Time is a vital resource. All of our activities, as well as psychological and physical states, are heavily influenced by an invisible flow of hours and minutes through the day. And it’s very accurate to say that the success of every individual and every business depends a lot on how they use their time.
When we simply move with the flow, it often takes us in unexpected directions. It can move either too rapidly or too slowly, and, thus, we may easily end up in the wrong place at the wrong moment. In contrast, with a conscious and intentional approach to time management, we can better control where we’re going and how fast. So, if you have a specific business goal in mind, effective time management is pivotal.
We will explore the main benefits of effective time management for your business in this article. But first, let’s see what time management is about.
What Is Time Management?
Shortly put, TIME MANAGEMENT is a set of practices aimed to help you structure your day, control hours spent on tasks, and, thereby, successfully attain desired objectives. These practices encompass:
- Planning – An act of looking through all your to-dos for a certain period and organizing them in manageable lists (daily, weekly, or monthly). Preferably, these lists should be arranged in order of task priority and considering your primary goals.
- Estimation – The assessment of possible task or project duration by using credible data and different analysis methods, including expert judgment, parametric estimation, etc.
- Time tracking – The process of recording how long it takes to fulfill a piece of work, which can be done with either a simple paper timesheet or a more advanced timekeeping tool.
- Analysis – The evaluation of performance results in order to revise and enhance your time management experience and achieve goals easier.
There is no one-size-fits-all methodology in time management. You need to try out different techniques and see which of them works better for you. Experiment, and you’ll undoubtedly find a perfect combination of time management methods for yourself. Additionally, look for opportunities to start your day off right by adding a meditation or exercise to your morning routine. It gives you more focus, more energy, and confidence. A favorite is 19 Minute Yoga, an iPhone app for short yoga classes.
Key Benefits of Time Management for Business
Shortly after you commence managing time more intentionally and efficiently, you will observe some noticeable improvements in the condition of your business. Here are the three main of them:
Effective time management allows you, your team, and your company to show consistent work results and infallibly attain performance objectives (provided that they are attainable in the first place). Below are several reasons why time management boosts productivity:
- Better work organization – As the fundamental element of time management, task planning prevents chaos and helps us handle everything in an orderly manner. Though unexpected events and emergencies cannot be entirely avoided, you’re bound to have more control over your day with a good and thought-through plan in front of your eyes.
- Stronger focus on what’s important – Besides bringing more structure into your life, planning reduces decision fatigue by ridding you of the need to think what to do next again and again. With a clear plan created in advance, the only thing you have to do is to stick to it and make it work. Hence, it’s crucial to pay enough attention to your planning chore and do it thoughtfully. Evaluate, prioritize, estimate, and you’ll never fail to design a productive to-do list with a manageable schedule.
- Optimal use of energy – Time management asks us to take into account both the number of available hours and our energy levels. In other words, it’s not so smart to struggle with tasks lazily and half-heartedly for an entire evening. Instead, it’s better to jump on the most important and challenging pieces of job during your productivity peaks and dedicate several hours of uninterrupted focus to them. By thinking when you’re most able to work hard, you’ll gain much more.
- Improved work-life balance – If you have and follow a good plan, you become able to accomplish a higher number of professional goals in a shorter period. When you complete all your work-related tasks on schedule, there’s no need to devote a second of your time off to work. With an adequate approach to time management, you and your team members will enjoy a greater chance to fully attend to their personal needs, relax, and have some quality time with the loved ones. As an outcome, there will be lower stress, fewer burnout risks, and more productive performance in your team.
The amount of expenses incurred by your business is also determined by how well your team manages time. Regardless of whether you work with salaried or hourly employees, their time costs money. When one performs sluggishly, they obviously produce less than those working at a regular pace and to the best of their abilities. They accomplish fewer tasks and, thus, hinder the overall progress. Needless to say, in case your profit directly depends on the volume of workers’ output, you lose money whenever your staff members don’t utilize their time in an optimal way.
Another dreadful outcome of unreasonably slow performance is the failure to meet project deadlines. Unable to dodge delays, you will pay more salaries than expected. Besides, unmet deadlines can seriously threaten your business’s reputation and relationships with clients.
A perfect solution to all these problems is time management. Encourage your team to plan tasks thoughtfully and do everything to help them utilize their working hours better. In this way, you’ll achieve significant cost-efficiency and avoid financial loss.
Improved work quality
Lastly, a good time management strategy will let you get rid of quality risks. Planning and scheduling ensure that we have enough working hours at our disposal to complete any task by the deadline, without a hurry, at a moderate pace. In this way, we experience less stress and anxiety that like to feed on our energy and interfere with our performance ever so often. Plus, time and task planning, as well as a little bit of dedication to pull off your best effort, will help you fight distractions effectively. As a result, you will get more extended periods of focused work and keener mindfulness of essential details and nuances. With all that, the quality of your work will rise together with satisfaction for your multiple accomplishments.
Elina Kukalo is a Content Writer at actiTIME – a multifunctional time tracking tool with some useful productivity-boosting features. She shares quality evidence and practical tips on project, time, and team management in the actiTIME blog.