With the increasing pace of change and technological advancements, we are often asked to do more at work in less time.
Through this module you will have the opportunity to learn more about time management, as well as some effective techniques in order to manage your tasks and time more effectively.
Understanding time management
Time management is the ability to use your time efficiently. It involves planning, prioritising and managing your time to ensure that you are getting the most out of the time that you have.
Planning and prioritising
Planning is about determining all of the tasks that you need to complete in order to achieve your goals. By getting a clear understanding of all the tasks you need to complete, you can better prioritise and allocate your time.
It also helps you to manage the completion of tasks and keep on top of your work.
Scheduling your day
To-do lists are used on a day-to-day basis to manage your tasks. By putting together a thorough to-do list you can see at a glance not only what needs to be achieved for the day but how realistic it is in the time frame you have.
For example, if you have a task that will take you 3 hours to complete, but you are going to spend the majority of your day in a meeting, realistically you won't have enough time to complete it or you may have fractured focus because you may not be working at your peak time.
Delegation is an important part of time management. There is only so much work one person can do. You don't want to be spending time on low value tasks at the expense of high value tasks.
Plus, delegating tasks gives you the opportunity to give additional responsibility to your team members and build their skills. Of course not every task you offload will be challenging and meaningful - some of them will be routine and boring - but that is true for every role.
Time wasting behaviours
People who can multi-task are typically seen as efficient workers. However, research shows that multi-tasking does not necessarily save time because our minds must reorient to cope with new information every time we switch tasks.
Broadly speaking, employees spend about 20-40% of their time switching from one task to another. As a result, switching tasks is likely to decrease the quality of our work and result in time wasting.
Meetings are a regular occurrence in every workplace. When used effectively, they can be a great tool to discuss ideas and move things forward.
However, all too often, meetings are held when they are not needed or when people are under-prepared for the discussion. This is when they can become time wasters.
A study by McKinsey & Co found that workers spend up to 28% of their working week reading and answering emails. That's almost 1 out of every 3 work hours spent reading or writing emails.
Exactly how much of that time is productive and how much is unproductive we don't know, but experience tells us that a good chunk of it is being wasted