Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. - William Penn
Time, as we all know is precious and valuable for everyone. In this ever-changing and fast-paced world, maintaining a steady schedule and keeping up with changes has become difficult. And people find it laborious to take out time to manage their tasks.
With constant transformation going all around, the workload has increased. This has made hard for you and your employees to maintain a work-life balance. And it is happening due to a lack of knowledge about how to manage time and although if you know about it then execution becomes a problem.
Time keeps on running in a loop with a 24-hour day. But it all comes down to the fact about how well you or your employees have been able to utilize that 24- hour day? And how exactly are you going to manage time if you are not productive enough?
Before we delve into time management techniques, first we should have an idea about what time management exactly is.
What is Time Management?
Time management can be defined as the process of planning and organizing the time which you will spend on specific activities to increase efficiency and productivity. Time is something that cannot be controlled but it can be handled with thorough planning and determination to execute the tasks which you need to complete.
The main purpose of time management is to maximize your success and effectiveness at your work and in your life as well but within a specific amount of time. This is done so that you can your valuable time does not get wasted and you can utilise every bit of time that you have in hand.
When there is an effective time management program available within an organization it becomes easy for everyone in the organization to utilise the time available for improved productivity and engagement.
And to have an effective time management schedule, first, you need to follow the four D’s of effectiveness. The four D’s can be defined as:
Desire: Effective time management is only possible when there is a pure desire to understand how valuable time is and how it can boost your confidence when you manage it well.
Determination: There will be distractions in your way during your important tasks which will eventually result in time getting wasted. But your determination to avoid distractions will be the key in appropriate time management.
Decisiveness: You must have a strong sense of decisiveness about practicing good time management practices until it becomes a regular and everyday habit. You have to make that decision of this practice is going to make you a better person further in life.
Discipline: Finally, the fourth D is discipline. It is one of the most important and crucial factors for better time management. Maintaining discipline will give you an idea about the things which you need to do and when to do it. Discipline helps you to maintain a routine schedule which you would follow without indulging yourself in tasks that consume your time and efforts.
Effective Time Management Techniques
Now that we have discussed the four D’s of time management, let us look at the following time management techniques. Techniques which will help you and your employees in a better engagement at the workplace.
You might have faced situations when your employees face the crunch of completing their work and projects. When such a situation arises, the not so important tasks get piled up. This eventually increases their workload and thus, managing time for the pending work becomes a hassle.
To avoid this, you can ask your employees to break the job in segments and delegate the tasks. This will help them to manage their time and the job will be done faster and better within the team.
Without proper guidance, employees might lose track of their goals and deviate from their daily duties. And with the growing corporate world, keeping up with changes can be a difficult task. Having smart goals is just not enough if you don’t prioritize to achieve those.
To manage time well, you can ask your employees to prioritize their urgent and important tasks at first. This way they will be able to learn how to utilize the time to complete critical tasks and improve their work rate. As Stephen Covey quoted, ‘The key is not to prioritize what's on your schedule but to schedule your priorities.’
Giving your employees autonomy to do their work not only increases their productivity but it also improves their engagement. Every employee has a comfort zone and ways to do their work. Some employees like to do their task the hard way and some resort to ways that are easy for them.
It is important to keep in mind that as long as the job gets done in time, you should not interfere with their ways of doing things. When you provide autonomy, your employees will value time more as they will be less distracted from interference and give more time to their work. This way they are likely to save up and manage time in their own way.
4. Planning the day in advance:
Every employee likes to have their whole day sorted out instead of getting stuck to one thing. If everything is not sorted out before the day starts then there might come such times where employees might feel that they are lost. Eventually getting frustrated and burned out. And the best way to do avoid it is to plan the whole day out. It is one of the most important and proven techniques of time management.
Firstly, because it allows them to organize their day. Secondly, it gives them detailed insights into the things that they need to do. Planning the day makes it easy to complete one task at a time more efficiently and sincerely.
5. Limiting Email check:
When you start your day at work, checking relevant emails is important. But when your mail inbox gets crowded by those unnecessary and spam messages, it becomes difficult to pick out the important ones.
Statistics have said that an average worker spends about 30 hours a week checking their email. That is a whole lot of working hours.
To avoid wasting those hours of work in emails, you can limit checking emails to only those which needs an immediate response. And the rest you can keep track during your free hour without wasting time or at the end of the day. You can apply filters that mark your important emails and dump those “spammy” ones.
6. Blocking Distractions:
Social media, pop-up texts, notifications, emails and your colleagues, they all pull your attention away from work. And to be more engaged in your job you need to block these distractions. They take up too much of your time and your work gets piled up.
Learn to say no to your colleagues when you are in between your work, turn off notifications and put away your phone. But most importantly, stay focused on what you are doing. Limit yourself from indulging in tasks that limit your productivity unnecessarily. When you get invested in your work, you will be able to manage more time by completing it before the deadline day hovers over you.
7. Using Time Management Tools:
As technology has taken over the world in every sector, the corporate environment has also embraced the changes going around. The digital transformation has not only made life easy for everyone but it has also made time management smooth.
There is an abundant number of tools present that you can use to make full use of the time that you have. Tools that focus on:
Time tracking: Keeps track of your time and how much you have spent in completing one task.
To-Do list: Helps you focus on organizing your work and schedule everything according to your day.
Communication: Lets you create streamless connectivity within your organization without leaving your table helping you save time.
Logging: Helps you in creating a spreadsheet about all the work that you have done or the work that is pending. And according to that, you can plan your schedule.
Not Difficult, Just be Consistent:
Managing time is a habit which can be burdensome and can drain your energy. But once you get the knack of having charge of the time you spend you will see the sweet fruit it bears.
All you need to do is be consistent in your practice in having effective time management skills. Skills that will make you disciplined in your life and in your workplace. Apply these simple time management tips and see the difference it makes in improving your efficiency at your workplace.