Time management is a skill where an individual or a team manages the available time efficiently so as to complete all the expected or required tasks as per a plan or a schedule. It also signifies how well a person or a team can divide and optimize the allocated time to complete a process which may consist of different steps, tasks, activities or goals.
Time management is an important personality trait especially when working in an organization. Managing time properly increases efficiency, output and helps a person grow personally as well as professionally. Time management is a quality parameter which is required in any business task or activity. There are complete fields dedicated to various aspects of time management like project management, production scheduling, logistics, delivery of goods and services, SLA management etc. All the above fields have time management as their core principle.
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Time management is an extremely important parameter in utilizing the existing time and ensuring maximum work is done in that period. Every individual, whether a student, professional, manager, entrepreneur or home-maker have limited time available in which multiple tasks have to be completed. Without time management, one would never be able to complete tasks in a given time period.
It would also hamper the quality of output, efficiency and increase work load. Hence, time management is important in ensuring completing tasks based on priority in a limited time period. Apart from time management, the other effective skills for management are leadership, team management, good governance, decision making, effective communication etc.
In any field of business or personal life, time management plays an important role in ensuring work is done on time and with maximum efficiency. A few important steps and tips for effective time management are as follows:
For any individual, it is important to set the final objective or goals which need to be achieved. This is the first step in effective time management.
Certain tasks are more important as compared to others. Hence time management involves prioritizing work and goals so that accordingly time and resources can be allocated.
Every task needs to be given a certain time period to be completed. Thus, defining a certain time period is required in the management of tasks to be done to achieve goals.
Time management requires that resources which are needed to execute a task are arranged and organized. If that is not done, then there are delays and which eventually leads to incomplete tasks.
Time management also observes that a single individual cannot perform all the tasks single-handedly. Hence delegation of work needs to be done so that workload is divided into smaller goals & tasks, and together it helps to achieve the final goals.
Based on priority, there are certain tasks which can be avoided or certain processes which are redundant. It is utmost important that the non-priority tasks and irrelevant processes are reduced.
Time management should be done in such a way that it creates a stress-free working environment. Based on planning and prioritizing, stressful work situations must be avoided, as stress will lead to poor efficiency and work output.
Planning for tasks beforehand is a thumb-rule for effective management. Any individual should not only plan for the tasks at hand, but also consider situations where there is a delay, failure or emergency task which need to be performed.
There is no single way in which a person learns effective time management but it is a gradual process which takes time to learn and develop those skills.
Managing time properly is an important skill which people must keep on learning in their field of work. Some of the main advantages of time management are:
1. Time management helps in increasing efficiency and motivation of people.
2. Optimal utilization of resources are done by better planning & team management.
3. Leadership skills are honed by better and efficient time management.
4. Wastage and redundant processes are reduced.
5. Time management helps in cost reduction as prioritized tasks are given preference.
6. Lesser efforts have to be done as repetitive tasks are avoided.
7. Time management reduces tasks and improved work life balance.
8. Improved efficiency at workplace helps in career development for an employee.
Effective time management is always very useful. However, sometimes time management can also lead to problems if not done correctly. Certain disadvantages are as below:
1. Unstructured planning can lead to failure of all tasks.
2. Wrongly defined goals can create improper planning and resource allocations.
3. Being too time bound can lead to mental and physical stress without taking breaks.
4. Poor time management can also increase costs, repetition in work and reduction in output quality.
There are several ways in which time management can be useful. Examples of time management can be based on tasks being undertaken, objectives and the field or area of work. Some examples of time management are:
Time has to be managed keeping in mind the preparation for the final exams. Hence, students have to daily give time for college classes, spend some time in the library, play sports with friends, complete assignments and spend time with family. Allocating the right amount of time would help students be stress free and perform well.
Time management is about ensuring achieving daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly goals. Hence people need to plan the to-do lists, priorities tasks based on deliverables & revenue impact, acquire new skills, focus on fitness and give personal time to family. Thus, companies offer things like flextime and the working time for employees. Above that, employees are also compensated with overtime pay.
Another time management example is for home-makers. Women who manage households need to manage time by ensuring house hold chores are done, grocery is purchased, kids’ homework is done etc.
Thus, examples of time management are different for individuals, companies, departments etc. based on the final objectives, resources available, time frame required etc.
Hence, this concludes the definition of Time Management along with its overview.
This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.
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