Soft Skills Blog: Time Management

Do you ever feel like you have so many things to do, but there just isn’t enough time in the day? Finding the best way to manage your time can make that to-do list more manageable. Time management is a helpful skill to have in our busy lives.

Time is Ticking

Time management, by definition, is simply managing your time, but what does that actually mean? It is your ability to use your time efficiently and productively. Time management allows you to push out more tasks while getting them done faster. We’ve all come too close to missing deadlines when we have too much work to do. Proper time management helps you avoid this. It’s a trial and error process, so expect some techniques to work and others to fail. However, once you find a way that works for you, you’ll be managing your time like a pro.

The Importance of Time Management In…

  1. The Workplace – Your time management in the workplace determines if you get to keep your job. Getting to work, finishing tasks, and attending meetings are just a few examples. Being able to manage your time is important because your co-workers’ tasks may depend on you. If your team is arranged like an assembly line, one person must finish their part of the job first before it can be passed onto the next person. Because they will be waiting on you, you need good time management to finish a project by the deadline.
  2. Academics – Your GPA will reflect the quality of your time management. You need good time management to juggle multiple classes. Going to class, submitting assignments, doing homework, and studying are all time consuming. Similarly to the workplace, you may also have group projects that require assignments to be completed on time. Because your future career is dependent on your success in academics, you will likely be more successful with proper time management.

How To Manage Time

Time management is built through good habits. Some habits involve preparing for time conflicts and other involve handing them after they occur. Making use of a few of these tips will improve your time management.

  • Use a planner, schedule, or calendar
  • Prioritize your tasks
  • Set both short-term and long-term goals
  • Be self-motivated
  • Organize your environment to help you focus
  • Turn off or silence your phone
  • Be flexible if things aren’t going the way they should be
  • Take breaks and reward yourself
  • Watch your mental, physical, and emotional health
  • Learn to say no when you already have too much to do

Show Proper Time Management With Buffer Time

Proper use of buffer time is the best way to manage your time. Buffer time is extra time added to prepare for a task. For example, if you have an interview to go to and you know it takes 20 minutes to get there, leave 50 minutes before the interview. Those extra 30 minutes of buffer time allows you to prepare for any unexpected situations like an accident, or getting lost on your way there. If everything goes smoothly, you get 30 minutes to relax and prepare yourself mentally for the interview. Those 30 minutes just might be the reason you get the job.

Time management is an essential skill needed in the workplace and in academics. However, time management alone isn’t the only skill that will make you a good worker or student. Self-direction and teamwork are related skills that can help with your time management. You need to have self-direction to motivate yourself to complete all your tasks on time. In the workplace, you need to be a team-orientated person so your team can submit projects before deadlines. So on a scale of 1 to 10, how well do you manage your time? If you gave yourself a low score, try building some new habits to help you out.