Effective Time Management | 4 mins read

Essential Elements of Effective Time Management

essential elements of effective time management
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Effective time management is critical to ensure career success, gain work-life balance, and instill a sense of confidence. A disorganized approach and incomplete planning cause anxiety, low morale, and difficulty in achieving personal goals.

Companies are also negatively impacted when time management skills are not a priority because it is much harder to monitor workflows and meet targets.

In a global economy where market conditions are tough, businesses must do everything possible to maintain a competitive edge. Creating the best product or service will not always result in profitability or business success when the workplace structure is disorganized.

One of the best methods to combat disorganization and other bottlenecks is to implement and invest in time management strategies and software.

  • Everything Takes Longer - When an indnividual is working on many projects at once, it takes much longer to complete everything required.
  • Multiples Mistakes - The individual is less focused on the task at hand, making it much more likely to forget something or make a mistake.
  • Shortened Attention Span - When an employee is working on multiple projects at the same time, there is lower grey-matter density in the brain, which results in decreased concentration and memory.
  • Increased Anxiety - Most multitaskers are already anxious because they feel they have to work on multiple projects in a short time frame. Higher anxiety leads to greater mistakes and more do-overs.

What's Effective Time Management?

Though it's impossible to always plan for every unforeseen event, organizing and planning out the day can help to mitigate any challenges. Managing time effectively allows employees to properly allocate and arrange hours to fulfill work requirements and the most pressing matters.

Because the worker is meeting his/her targets, the company can also maintain profitability and a competitive edge.

Various workplaces take different approaches to time management, including

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Essential Approaches to Time Management

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1. Cliff-Hanger Approach
Managers need to align their goals with a realistic employee workload to ensure a successful outcome. In many instances, the leadership team is too focused on meeting its own objectives and therefore puts too many responsibilities on team members.

If it isn't possible to hire new staff or rearrange requirements, employees have no choice but to meet the deadlines set for them. This means prioritizing quantity and scheduling out the day so every single task is complete on time, which may require putting quality second.

2. Impulsive Approach
Other managers are less concerned with meeting deadlines and take a more spontaneous approach to work. Though these time management techniques may help to ease employee workload, it can also decrease motivation and productivity.

The impulsive approach is generally used by those in the writing or art-related industry. It may encourage creativity, but does not work well for growth-oriented businesses.

People tend to become unmotivated when there aren't a set of clear, time-sensitive objectives to meet. This results in a workforce that has difficulty meeting deadlines.

3. Steady Approach
The steady approach is a balance between a cliff-hanger strategy and the impulsive approach. It provides the most optimal outcome for both employee and management by utilizing time as a motivating factor but not as the most critical factor.

The leadership team uses this strategy to align the emotional needs of the workforce with business goals to optimize project management and ensure employee satisfaction. Employees can also take a steady approach by considering both due dates and the amount of workload before starting on a project.

Examples of Time Management

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Successful individuals tend to have an array of characteristics that make it easier to meet goals and find career success. The top examples to improve time management include -

1. Plan and Prioritize
A spontaneous attitude is great to have for trips and adventures, but it is not a top-quality to have in the workplace. Effective time managers know how to plan ahead and prioritize key requirements by assessing their workload and aligning it with the company's needs.

This requires understanding what is expected, who expects it, and the seniority of the person asking for it. Good time managers also know how to minimize distractions such as office gossip, internet surfing, or checking social media. They set a routine and stick to it, regardless of the circumstances surrounding them.

2. Instill Self-Discipline
Even the most talented individual will have difficulty completing urgent tasks if he/she is undisciplined. Time management requires an employee to handle his/her environment with ease and control the resources available.

Self-discipline instills confidence and a sense of direction in the employee, which results in greater efficiency and productivity. Self-awareness is another key aspect of discipline, as self-discipline requires one to gain insight into which conditions help to improve performance.

For example, an employee may work to complete key requirements first thing in the morning because he is aware that this time is when he is most alert and productive. He also knows that colleagues tend to be quieter and more productive in the morning, which means he will have fewer distractions.

3. Utilize Time Management Software
There are several time management apps and/or software available for workplace use. Though many employees still prefer to write to-do lists, there is a growing number who prefer outsourcing the work to a technology system.

Many solutions can track time spent on projects, provide assessments of daily platform use, show social media or other non-work-related usages, and pinpoint distraction areas.

Several apps help to break bad screen time habits by shutting off access to everything except phone calls or text messages during certain times of the day. Most in-house technologies integrate with other software systems and send alerts to management when there is a project update.

  • Drive and determination
  • Self-reliance
  • Strong willpower
  • Patience
  • Integrity and a strong moral code
  • Passion about work
  • Can easily connect to others
  • Optimistic

Key Takeaways

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In conclusion, here are the essential elements of effective time management

  • Time management helps to improve employee satisfaction and ensure company profitability. It is in both the employee's and organization's interest to instill time management strategies.
  • The cliff-hanger approach is focused on meeting deadlines as opposed to managing employee workload. On the other end of the spectrum is the impulse approach, which is focused on spurring creativity as opposed to emphasizing deadline requirements.
  • The steady time approach is the best option to manage company deadlines with employee workload. Managers who use this approach understand that time is valuable, but so is worker satisfaction.
  • The top time management tips include planning and prioritizing, instilling self-discipline, and utilizing time management software.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

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