Time management helps us to schedule and rank work in accordance with our desired outcomes. It teaches us to acquire the proper mentality and successful actions in order to succeed in anything we undertake. So, those who rigorously use time management are able to achieve excellent performance outcomes in both their professional and personal lives.
Still, have questions about these advantages of time management? Here, we summarize some of the most compelling data and analysis that will persuade even skeptical readers of the significance of time management.
How Do People Spend Their Time?
- Adults in the US typically sleep 6.8 hours at night (Gallup).
- In the United States, a full-time employee works 8.5 hours a day on average throughout the typical workweek (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- In the US, women spend roughly 2.5 hours per day on housework, compared to men’s 1.9 hours (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- Sports, socializing, reading, watching TV, and other leisure activities take up about 5.2 hours per day in the lives of US adults (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).
- Internet users worldwide spend about 144 minutes every day on social media (Statista).
Enter all of your everyday activities into a time-tracking tool to create your own unique time diagram. Use broad categories like those shown in the diagram above, or track time spent on specific tasks like commuting, cooking, shopping, etc. You’ll be shocked by the results if you give it a try.
Time Wasters at Work:
According to the aforementioned data, work takes up a sizable, if not the majority of our waking time. Yet, this does not imply that people use these hours successfully since time wasters and distractions at work are all too common:
- 89% of workers waste at least some of their workdays, with 31% wasting less than 30 minutes, another 31% wasting an hour, and 16% wasting more than two hours (Salary.com).
- When at work, 64% of employees use the internet for personal and leisure purposes (Entrepreneur).
- During the course of a workday, 50% of employees are diverted by texting and phone calls, 27% by snack and smoke breaks, and 23% by talking to coworkers (Forbes).
- An employee might check new emails for up to 30 hours per week (Inc.).
- Nowadays, executives spend about 23 hours a week in meetings. This is a significant amount of time when compared to the 1960s when managers spent less than 10 hours a week on meetings.
Introduce time monitoring software if you want to know how your staff spends its time on tasks, projects, meetings, emails, and calls. All you have to do is give your staff members assignments to complete and let them track their time throughout the day. Check your team’s productivity reports in a month to see how each member is doing.
The Real Costs of Poor Time Management:
Poor time management invariably causes job delays, which causes businesses to suffer owing to huge financial losses. Unproductive actions, while indicative of poor time management, are also associated with some unintended expenses. And regrettably, both enterprises and people who are employed are impacted by these costs:
- Each employee incurs annual costs of $1,800 due to unneeded emails (Atlassian).
- Companies spend $5,000 per employee annually on repetitive and redundant processes while searching for information and people ineffectively costs $7,000 per employee (Mohsen Attaran et al.).
- For American corporations, the annual cost of pointless meetings is $37 billion (Lucid Meetings).
- Project delays typically result in cost overruns of up to 20% above the original budgets. Yet in 3.3% of instances, cost overruns brought on by delays maybe 50% more than initial projections (Cornerstone Projects Ltd.).
- Untracked emails, meetings, and delays in timesheet completion all contribute to time leaks that cost businesses more than 38% of their billable hours (Time Is Money).
What Can You Do to Manage Time Better?
About 20% of people, according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology professor at DePaul University, are chronic procrastinators who are just unable to engage in work without putting it off until later owing to psychological and physical reasons. But the majority of us don’t have a compelling reason for ignoring expensive delays and time wasters. All we have to do to solve the issue once and for all is to refocus, change our work settings, and use the appropriate methods:
1. Try flexible work arrangements:
Employees who work remotely save time on commutes. Rather, they have more opportunities than those who work from the office to handle personal concerns. So, remote employees who work full-time tend to be happier and more satisfied with their careers and work-life balance (Business Insider).
2. Provide employees with fair compensation and adopt reasonable policies:
Employees demonstrate effective time management techniques twice as frequently as dissatisfied workers when satisfied with corporate strategies and procedures. And four times as many people who are satisfied with their pay have good time management skills as those who are not (Muluken Genetu Chanie et al.).
3. Keep motivation high:
Those who are more motivated typically exhibit stronger time management skills, such as planning and estimating, than persons who are uninterested in what they do (J. A. Francis-Smith & Ivan T. Robertson).
4. Enjoy the process:
Long-term goals can be accomplished and procrastination is prevented in large part by being persistent and enjoying the process to varying degrees (Harvard Business Review).
5. Stop multitasking:
You lose a lot of time when you switch between tasks. It may take you up to 15 minutes to come back to more important and necessary professional tasks after being sidetracked on something as trivial and unimportant as texting and replying to emails (The New York Times).
6. Avoid overworking:
Working more than 40 hours per week and 8 hours per day is pointless because it is practically challenging to remain productive when working for extended periods of time. So, putting in extra time doesn’t necessarily translate into getting more done more efficiently. Overworking drains your mental resources and raises the possibility of burnout, which significantly lowers productivity (Inc.).
7. Track your time:
Time tracking tools like actiTIME help teams uncover time wasters and ineffective team dynamics. Yet, you must consistently complete timesheets if you want to benefit fully from time monitoring. Daily time tracking is more accurate and, as a result, can stop productivity leakage by as much as 80%. (Time Is Money).
Importance of Time Management:
Also, time management supports increased productivity and helps achieve goals more quickly, according to research findings. Additionally, it encourages wellness and aids people in leading more balanced lives. These outcomes are indeed worth striving for:
- Adequate time management is linked to higher team performance in careers that are as demanding and deadline-driven as event planning. It enables workers to adhere to schedules and complete tasks within time (Nor Lela Ahmad et al.)
- Over time, a strong sense of control aids in easing the psychological stress that comes with juggling obligations to one’s family and career (Steve M. Jex & Tina C. Elacqua).
- Those who have mastered time management techniques begin to devote more hours to high-priority tasks, leading to a rise in their productivity and pleasure (Brandon L. Hall & Daniel E. Hirsch).
- Billable time leakage can be prevented with consistent and precise time tracking, boosting corporate revenues by up to 61%. (Time Is Money).