The Importance of Time Management: Tips for Boosting Your Productivity
Small businesses and freelancers need to maximize the time they have available to grow their business and proper time management skills can help do that. Time management is important for busy companies so they can prioritize all their work tasks and achieve their goals faster. When you better manage your time, you’ll be able to take on new opportunities and grow your business in a sustainable manner.
These topics explore the importance of time management and offer tips for improving your productivity at work:
What Is Time Management?
Time management is the strategy of planning out your available time and controlling the amount of time you spend on specific tasks in order to work more efficiently. Effective time management comes easier to some people than to others, but everyone can develop habits to improve their time management skills. Without strong time management, your work and wellbeing can suffer, and it can lead to:
- Producing poor quality work
- Missing deadlines
- Increasing your stress levels
- Ruining your work-life balance
- Harming your professional reputation
Why Is Time Management Important?
Time management is important because it helps you control your workday so you can build your business without compromising your work-life balance. Here are seven benefits of proper time management:
Improve Your Performance
When you learn to block time out of your day for all your important tasks, you’ll have a better idea of everything you need to accomplish and how long each task should take. When you have a schedule to follow, you’ll likely find that you spend less time deciding what to work on or procrastinating and more time getting down to important work. Time management can help you focus on just the essential tasks ahead of you and avoid time-consuming distractions.
Produce Better Work
When you’re not constantly racing to meet a deadline, you can put more effort and thought into your work. Time management helps you prioritize your tasks so that you ensure you have enough time available to complete every project. The quality of your work increases when you’re not rushing to complete it ahead of a fast approaching deadline.
Deliver Work on Time
Properly managing your time involves assigning every task on your list to a specific blocks of time. Many people use time management to allow themselves several days to complete a project, or finish it ahead of the due date to provide a buffer for any challenges that might arise. If you properly schedule the time needed to complete your work, you’ll be able to hit your deadlines every time.
Reduce Your Stress
It’s easy to become anxious when you have a full list of tasks to accomplish both for work and in your personal life. Good time management can help you prioritize your to-do list and set aside the time needed for your most important tasks, so you know exactly what you need to do and how much time you have available to complete everything. Prioritizing your tasks and giving yourself enough time to accomplish them can help reduce your stress levels.
Improved Career Opportunities
Time management can help you become a more reliable employee who always submits high-quality work by your due dates. This in turn will make you more valuable as a worker and improve your professional reputation, which can help you find new opportunities to expand your career.
Boost Your Confidence
When you manage your time properly and successfully meet your deadlines, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence in your abilities. Consistently finishing your daily to-do list is a huge motivator that can drive people to further improve their time management skills and take on new work opportunities.
Become More Efficient
When you understand how to manage your time effectively, you’ll become more focused at work which allows you to accomplish more with less time available. For example, instead of trying to work on a big project when you have fifteen minutes free before a meeting, you can accomplish a few small tasks in that time and save the bigger tasks that require more brain power for when you have a large block of time free. You’ll be able to work more efficiently to achieve more with less time.
The Basics of Time Management
Improving your time management skills can make you more productive and less stressed. Here are five easy steps to improve your time management:
Planning out your time in advance is the most important element of good time management. Understand when you’re most productive: maybe you’re most alert first thing in the morning, or perhaps you hit your stride at night. Save your most important and challenging tasks for when your productivity is highest. Schedule simpler or smaller tasks for times when you’re less alert. Get a good sense before you start each day of how much time you’ll spend working on everything on your task list.
Evaluate every project you need to work on to determine what tasks are the most urgent and important and make those your top priority for the day. Leave less important tasks or projects that haven’t yet become urgent for later, when you have more time available to focus on those less crucial projects.
Distractions are one of the biggest productivity killers. Social media sites, smartphones and disruptive coworkers can all distract you from your priorities and derail your schedule. According to a study by Think Money, a third of employees are distracted for as much as three hours of the workday. If you find certain distractions are too much of a temptation, consider leaving your smartphone locked in a desk drawer during the day, or using a browser extension to block the websites that are most distracting to you.
Multitasking may seem like a good way of getting extra work done, but in reality, it actually decreases your productivity. Instead of completing multiple projects, you end up starting but not finishing any of them. The best way to manage your time is to focus on a single task at a time and give it your full attention while you’re working on it, to avoid mistakes.
Reward Yourself for Good Work
Rewards can be a great motivator for good time management. Give yourself a small reward for every task you accomplish in the day. For instance, you could celebrate finishing up a report by taking a 15-minute walk outside. Rewards keep you motivated on the job and can help you achieve a better work-life balance.
Looking for more in-depth tips on how to improve your time management skills? This article can help you become an expert at time management.