Time management, productivity and work life balance have become three of the main factors that influence the way we do work. Amongst this time is the only one that influences the others and several other factors. Time when managed well can reap benefits and can help achieve more than one could have ever imagined. Hence knowing what is time management is very important in this day and age.
What is time management?
Time management is exactly what it sounds like- efficient managing of time. We use efficient methods to utilize time in such a way that we do more tasks in a lesser amount of time. Thus knowing what is time management can help us achieve the high productivity levels that we desire and is hence a useful productivity tool.
What are time management skills?
Now that we know what is time management , it is necessary to know how to improve in time management. Various skills to manage time better are in the form of modifications in habits. Thus they can be incorporated into our daily lives.
1. Effective Planning
Good planning is the first step towards achieving great things. Beginning each day with a list of targets for the day can put you in the forefront of having a productive day. These targets could be anything that you need to get done that day. Arranging them according to their priority level will help you know what is time management and what you need to get done first.
Make sure that you also allot a set amount of time period for each task. This makes sure that you complete each task without wasting too much time. This is the primary step towards using this list as a tool for time efficiency.
2. Setting goals and objectives
Knowing what one wants to achieve is imperative to know how to achieve it. If we were to put in efforts aimlessly, all our time and hard work would be in vain. No matter how effective our knowledge of what is time management, if there are no set goals and objectives then it’s all worth nothing. Rather than wasting our time and energy on goals that are not our priorities, we must etch out a proper set of goals before we begin our work.
3. Set deadlines to know what is time management
We usually have many tasks to take care of in a day. In order to begin a new task, it is essential that we finish the previous task. Without the presence of a deadline, we might have the tendency to extend the length of our tasks for longer than needed. We might take our work more leniently. Thus it is important to set deadlines for ourselves to know what is time management.
4. Delegation of responsibilities
All tasks that we are expected to do everyday, might not always be for our best capabilities. There might be some tasks that would fit somebody else’s skillset better. Or a task that someone already has experience with and can hence deliver a better quality of work. Delegation is the distribution of tasks among people. This delegation should be ideally done based on the person’s abilities and experience. This not only ensures an optimum quality of work but also helps you understand what is time management .
5. Prioritizing activities as per their importance
Among the many tasks we receive everyday, they all differ in various aspects. May it be in the amount of time they take to finish, their deadline, their level of urgency, etc. This makes it important to know which task to prioritize as the most important. When we begin prioritizing tasks as per their importance, we gain clarity about what we need to focus on first. Thus we know where to direct our full attention and time towards in order to stay on top of our set of work tasks and goals. This can be properly done only when we know what is time management.
Examples of time management
Various examples of time management can be learnt from various successful personalities. The main thing that seems to be common with all strategies to manage time is the knowledge of one’s capabilities. Once we know our own abilities it is easier to set boundaries and targets and deadlines for ourselves. This lets us know what is time management.
Another important factor is prioritising your responsibilities better. When we realise the amount of time we have on our hands, prioritise better and thus save more time.
Why is time management important and what are time management benefits?
Now that we know what is time management and how to achieve it is important to know how our efforts will benefit us. The various benefits of time management can motivate us to put in more efforts.
1. Save more time by knowing what is time management
Time management lets you do more in less time. The time you would otherwise spend in deciding how to prioritise your tasks is saved. The more moments you get by proper efficiency, the more productivity you achieve. By knowing what is time management, you can improve your skill set or learn new methods of doing your work better. Achieving more tasks in less time also has a positive impact on your productivity levels.
2. Feel content with your life
When we don’t utilise our time effectively, we are left with tasks to do even at the end of the day. All our time gets used up in wasting extra time in our other tasks or we end up wasting our time in non-work related tasks. These are the reasons why time management is important. It enables us to get things done faster and well in advance, thus letting us enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. This satisfaction further motivates us to work faster and better the next day, thus upping our time efficiency. This makes knowing what is time management an important tool.
3. Find More Time for yourself
Work has always taken up a major chunk of our lives. And now with the uprise of the culture of work from home with async work, it can become very difficult to differentiate between one’s work and personal lives. This can easily take a toll on one’s personal time and hence, mental health.
With better time efficiency, we can be at liberty to exercise our body and treat our mental health. Taking care of our overall well being is a direct outcome of understanding why time management is important.
4. Reduce Stress by knowing what is time management
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the number of tasks that are expected of us everyday. These feelings related to tasks that are work related might be made worse by the expectations from our personal lives. Avoiding this feeling can be easily done when we understand why time management is important. Proper time efficiency keeps us on the top of your to-do list and makes sure that you get things done well in advance.
5. Have More Energy to Achieve More
As we now know, time management reduces stress as you gain more minutes to do things you love. With reduced pressure and higher satisfaction levels, one also feels more energetic to do more. As prioritization of tasks helps you get things done, you can also add newer things to your schedule.
