important work, but it can put a severe strain on your physical and mental health if you start working an inordinate number of hours or skipping meals to get everything done.
Strong time management means setting priorities and boundaries, and one of its key benefits is to improve the health of your mind and body. Try to protect time for personal care breaks that are important to you: Go for a walk at midday, leave yourself enough time to prepare a healthy lunch in the morning before you leave for work or be sure you are able to leave early enough to catch that evening yoga class. Your happiest and healthiest self is also your most productive, and taking care of yourself is not only good for you but for your company as well.
Improve Your Work, Improve Your Confidence
A somewhat counterintuitive tip for time management in the workplace is "less is better."5 We are so often told that successful time management is all about getting more done that we can have a tendency to allow quality to slip in favor of quantity. The purpose of time management should not just be to fit more tasks into your day, it should be to allow you to produce stronger work and improve the success of your organization.
If this means setting goals that prioritize quality, one of the most significant benefits of time management in this sense is the effect this can have on your own confidence. When you produce work of a higher quality, you draw positive attention from your peers and supervisors, which in turn should lead to a more positive sense of your own capabilities and your value to the organization.1 All companies should strive to maintain high levels of employee confidence and positivity, and effective time management is a powerful way in which to do so.
Two Online Business Programs for Your Busy Schedule From Seattle University
If you value time management and you're committed to growing as a professional without stepping away from your full-time job, the Online MBA or Online MS in Business Analytics from the Albers School of Business and Economics at Seattle University could be perfect for you. Read some of our key strategies for succeeding in an online graduate program, and explore the benefits of getting your degree online.
- Retrieved on June 21, 2019, from lifehack.org/692542/the-importance-of-time-management
- Retrieved on June 21, 2019, from hbr.org/2019/03/how-to-get-your-to-do-list-done-when-youre-always-in-meetings
- Retrieved on June 21, 2019, from shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/organizational-and-employee-development/pages/delegateeffectively.aspx
- Retrieved on June 21, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/11/05/11-time-management-myths-that-are-hurting-your-productivity
- Retrieved on June 21, 2019, from forbes.com/sites/johnrampton/2018/05/01/manipulate-time-with-these-powerful-20-time-management-tips