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The Definition of Time Management

What is the definition of time management?

In a nutshell, time management is the ability to manage time using a range of skills, tools and techniques to effectively manage tasks, projects, goals and schedules. Time management is a skill and can be taught either in a classroom or through books and courses which when mastered can result in a person accomplishing more, accomplishing more in less time and making time for new projects and tasks or eliminating unessential ones. In the business world the ability to manage your time well is a coveted skill and is one that all managers would do well to learn.

Why is time management important for managers?

For most managers – the work day goes something like this: you come into work with a list of things you need accomplished - half way through your first task, you run to put out a crisis, attend an impromptu meeting, counsel a team member and perhaps get your team to work on a project immediately because the client bumped up the deadline. As you get ready to leave at the end of the day – your to-do list stares mockingly at you – not one tick mark present on that never ending list.

For a manager it is imperative that you manage your time effectively in order to achieve the results required from both you and your team, but research shows that less than 5% of managers spend time panning their workdays and the majority of them list ‘the ability to manage time’ as a skill they would like to develop and master.

How does effective time management affect productivity?

Productivity can be described as getting the most done in the least possible time. With effective time management skills, a manager will be able to get more done in less time from himself and from his team.  Let me give you an example – most managers call weekly meetings and this is how they normally flow: 

  •  People stroll in 5 – 10 minutes late
  • There is a lot of non-essential talk then takes place
  • Once the topic of discussion is aired it sometimes get’s derailed by newer items
  • Meetings tend to run over time
  • Action points and meeting minutes are circulated and not followed up on 

If you multiply the amount of time taken for an ineffective meeting with the number of people there and the amount of money the company pays them per hour – poor time management can be very expensive.  An effective meeting would look like this 

  •   Agenda circulated before hand
  •   People walk in on time
  • Points are discussed as per the agenda
  • No derailment is allowed – matters are put on hold for the time being
  •   Meetings close on time 
  •  Action items are circulated and followed up with before the next meeting takes place.           

What effect does time management have on your career?

There are numerous benefits of being able to manage time effectively in terms of your career; here are the top ten positive effects of time management on your career:

  • It is a coveted skill and one that will be recognized by your boss, team and supervisors. 
  • It allows you to work on extra projects take on larger workloads or manage bigger projects – all of which could lead to your next promotion. 
  • It helps you manage your team more effectively which is a big plus for a manager.
  •  Being able to manage time effectively lets you delegate better which is an important aspect of building up your team.
  • You will earn a reputation for always sticking to schedules and timelines.
  • You can set yourself higher goals and achieve them e.g. earning an extra degree, attending a training program.
  •  You will be able to prioritize tasks and do the most important and urgent one’s first therefore avoiding last minute juggling of projects.
  •  Will effectively manage interruptions and take control of your time.
  •   Manage meetings in order to ensure maximum productivity for your team.

Definition of Time management and personal life balance?

Getting more done in less time at the office along with being able to plan and prioritize your daily activities has benefits for your personal life as well.

  • You will be able to make more time for your friends and family.
  • You will be able to schedule time for yourself to workout, do community service or learn a sport or new skill.
  • Effective time managers are also less likely to be stressed out about their to-do lists which has positive benefits on your health and relationships.      

How the understanding of the definition of time management can help managers design more effective plans.

As a manager knowing the rules or techniques of time management can help you design more effective work plans for you and your teams. It helps you identify what are the most urgent tasks that need to get done every day, what tasks are critical to achieving your teams objectives and what tasks can be eliminated altogether. It helps you allocate resources effectively, conduct more effective meetings, meet deadlines and achieve results. It also helps when working on long term projects which can be broken down into short-term daily or weekly goals rather than on large daunting task. Time management helps you delegate better and makes you a better manager. Also you team will benefit from learning about effective time management techniques simply by observing you or imitating what you do.

Related Articles:

Time Management Activities

Time Management Tips

Time Management Tools

Effective Delegation

Importance of Time Management 

Time Management Skills


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