With this new found time and energy, you can learn new skills and develop hobbies. Both of these can aid your professional as well as personal growth. This can also contribute to forging stronger personal bonds within your family and friends as you spend more time with them.
Techniques of time management
Now that we know why time management is important, let us take a look at some of the main techniques of time management. These techniques can be used by anyone as it suits their needs and lifestyles.
Time management 4 quadrants by Covey
Stephen Covey, an American educator is popularly known for his four quadrant theory on time management. In this theory, he proposed the division of one’s time and responsibilities in four categories of four quadrants. Each of these quadrants are named Quadrant I, Quadrant II, Quadrant III and Quadrant IV.
- Quadrant I contains tasks and responsibilities that are important and urgent for the person to do. This task cannot be postponed or delegated and need to be done at any cost.
- Quadrant II contains tasks that are important but not urgent. This might include long term goals or any actions that do not require immediate response.
- Quadrant III contains tasks that are very urgent but not important. These tasks are generally the ones that do not contribute to one’s productivity but these are menial tasks that need to be done. These include tasks like email management which might not directly influence productivity but will help you in the long run.
- Quadrant IV includes activities which are neither important nor urgent. These tasks can be delegated or outright cancelled given they only waste your time without improving your productivity.
Eisenhower’s time management matrix
The famous US President Dwight D.Eisenhower was popular for his efficiency skills. The Eisenhower time management Matrix was made based on his tactics and is used for prioritizing tasks on the basis of urgency. This matrix is divided into four quadrants, namely Do, Decide, Delegate and Eliminate.
- The Do quadrant consists of your most important and urgent tasks. These tasks are the ones whose deadlines are soon approaching or cannot be delayed for whatever reason. Thus these tasks feature the highest on your priority list.
- The Decide quadrant consists of tasks which are important but not entirely urgent. These tasks and responsibilities are the ones which contribute to your long term goals. Tasks in this category should be scheduled and handled such that they do not enter the Do quadrant.
- The Delegate quadrant refers to tasks which are not important but urgent. These tasks do not directly contribute to your productivity but are important as they get menial tasks done. This task can be postponed or even delegated as long as they are eventually done.
- The Eliminate quadrant are tasks that steal time away from your productivity. These include mindless surfing on the internet or getting busy with phone calls etc. These tasks should be avoided at all costs.
Tips to time management
The above mentioned knowledge of what is time management can prove useless if we do not know how to apply it to our daily life. Here are a few tips to time management to help you achieve your goals.
1. Using time management tools and apps
Various time management tools are available to automate this task. With these tools it becomes easier to prioritise once tasks and responsibilities want to know what is time management.
Mailman– for better time management by managing your emails.
It is an email management software that lets you function in your inbox at your terms. It lets you set predetermined slots. Mailman makes sure that you receive emails in only that dedicated slot. Thus Mailman takes away distractions as you know what is time management.
You can also allow certain important senders to bypass these preset slots. Thus, you can continue receiving only those important emails as part of your email management strategy.. Mailman also blocks emails from unknown sources. But it gives you a summary of those blocked emails for you to see through.
Kiwi– efficiency with the Google universe
Kiwi identifies how important but extensive Gmail can be. Hence it combines all of Gmail and its counterparts, including Contacts and Calender, into one desktop application. The app also brings along the Google Docs and Google Sheets associated with the Gmail account. Thus Kiwi basically brings all of your Gmail essentials under a roof to let you know what is time management.
Sortd– a project tool for your efficiency skills
Sortd is a project management tool. It allows a visual depiction of tasks to ensure ease of executing various tasks. In Sortd, tasks can be converted to labels that can be added and deleted as they are completed. Email being turned to tasks and then deleted, will well lead you to better email management and perhaps towards Inbox zero. You can also group the task according to categories, for example, according to time, according to urgency or according to the department involved.
2. Applying the 4 quadrants in real life
Now that we know what the different types of quadrants, it is now the need to know how to use them. This time management techniques can be used differently by people according to their needs.
- Keep them apart: Make separate matrices for your personal and professional lives. This makes it easier to prioritise your responsibilities better and keep your tasks separate.
- Set a limit: Even though one might find the day I have many tasks it is wiser to limit the number of responsibilities one has. Trying to add too many tasks to the quadrants might make you feel lost as you tick off your matrix.
- Focus better: The metric can be also used to understand what tasks need to be done on that day itself. Thus you know that you can postpone any tasks that are not urgent. And hence you can focus on the tasks at hand without feeling overwhelmed.
