Time management is simply the ability to plan how and where you spend your time throughout the work day. When you have a proper time management strategy in place, you will be more productive, enjoy your work more and have less stress. The process of implementing time management is really quite simple; it’s all about using the proper techniques.
Let’s start by defining what time management is not. Time management is not working more hours; actually, having to work more hours is the result of poor time management. A study performed at Stanford University indicates that when a person works more than 50 hours per week, productivity drops sharply. Being busy is also not time management; being too busy is again a sign of poor control over how you spend your time.
Productivity increases when using time management techniques. Productivity is basically getting more done in a given amount of time. There are many benefits to productivity other than getting more done, for instance your career will advance with greater momentum as you learn to become more productive. Also, when you are more productive you will have more free time to spend on personal interests such as family or hobbies.
Work enjoyment increases dramatically when using proper time management. The primary benefit here is, of course, that you are getting pleasure from the tasks performed throughout the day. However, there are a few other advantages as well. When you enjoy your work, you will have a higher quality result of your efforts, and you will be far less likely to have to redo a completed task. Stress is also greatly decreased when you are happier at work, reduced stress results in better health, sleep and work performance.
Everyone wants to have a good reputation; time management will increase your productivity and work enjoyment, thus shedding a more positive light on you. A good reputation gives you a competitive advantage in your career and your business life. When you get noticed, there are many other gains to be had such as more opportunities, expansion of your social network and more influence in your given field.
Creating a system to manage your time is not a difficult thing to do. It involves establishing several techniques, then training yourself to execute the techniques at the appropriate time. The hardest part is getting into the pattern of following your system. It can take up to 2 months to get in the habit of following your system, prepare to be diligent. One-time management technique is to make a list at the start of each day, 10-12 minutes invested in planning can save you 2 hours of wasted time and effort. Another great idea is to schedule communications. The “Got A Minutes” from your co-workers add up to way more than a few minutes, it can take up to 25 minutes to recover from an 11 second interruption.
As much as we wish it were possible, we can never get time back. When you manage your time wisely, you will not only improve productivity, you will also improve the quality of your life outside of work.