Think about the last time you were late for an appointment. Maybe you had a good reason. Perhaps you got stuck in traffic.

Whatever the reason, being late reflects poorly on us. It indicates a lack of planning, poor organization and improper time management.

Time management is a skill. Some people are always on time or even early. They make sure others never have to wait for them. Other people are always running late. This is because they have poor time management skills.

People with poor time management often turn assignments in late and request many deadline extensions. They are unable to multitask and they get overwhelmed easily.

Some people complain about the lack of time to finish everything on their plate. However, even the busiest and most productive people have the same 24 hours in a day that others have. Successful people can get a lot more out of their day because they know the art of time management at the workplace.

Many of us suffer from poor work-life balance because we are unaware of the importance of time management at the workplace.

What is Time Management?

Time management is a systematic approach to organizing and planning your time for different activities. Mastering the art of time management at the workplace increases your efficiency and productivity. You can do more in less time and stay focused and deliver even under strict deadlines and high-pressure work environments.

On the other hand, poor time management skills can lead to failure and stress.

Let’s look at an example.

Harpal met his friend, Ramesh, after a long time. The two friends started discussing their lives.

Ramesh was shocked to learn that despite his hectic job as the CEO of a start-up, Harpal also did meditation, worked out regularly, wrote books, and found time for hobbies such as playing the guitar and football. Harpal also spent time with his family and took three-four vacations every year.

Ramesh asked Harpal how he managed to pack in so much. Ramesh found it challenging to simply complete his office work on time each day. He regularly found himself working late hours just to meet a deadline. Ramesh couldn’t even imagine having time for hobbies.

Harpal said that he was very particular about time management. He planned each day carefully and ensured that he made optimal use of every minute.

Meaning & Definition of Time Management

The meaning of time management is simply the better use of one’s time.  It is a way to evaluate, streamline, and plan the things that you will do and the time you will spend on each of those activities. The primary aim of time management is to establish a process that helps us do more and better quality work in a day.

To improve your time management, it is important to spend time learning the process that improves your productivity.

  • Time management gives you better control over your day

  • You can get more work done in a day,  which increases your productivity and efficiency

  • Time management enables you to smartly allocate time to tasks. You are able to work confidently without any hurry or stress

  • Working more efficiently and with less stress is a prized quality in any professional. It can boost your career

  • Time management can also give you more time for self-development and improve your quality of life

Tips for mastering time management at the workplace

There are incredible benefits to mastering time management. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to manage your time and achieve your goals:

1. Review your current workflows and routine  

To solve any problem, we first need to understand it properly.  So if you wish to manage your time smartly you need to review how you spend your time.

Start by keeping a log of your daily work and how much time you spend on each activity. This review process will help you identify the things that are draining your time. What are the unnecessary and unproductive activities you waste your time on? It could be chatting, taking too many breaks, spending time on non-professional tasks, or checking social media.

2. Make a routine and follow it 

The most crucial step in the process of time management is to create a daily routine. Once you identify unproductive things that consume a lot of your time, you can cut them down or eliminate them from your routine.

Create a daily schedule and an action plan that lists the important tasks to be done each day. Strike each task off as you finish it. Reward yourself for completing all the day’s tasks. This will motivate you.

3. Prioritize 

While creating the list of tasks, you need to understand the value of each task and prioritize the most crucial tasks. Stack the early part of your workday with the most important tasks.  Make sure you do not spend time on non-essential tasks when there are other, more crucial tasks waiting.

3. Club similar tasks 

Let’s say you need to analyze the performance reports from social media platforms, and you also need to review the company’s Google Adwords campaign. In such a scenario, you should not list these two tasks for separate hours of the day.

These essential tasks are very similar. . Hence, by clubbing them together under the entry ‘digital marketing review’ you will be able to finish them faster.

4. Avoid Multitasking 

Sometimes, we feel we are doing more when we juggle multiple tasks simultaneously. However, multitasking isn’t very efficient. Constantly switching between different tasks means we cannot give each task the focus it deserves. If anything, multitasking is likely to slow you down and reduce your ability to finish tasks.

5. Allocate a fixed amount of time to each task 

Your daily work logs will help you understand which tasks you are spending too much time on. Try and finish certain tasks faster. You can ask your colleagues how long they take for those tasks to see if you need to increase your efficiency.

Create blocks of time for tasks. For instance, let’s say you fix two hours each day for working on the digital marketing campaigns or 30 minutes each day for reviewing your daily performance and planning the next day. Separate each block of time with short breaks to refocus. It will make the work less cumbersome and enhance your output.

6. Learn the power of saying no 

Unless you can put your foot down and learn to say no to additional work requests or requests for help from colleagues, you will never be able to finish your work on time. Instead of spending precious hours helping others finish their work or taking on additional non-urgent work, you need to work on completing your work first.

7. Don’t get distracted 

In today’s digital world, it is easy to get distracted. Social media can take up hours of our time if we don’t learn to monitor our use of it. It has rightly been called a big distraction.

If we want to get some real work done, we need to stop getting distracted by social media all Shutting the door to your cubicle, opening only those browser windows that you work on,  and turning off data connectivity on your cell phone are some of the steps that you can take to eliminate social media distractions.

Conclusion

By mastering the process of time management at the workplace, you can become a better performer and achieve your life’s goals with considerable ease. On the other hand, failure to manage time can lead to problems like a loss of focus, procrastination, failure to meet deadlines, and unprofessional image, and stress.

At Harappa Education, we understand the importance of time management in the workplace.  Our Practicing Excellence course aims to make you a master of time management, develop a strong work ethic, and become a superlative performer. The course has a highly-impactful section on the Four Selfs of Excellence which, among other things, helps you understand the benefits of time management. There are various tips, tricks, and best practices of time management.  You can use the invaluable time management practices in the course to enrich your life and become better at whatever you do!


Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about topics related to the Lead habit such as What is LeadershipMeaning of ResilienceHumilitySelf-EsteemWork EthicMeaning of Mentoring.

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