What if the earth suddenly started rotating slower and each day had 32 hours instead of 24? What would you spend the extra 8 hours on?
Most people would make time for the things they love doing. You’d do the same, wouldn’t you?
Now, take a moment and think about your answer in reverse. It implies that in the present, you’re not spending enough time on the activities you love. And that’s understandable. The fast-paced world today compels you to spend daily effort on various chores and responsibilities to just sail through life.
But can that change? Of course, it can. But, only if you’re willing to change yourself. Are you? If your answer is yes, let’s begin. As a start, this article explains why time management is important.
- What is time management?
- Why is time management important?
- 1. Time lost cannot be recovered
- 2. You get more time to do what you love
- 3. Little additions add up
- 4. Helps you inch closer towards your real goals
- 5. You achieve faster career success
- 6. Gives a feeling of contentment and builds momentum
- 7. Earns you trust and respect
- 8. Provides peace of mind
- 9. Helps you focus on other aspects
- 10. Helps boost your health
- How to get better at time management
What is time management?
If you asked a naughty student to define time management, he’d say, “Easy. It is managing time.” Well, you cannot argue with that answer because fundamentally that’s what time management is.
Time management is making the best use of your time to complete the right tasks in the shortest possible duration without compromising quality.
But a subtle point to note here is you cannot manage time itself. Time moves forward from the present to the future, forever. You have no control over time as an entity. But, you are the sole decision-maker of how you spend your time. Therefore, time management is all about controlling how you make the best use of your time.
Why is time management important?
When you take time for granted, you don’t realize what you’re missing out on. When the frog in the well said, “my surroundings look beautiful”, he had no clue how vast and fabulous the world outside his realm was. The only way the frog could know was by stepping outside the confined space he was living in. Likewise, you’ll know the importance of time management tips only when you experience the benefits for yourself.
Here are 10 benefits of time management which can motivate you to make the best use of every single minute of your day.
1. Time lost cannot be recovered
If you lose money, you have a thousand different ways to make some more again. If you lose your job, you have a million other companies to apply to. Heck, even if you break up with your partner, you have billions of people to choose from.
But, time is a finite entity that moves in only one direction – forward. Unless you’re Doctor Strange, you can neither make it move slower or faster. Once you lose an hour, a day, a week, or a month, you can never claim it back. From the time you started reading this article, you’ve spent a few seconds at least. Unfortunately, you’ll never get them back, so I hope I make them worth their salt.
When you spend 30 minutes trying to save a few pennies off a sale on toothpaste, you’ve lost more than you have saved.
2. You get more time to do what you love
What activity do you enjoy doing? You can pick an area you’re passionate about or a hobby/sport you haven’t had the time for.
If I asked you why aren’t you spending time on that activity anymore, you’d say, “I’m busy these days. I have many other responsibilities to handle.” In simple words, you’ve no time to do what you like.
If you’re more mindful of how you spend your time, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to do what resonates with your heart.
3. Little additions add up
Using the one free hour you have on productive work seems like a lost cause. “What difference would that make?” you question. The answer is – a whole lot.
Let’s do a little math. A typical workday consists of 8 hours for 5 days a week.
If you squeeze 1 hour out of this by cutting distractions, reducing phone usage, and shortening unnecessary breaks, you’ve saved 22 hours a month. That’s equivalent to half of a working week.
Just by making one hour a day productive, you’d had 2 and a half extra working days in a month. I am not saying you must work harder than you currently are. But if you use those 2 and a half extra days to finish your work faster, you have earned yourself extra hours to do what you love. Why not use that time to pick up that dusty guitar hanging on the wall from the last few years?
4. Helps you inch closer towards your real goals
The essence of time management lies in focusing on the right task to work on at any given point in time. When you channel your attention on the job that helps you attain your goals, you inch closer to your dreams, one step at a time. Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.
At first, you’ll feel you’re moving as slow as a tortoise with a sprained foot. But, when you look back a year later, you’ll be amazed to see how much of a distance you’ve traversed.
