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What is Time Management?
We all get the same 24 hours every day, so why is it that some of us seem to get more done than others?
Is it because some of us have less to do than others? Is it because some people are favoured more than others in a business so, therefore, get delegated to less. Is it linked to how motivated we are? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, those that get more done are good at managing their time.
Time management is about being more productive. It’s about getting high-quality work done in the time that is available to us.
Here’s the thing. There’s often a common misconception that time management is about using a range of tools to manage tasks. This isn’t necessarily true as time management is much more about attitude and behaviour than having the tools.
Time management is getting the most from your day by prioritising, scheduling and planning out tasks. It’s about prioritising the tasks you are working on to ensure you are working on the most important tasks and not allowing the less important or valuable tasks to get in the way. It’s about achieving the goals that you set yourself or your business sets you.
As we mentioned before, having the tools to prioritise, plan and schedule are valuable but having the right attitude is also massively important. In order to manage yourself more effectively around the time you have available your mindset needs to be right – it needs to be positive.
You also need to be disciplined. If you choose an approach to managing your time you need to stick to it – regardless of how much pressure you’re under. It’s these tools and mindset that will get the tasks you have on your to-do list done.
The Impact of Poor Time Management on a Business
We probably well understand the impact that poor time management has on us as an individual. Missed deadlines, reduced quality work, stress and burnout. But, imagine that multiplied by the number of people that work in your organisation.
Poor time management can have a detrimental impact on a business. And, left for too long can get very serious.
What impact can poor time management have on a business? Here are a few ideas:
- Lower levels of energy and motivation. If team members feel like they can’t get everything done, they don’t get a feeling of completion and satisfaction. This feeling can lead to lower levels of energy and motivation. Lower levels of energy lead to lower levels of productivity and performance. The risk then becomes that the business puts even more pressure on people to get things done, but rather than fix the problem, it exasperates it.
- Increased costs. If you are not doing enough in the time available, people will need to work longer. Working longer means that the business has to pay for overtime or more resource to make sure the work gets done. Another cost associated with poor time management comes from the potential increase in sickness. Increased sickness puts pressure on everyone else too.
- Damaged client/customer relationships. If we miss deadlines or work is of low quality, clients/customers become upset with the business, and this can do irreversible damage to the reputation of the company. This also becomes more challenging if you have contracts in place with clients that include SLA’s (service level agreements). If these are missed or not met, there could be financial penalties.
- Strained working relationships. Things not being done on time can also have a knock-on effect on the business. One person’s delay may also delay someone else, and so on. Knock-ons will put pressure on working relationships, making it even harder to get things done. Stress and tension can also produce negative behaviour, and this quickly spreads to others too.
What Can A Business Do to Address the Impact of Poor Time Management?
- Intervention. Having open and honest conversations about people workload is the first step to understanding what is going on.
- Make it OK to push back. Promote an environment where people can push back and say no without fear of reprimand. Being able to push back reduces the likelihood of people taking too much on.
- Make workloads more visible. Look for ways for employees to make their workload more visible. Making things more visible supports better conversations and reduces overload
- Time Management Training. A time management training course can provide the business and individuals with some useful tools to be more productive and have better conversations about their workload.
Time Management Training Course
If you would like to know more about what time management is and how to reduce the impact of poor time management on your business, your team or you as an individual then take a look at our time management training course for helpful tips, guidance and advice.