Working Effectively and Efficiently

Time management is the ability to plan out and complete tasks in a timely and productive manner. This includes deciding how much time to spend on each task to maximize time during the day and throughout the week.

It’s important to work both effectively and efficiently. Think of efficiency as being part of effectiveness. It’s not just about getting things done, but doing the best things, and doing them in the best way. Efficient time management is about how quickly you complete something, but effectiveness first considers whether you should be doing it at all.

Better time management skills can improve many aspects of work performance. Employees will be more effective and efficient, and the results include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Less procrastination
  • More career growth
  • Better decision-making
  • Better work-life balance
  • Less stress on employees

How Poor Time Management Affects Business

It’s important to see how poor time management affects employees and their work. Here are just a few of the ways that it can impact your business:

Lack of Focus and Prioritization
A problem for many employees is lack of priorities and focus, which can stem from not having clear goals in place. Most workers have more work than they can complete in a day or week, so not being able to prioritize importance is a problem.

Focusing on shorter tasks or being distracted by emails, chats, and texts can end up wasting time, energy, and effort. When projects being to build up, employees can start to feel overwhelmed. Jumping from project to project without time for a break or a way to get ahead can lead to exhaustion and lack of engagement.

Decreased Morale and Motivation
When employees are feeling overwhelmed and under pressure, their work suffers. While they know that it is suffering, they are often unmotivated to change.

Low motivation and morale can breed across your organization and be a huge detriment to employees’ mental health.

Missed Deadlines
With poor time management skills, employees will often miss deadlines, meetings, and calls, which again will affect their performance. Other employees will be left to pick up the pieces.

If time is money, then poor time management is very costly – and it’s not just revenue and profit that’s lost. Relationships can be affected, too. If employees are missing deadlines or being underproductive, relationships with clients and stakeholders can be affected as well.

Best Practices for Time Management at Work

There are simple things that employees and managers can do to start mastering time management.

Starting each day by completing a to-do list. Starting each day with a plan can help decipher what needs to be accomplished and plan out the workday accordingly.

Ranking the importance of tasks. Ranking tasks from most to least important helps prioritize tasks. This process helps workers focus their time more effectively so everything can be completed to a higher quality.

Finding their most productive time. Have employees pay attention to when, where, and how they’re the most productive. Whether they are a morning person or more productive in the afternoon, have them focus their time and energy into their most important tasks at those times.

Keeping track of time spent on different tasks. Understanding how much time is spent on certain tasks can help workers make the most of their workdays. By keeping track of how much time is spent per task, they can really see how much time is spent working, checking email, or chatting with coworkers.

Identifying goals. Setting goals gives employees a clear understanding of where they should focus each day. For example, fit an employees’ goals into a project’s overarching goals. This can include deadlines, quotas, etc.

Taking breaks. There’s a lot of research on what the appropriate work to break ratio should be, but the consensus is that breaks are needed. Taking short breaks throughout the workday can help employees stay motivated while avoiding fatigue and eye strain.

Delegating work. Delegating tasks can make everyone more productive and projects run more efficiently. For example, if a report is needed to complete a project, but a coworker is better at running those reports, passing the task to them allows for everyone to focus on their skills.

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Time Management Overview