Time management skills in the workplace are something that nearly everyone has to some extent, but which few people master. A lack of time management skills causes stress in personal life, but in the workplace, it can lead to a serious crisis. For these reasons, employees at all levels, including those with good time management skills, will benefit from related L&D programs.
What Are Time Management Skills?
Time management skills allow an employee to plan and exercise conscious control of the time spent on work-related activities. In the workplace, TMS is more than a way of getting individually organized. Many time management skills are used by a manager on behalf of a subordinate, such as planning and scheduling. Managers therefore need optimal TMS, both for their own activities and those of others.
Why Are Time Management Skills Important?
A lack of TMS affects both the organization and the individual.
All businesses are subject to time limitations, and most employees have tasks that must be completed within these limitations. When a worker does not deliver on time, this affects the entire organization. Similarly, if an employee needs to rush to finish a task on time, the quality of their efforts often suffers. When other workers need to compensate for late delivery and/or poor quality, stress levels increase for these coworkers, even if they are proficient with their own tasks.
Of course, an employee who submits late or substandard work also suffers stress. In addition, weak TMS tends to leave workers with less personal time and a poor reputation, and reduces their confidence when considering taking on new responsibilities.
Examples of Time Management Skills
One way to explain TMS is as a process, each step of which involves a complementary activity. The frequency with which a person runs through the process varies, but going through each step at the same time once per week is common. In addition, it often happens that this process needs to be revisited every time a new task comes along:
This step involves composing a list of all the tasks that need to be performed. One aspect of this phase is knowing about all of the tasks under the responsibility of the employee. This may include work assigned by superiors or which needs to be delegated to inferiors; these activities involve associated skills such as communication and leadership.
Once a task list is formed, the next phase is to put each item in order of priority. Factors such as deadlines, duration, and urgency come into play here. It is also important to find out if there are tasks being performed by other employees which will interfere. One tool that is of use in the setting of priorities is the Eisenhower (or Important-Urgent) Matrix.
The final step of the process requires arranging priorities according to a timeline. Some tasks require the feedback and/or contribution of others, and this is another instance where communication skills are necessary. Scheduling can be made easier through the use of software like Todoist.
Besides the planning-prioritizing-scheduling process, record keeping is another skill that saves a lot of time. The search for missing information and items is a major waste of working hours, so developing a system that makes searches quick and intuitive is a valuable move. There is also software, such as Legito, which can help in this regard.
One of the effects of constant work is stress. Even the most efficient schedule requires effort, which is tough on employees both physically and mentally. As a means to support a worker’s continued output and welfare, stress management techniques should be taught and encouraged.
The Challenge of TMS Programs
L&D programs for TMS are sometimes complex to administer. Employees have varying levels of time management skills, so providing the same course to everyone is literally a waste of time. Secondly, L&D programs can conflict with an employee’s normal schedule. Obtaining buy-in from management for a TMS program should therefore keep training time to a minimum.
GrowthSpace Makes Time Spent on Time Management Skills More Beneficial
GrowthSpace addresses these challenges with a technology that matches the skill level of each employee with a vetted expert in that specific area. GrowthSpace courses are built around sprints that optimize L&D time in the face of job demands. If your organization is interested in time management skills training, take a few minutes to discover why so many major companies are turning to GrowthSpace for their L&D needs.