Never underestimate the little progress you make each day. It’ll help you reach your goals sooner than you expect.
5. You achieve faster career success
Time management is all about getting the right things done faster than you normally would. By doing so, you’re already a step ahead of the others because the rest of the world is taking up all sorts of tasks that come their way. If you make a consistent habit of focusing on things that matter, career growth and results turn into a byproduct.
In a world where you’re surrounded by competition, the key to career success depends on how efficiently you work than how many hours you work. Time management helps you streamline your focus such that the hours you spend contribute to the results you desire.
6. Gives a feeling of contentment and builds momentum
If you’re a career-oriented person, slipping under the quilt at bedtime knowing you made the best out of your day is one of the best feelings you’ll have. Not only do you sleep in peace, but also gain the motivation necessary to begin your next day brimming with energy.
Making the best use of your time the first day is only the beginning. You know how a stationary boulder requires a lot of energy to budge? But once the massive stone gets rolling, it takes far lesser effort to keep it going.
Likewise, you’ll need immense discipline to manage your time wisely at first. But once you get going, the routine becomes second nature. The momentum of your prior effort and results does most of the heavy lifting for you.
7. Earns you trust and respect
If you had to assemble a team to deliver a time-critical project, whom would you pick? Wouldn’t you opt for those who have a proven history of finishing their tasks on time?
That’s what time management does to you. When you meet your deadlines without fail, everyone around you takes notice even if no one sings your praises out loud. A person who keeps up the timeline earns respect and gains trust. Working on your time management helps you become that person.
8. Provides peace of mind
When you’re stuck in the endless loop of long working hours, both your mind and body wear out over the long term. You fall into the vicious cycle of wake up -> work -> sleep. It’s acceptable to work extended work hours, for an occasional crisis. But, when long hours turn into your daily routine, you’re engulfed with stress, day in and day out.
If you assert control over how you go by your day, you can wind up after a specific time and relax. A calm evening after a long productive day serves as a much-needed stress buster your mind craves for.
9. Helps you focus on other aspects
When you lack control over how you spend your time, your job keeps you busy from early morning till late evening. You have to pay the bills, so you have no other choice.
But, since you only have 24 hours a day, you’ll pay little to no attention to the other aspects of your life. Important areas such as relationships, personal interests, fitness, and social life take a back seat.
One of the biggest benefits of time management skills is you strike a work-life balance.
10. Helps boost your health
Two main reasons people fail to exercise are – laziness and lack of time. Sure, time management cannot drive away the lazy demon within you, but it can help you solve the other cause – shortage of time.
If you do not manage your time well, you will sleep fewer hours, skip exercise, and ignore the importance of eating healthy. All of these factors influence how happy you are daily. A Harvard study conducted over several decades has shown happy people live longer.
Having more time implies you can keep yourself healthy. Therefore, time management has an indirect influence on your life span too.
How to get better at time management
Each person has a different challenge to make the best use of their time. Here is a list of resources that help you solve your problem no matter what it is.
- If you have trouble prioritizing – 7 powerful tips to prioritize tasks
- If you fail to meet your deadlines often – How to set deadlines and meet them
- If you keep procrastinating your goals – 2 tricks to overcome procrastination
- If you’re having trouble with focus – 7 techniques to improve focus
- If you’re facing too many distractions – How to avoid distractions
- If you’re wasting time endlessly – 10 tips to stop wasting time
Time management is important not only at the workplace but also at every step in your life. If you aim to become effective at work but laze around otherwise, you’ll never master the skill. Good time management should become a part of your lifestyle. Sure, it takes some effort up front, but the effects of time management will show up in your results.
Will you change the way you manage your time? Only you can answer that question.
Maxim Dsouza has spent over a decade experimenting and finding various time management techniques to improve his productivity. He strongly understands the fact that time is a limited commodity and tries to make every second count. He has extensive experience in leadership in startups, small businesses, and large corporations.
He has helped people of different professions and age groups gain clarity on their goals, improve focus, revise their time management skills and develop an awareness of their psychological cognitive biases.