Why Is Time Management Important? Tips & Benefits
Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day. So why do you feel like you’re constantly rushing? Perhaps every morning involves leaping out of bed and cramming down breakfast before you race to the office or you’re always scrambling to meet deadlines despite knowing you can get the work done on time.
If these situations sound familiar, you may have an issue with time management. Gaining control of the time you have available is crucial in life and business. By learning how to manage your time effectively, you can complete tasks faster and save more time for yourself.
Table of Contents
Why Is Time Management Important?
Tips for Managing Your Time Better
What Is Time Management?
Time management refers to how we organise our activities each day. It involves planning which activities you have to complete and figuring out how to divide time between them.
Getting this division right means completing all your tasks within their allotted timeframes. Getting it wrong means you end up with an overspill. One task takes more time than expected, which reduces the time available for the next task. Before you know it, you find yourself rushing to get things done.
With proper time management, you can get more done in less time. This gives you more time for yourself and your family.
Why Is Time Management Important?
Time management is vital for several reasons.
Good time management skills improve the quality of your work. How? Because you’re not constantly rushing. It also improves your self-discipline and ensures you have enough time for leisure.
Simply put, good time management means you’re not stressing about having enough hours in the day. You know the important tasks you have to complete, and you have a plan to get them done. When you do this, your days feel less stressful. Plus you accomplish more of what you set out to do.
Benefits of Time Management
The benefits of strong time management skills are wide-reaching. They include key advantages related to your stress levels, work, and personal time.
You Feel Less Stressed
Life is hard enough without always feeling like you’re chasing deadlines and dealing with a time crunch. Fatigue builds up, with stress not being too far behind.
Managing your time helps you stay on top of your to-do list. You become more productive because you have clarity about your goals for the day. Stress levels decrease, and you’ll find that you’re more content and enjoy better sleep. The better you are at time management, the more small issues you solve. Bit by bit, solving those issues leads to lower stress levels.
Do More of What Matters
If you’re constantly going over your deadlines, you lose time for the rest of your day. For example, imagine you have 4 tasks that should take 2 hours each. You should finish them in 8 hours. But poor time management leads to those tasks taking 10 hours. That’s 2 hours of self-care that you’ve lost.
With time management comes freedom. That freedom allows you to do more of what you love, like pursuing hobbies. It also creates time for you to focus on your relationships, leading to a happier family life. Ultimately, you end up with a better work-life balance and you can still complete all your tasks.
It’s hard to focus when your task list overwhelms you. Your mind starts thinking about how your tasks will affect the rest of your day, making it difficult to focus on what you’re doing. It takes even longer to complete your task because you can’t buckle down and get it done.
Finally, you finish and move on to your next task. But you’re already behind, so your mind still isn’t focused. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to extensive time loss.
Managing your time helps you stay focused. You’re not constantly worried about what comes next. You can focus on productive activities without losing time to doubt and procrastination.
Time management makes things simpler. You know what you need to do and how long you have to do it. Thus, your mind stays focused and you feel more confident in your ability to get your work done.
You also feel more confident about how to use your time. As you build better time management habits, you start to see that your efforts work. The result is that you feel more comfortable with assigning deadlines and sticking to them.
If you’ve ever lost sleep due to a deadline on a task, you understand the fatigue you get the next day. Poor sleep leads to a dip in energy levels, which affects what you need to do the following day.
It’s a cycle. The more sleep you lose, the more tired you become. When you’re tired, you struggle to focus, leading to delays in completing your tasks. Those delays lead to more lost sleep, and so on.
Developing time management skills helps you to regulate your days. You’ll feel more energised. In turn, you’ll avoid the energy-sapping pitfalls related to losing sleep.
Tips for Managing Your Time Better
Now that you know why managing your time is so vital, let’s learn how to do so. These 5 tips help you manage your time better.
Use the SMART Method to Set Goals
The SMART method is an acronym that defines what a good goal looks like:
- Specific – Make the goal as specific as possible so vagueness doesn’t cause you to lose focus.
- Measurable – You need a way to determine when you’ve completed the goal.
- Attainable – If the goal isn’t achievable, it’s not something you should try to do.
- Relevant – The goal has to serve a purpose, like completing a task in a large project.
- Timely – The goal has a defined timeline, including a start and end date.
Try to fit all your tasks into this framework. If the task doesn’t fit, ask yourself if it’s worth spending time on.
Track How You’re Spending Time Right Now
You may have to take a step back before you can start moving forward. Conduct yourself as you normally would during the day. Along the way, take note of how you’re spending your time. Seriously, make a list.
For example, you may absent-mindedly browse social media for 15 minutes when working. Then maybe you spend another 15 minutes checking emails when you should be focusing on a task.
Read the list at the end of each day. Pick out the time you’ve wasted, meaning the activities that don’t serve a purpose. Aim to cut those activities from the following day.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule may seem like a simple tip. But it’s something that many people don’t do well. Thankfully, it’s easy to accomplish.
At the end of each day, take a few minutes to organise what you’re going to do the next day. For example, you could set up alerts on your phone that indicate when to start a task and when it should end. If you want to take an old-school approach, write your tasks into a physical diary. The key is that you have something to remind you of your obligations. With a clear plan in place, you’ll always feel ready to take on the day.
Work Breaks Into Your Schedule
Jumping from one task immediately to the next may tire you out. It’s hard to be “on” all the time. For that reason, fit breaks into your schedule between tasks.
This doesn’t mean you give yourself an hour’s rest after each task. Instead, give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to enjoy some downtime. Use that time to take a nap, meditate, or do anything else that takes your mind off work. You’ll feel refreshed and in a better position to take on your next task.
A lot of people take pride in their ability to multitask. But trying to do several things at once means you’re never fully focused on one thing. If you have an important task to finish, other tasks will serve as distractions.
Don’t try to multitask.
Divide each task into separate time blocks. Dedicate yourself to that task alone.
Developing effective time management skills reduces stress and helps you to prioritise tasks. You’ll benefit in your personal life because you have more free time. Your professional reputation will also improve as you’ll hit your deadlines.
You’ll see the importance of time management in your personal and professional life. Managing time effectively will help you create a better work-life balance.
Time management helps you work smarter and more efficiently. This enables greater productivity and the completion of your most important tasks.
Focus on setting SMART goals and creating schedules, avoid multitasking. Finally, scheduling regular breaks for yourself helps you take control of your time.
FAQs on Time Management
What does good time management look like?
Good time management involves techniques that help you use your time effectively. You’ll know you’re doing it well if you suddenly begin feeling less stressed during the day.
What are the 3 Ps of time management?
The 3 Ps of time management are planning, prioritising, and performing.
What are time management tools?
A time management tool is anything that helps you to organise your time. Examples include calendars, schedules, and note-taking software.