3. Committing to a schedule
Knowing what is time management is all about prioritising your tasks and responsibilities. This can only be done in due time by setting a schedule. This schedule can be made using the above tools and matrices. Using these, you can help you set a proper schedule by setting correct priorities and allotting appropriate amounts of slots to your tasks. Committing to a schedule also enables you to ignore tasks that might seem important but are actually not. Eliminating these tasks also helps you reduce anxiety and lets you focus on the tasks that matter.
Time Management Resources
Various time management resources are also available. These resources are more interactive. They help you get better knowledge about what is time management and how you can improve in career.
Worksheets on time management
The above Matrix has given way to various worksheets that can be used as templates. These templates can be used by anyone who wants to improve upon their time management skills. Here are a few of our favourite worksheets.
Ted talk about time management
Tedx conventions have soon become one of the main sources of exchange of information and knowledge. It has given a stage to various successful people to come out and share their experiences and tips. Here are some of our favourite TED talks about time management.
Time Management Games
Various games and Android games are often seen as a mode of entertainment without contributing to productivity. But there are various time management games that help you understand its value.
- How long Is a minute is a game that shows us how long the passage of time is. In this game a group of people is made to close their eyes and sit down and stand up only when they think a minute has passed. Another person keeps a timer so that they know when to open their eyes.
- The Mayo Jar is a game that shows us how important prioritisation of tasks is. In this game you start with an empty jar and materials like large rocks, small stones, pebbles and sand are given to you. All you need to do is to fill up the jar with the most amount of materials. The only way this is possible is to to start with the big rocks and then fill up the jar with the other materials. The rocks thus are your main urgent tasks which need to be done first.
- Desert Island is a game that makes you realise what’s important to you. In this game you are given two minutes to write down all essential items that you will need on a deserted Island. This game makes you realise that most things that we need everyday are mostly non essential.
- Time Squared is a game that involves 24 squares of paper. On each square mention the activities you do. For example if you sleep for 7 hours, write ‘Sleep’ on 7 squares. Mention other activities on as many squares after that. The blank remaining squares are the amount of hours you are actually productive.
Best book time management
Loads of books and literature has been dedicated to the art of time managing and what it is all about. These self help books can provide a lot of inside and how how various people manage their time. These tips and tricks can help us in corporate these time management skills in our lives too.
- “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey
- “How to Stop Procrastinating: A Simple Guide to Mastering Difficult Tasks and Breaking the Procrastination Habit” by S.J. Scott
- “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy
- “The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich” by Timothy Ferriss
- “Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life” by Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow
- “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity” by David Allen
- “Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World” by Cal Newport
- “Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day” by Jake Zeratsky and John Knapp
- “168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam
- “The Checklist Manifesto: How To Get Things Right” by Atul Gawande
Time management memes
Now that we understand what is time management and how important it is it might seem stress full tu to understand all these steps. To break the tension a little and to instill some humour back here are some of our favourite time management memes.
Time management quotes
Understanding what is time management and how we can use it for our benefit has been a topic of wonderment for many people. Many famous and successful people too struggle with this. These time management quotes can help essay and motivate on a journey to being better at time management efficiency.
“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”Henry David Thoreau
“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”Stephen R. Covey
“Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.”Winston Churchill
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”Jim Rohn
“The shorter way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.”Mozart
“Better to be three hours too soon, than a minute too late.”William Shakespeare
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”Mother Teresa
“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”Charles Richards
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”Abraham Lincoln
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”Tony Robbins
Know what is time management and more!
Now that I have seen all the different facets of what is time management we realise how we can save it in the smallest of ways. In ways as simple as prioritising your tasks and setting targets using tools we can easily save ample minutes and hours. Various time management resources show us that we are not alone in this quest for better time efficiency.
Time management is the practice of efficiently using time to achieve more goals in the most productive manner.
1. Good time management allows the students to complete assignments, projects on time.
2. It also enables students to plan ahead of time to ensure good quality of work.
3. With time efficiency, students also get time for their own self and personal growth.
1. It ensures higher productivity in the work place.
2. It also allows employees to produce good quality of work in a shorter span.
3. Personal and professional growth is ensured.
1. Set priorities first to ensure that all urgent tasks are taken care of.
2. Set goals and targets.
3. Set a time limit to all your tasks.
4. Organize your workplace.
5. Limit your distractions by turning your notifications off.
“Time management” is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between specific activities.
It intends to help us complete more tasks in a shorter span of time. This is achieved without compromising on the quality of work.
1. Effective Planning
2. Setting goals and objectives
3. Setting deadlines
4. Delegation of responsibilities
5. Prioritizing activities as per their importance
1. Best for Email management: Mailman
2. Best for Work Schedule: Toggl Track.
3. Best for Personal Life: TimeTree.
4. Best for Multiple People: Trello.
5. Best Additional Resources: Calendar.