Time management skills refer to the ability to prioritize tasks and activities, and then allocate the right amount of time to the right activity.
Within organizations, time management skills refer to distributing the working hours such that specific time slots are assigned to activities according to their importance in order to make the best use of the available time and maximize personal efficiency in the workplace.
Time management is also sometimes referred to as ‘time budgeting’, where time is a limited resource and efficient utilization requires working smart instead of working hard.
Why is time management important
Time management is definitely easier said than done. However, the efforts are all worth it because with minor tweaks in your routine, you will be able to find time for everything you need to do. Following are some of the reasons why time management is given so much importance:
- Time is a limited resource. It is a known fact that time can neither be stored nor be borrowed. No matter how you choose to slice it, a day will still have the same 24 hours. Therefore, in order to get all your work done and have a sense of accomplishment, it is important not only to acknowledge its importance but also to practice time management in daily routine.
- It is seen as a measure of efficiency. Unlike the assembly line workers, it is difficult to measure or compare with standards the work output for white-collar workers. Therefore, managers have come up with ways to monitor the productivity of such white-collar workers in terms of the time taken by them to complete the tasks at hand.
How to improve time management skills
Even in instances of limited time and high pressure at work, time management skills can help you succeed and rise through the ranks by allowing little or no procrastination. Following are some tips that can help you improve your time management skills:
- Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep. This may sound irrelevant but is in fact one of the most effective tips for the purpose. Sacrificing sleep in order to get some extra hours might sound like a great idea for increasing productivity. However, for the optimal functioning of your body and mind it is important that you sleep at least 7-8 hours a day, without underestimating the value of this rest time.
- Ensure that your entire focus is on the task at hand. In an attempt at multi-tasking, you will get nothing more than a hassle of activities with practically nothing achieved at the end of the day. Therefore, it is better to prioritize and then concentrate on the one task you have at hand. For example, it is better to close all windows on your PC, put your phone away, and find a quiet place while you are, let’s say, working on a report.
- Utilize waiting time. We all tend to spend a lot of time travelling, waiting in queues, or sitting in the waiting room of another’s office. We can easily utilize all that down-time for doing things such as planning, if nothing more. It should not at all imply that you can’t take that time to let your mind and body take a break but sometimes if you are aware of a busy day ahead, you may want to take the down-time at a traffic signal or at the subway to at least prioritize what tasks need your attention first.