Why is time management in the workplace so important?20 Mar 2018
How much time do you waste every day? Probably more than you realise. Time management skills are incredibly important not only for managers themselves but for their teams too. Here are a few reasons why training time-management skills are a must.
They allow you to meet deadlines and improve work quality
The worst state to be in when a deadline comes is a frantic one, rushing about trying to get everything done on time. With proper time management skills trained on ICML's management courses, you don't have to ever let yourself get into this state.
How often have you had weeks to do a project, only to put it off again and again? Then, when the deadline comes, you look back with regret about all the time you wish you could spend now the deadline is so close. Proper time management spreads a project over the time you have, avoiding the drop in quality that comes when rushing to finish something before the clock runs out.
They reduce stress
Having a lot to do is stressful. But what makes it infinitely worse is having a lot to do and feeling like there's no possible way you can do it all, no matter how hard you try. Time management skills allow you to complete the work you have, on time, and in a way that reduces stress.
If you and your employees think that the tasks you have are impossible to complete in the time available, your ability to actually do them is going to be diminished. Stressing out about not being able to finish in the time you have is eliminated when you understand how long things take and can stop yourself from procrastinating in the meantime.
They improve your decision making ability
You shouldn't make a decision with less than 40 per cent of the relevant information, but 70 per cent is the upper bound of what's needed.
Time management skills allow you to avoid 'analysis paralysis' – waiting for every last drop of information to come in before you make a decision.
Colin Powell, former Secretary of State of the United States, follows what he calls the 40-70 rule. You shouldn't make a decision with less than 40 per cent of the relevant information, but 70 per cent is the upper bound of what's needed. Wait any longer for more and somebody else could have acted already. When you understand the value of time, you won't get trapped in a cycle of waiting for every last drop of information to fall in before making a decision.
They allow your tasks to be solids, not gases
Good time management skills allow you to finish a task in the time that it should take, not the time that you have available.
To use an analogy, it's the difference between a task being like a solid substance or a gas. A solid substance is the shape it is – the physical space it sits in doesn't dictate the shape that it has. A gas, on the other hand, expands to take on the shape of the space that encloses it.
If you let your tasks behave like a gas, they'll expand into the time you have available. Imagine all your afternoon meetings one day were cancelled. All of a sudden, you have a lot more time than you first thought. If your tasks are like gases, the other jobs you had scheduled for that afternoon will now take up all the time, instead of the small amount you had originally scheduled for them between meetings. Strong time management discipline allows you to keep your tasks solid, not bloating out into the time you have free. Nothing should take longer than it needs to.
Time management is a crucial skill for getting the most out of your working days. For more information on how you can bring your skills to the next level, contact a member of the team at ICML today.