Is time management critical for success in business

Organizations can provide an environment where its people can manage their time effectively. Time management training should be supplemented with creating conditions where employees have specific goals, and the resources to pursue these goals in a timely and cost effective manner.

Is time management critical for success in business

Time Management: A Misnomer

Many have argued that time cannot be “managed”; time follows its inevitable course whatever we do. What can be managed are the tasks that people accomplish in the available time. Viewing the issue in this perspective can lead to better results.

“Time” management will then involve identifying the “right” tasks to be completed, which in turn will require clarifying the goals to be achieved and the specific tasks involved in achieving those goals. Once the goals and tasks are thus identified, these are then prioritized and sequenced.

Time management skills involve goal setting, planning, organizing and control. That in essence is what business and project management is about.

Why is Time Management so Important

Managers, supervisors and employees in successful organizations typically have to accomplish a lot of things and are always short of time to do everything. In this context, they seek to achieve high levels of productivity by identifying the tasks that are really critical for achieving the goals set at each level, and focusing on ways to complete those tasks, including delegating them as needed.

There is also the issue of work-life balance. People have personal, as well as professional, lives. If all the time is spent on work, it can lead to serious problems with family life, including failure to attend to one’s children. It is through successful personal time management that people balance the requirements of both personal and professional lives.

time management

Without effective time management, health problems can also emerge. In absence of a clear idea about what to do and how to go about it, people can become anxious and stressed, and stress can lead to several kinds of health problems. Often, people just “march through the day” and hit the bed all stressed out.

Stressed and unhealthy employees are not the best kind of human resource for business organizations, and hence they also need to be concerned about these issues. Leadership skills include the skill to ensure that the organization provides an environment conducing to effective time management.

How is Time Managed

The key element of effective time management is focusing on results instead of just keeping “busy”. One can keep oneself busy doing all kinds of things but if those things do not lead to desired goals, the “busyness” might not lead to business results.

Effective time management in a business context requires:

Clarifying overall goals in the context of organizational strategies and internal and external environment
Developing plans to achieve the goals, including identifying the required resources and assessing their availability
Allocating clear roles and responsibilities to individuals and ensuring that all the activities needed to achieve results have been made the responsibility of one individual or another
Organizing the resources in time so that work will not be interrupted for want of necessary inputs
Monitoring progress on a continuing basis to ensure that tasks are being accomplished as planned (or the plans are revised to be more realistic).

At an individual level, managers and employees need to be trained in:

business success

Creating to-do lists of tasks to accomplish their individual roles
Prioritizing the tasks in the to-do lists into a quadrant consisting of tasks that are: Important and Urgent, Important but not Urgent, Urgent but not all that Important and Neither Important nor Urgent
Creating a schedule that will ensure the important tasks are attended first, and that the urgent but incidental tasks are also completed
Applying the 80/20 principle that says that 80 percent of results are achieved by 20 percent of the tasks; these critical 20 percent tasks must receive top priority
Using aids like digital or manual organizers and systems to be on top of one’s role
Keeping track of results as well as completion of tasks

Time management really involves task management, identifying the tasks that need to be completed to achieve specific goals set for an organization or individual. The tasks are completed in a timely manner using a systematic approach, and also tools such as to-do lists and organizers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *