Why Is Time Management Important? And How to Manage Your Time

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 9, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Many employers prioritize time management skills when recruiting employees. These skills can benefit your personal and professional life in multiple ways. Understanding the importance of time management can help you recognize the need to improve your skills in this area. In this article, we discuss what time management is, answer the question, "Why is time management important?" examine the four Ds of time management, and provide tips to manage your time effectively.

What is time management?

Time management refers to the ability to use your time in a manner that allows you to complete your tasks before they are due. Time management is a vital skill for any employee because it determines your ability to meet deadlines and operate productively. You can build time management skills over time through strategic systems and practices.

The four Ds of time management

Here are the four Ds of time management to help you select and prioritize tasks:

1. Do

The first D is "do," and it stands for completing tasks that only take a few minutes to finish. This strategy is a great way to complete small chores or tasks. Completing small tasks ensures you complete them before they can become a large inconvenience.

2. Defer

This means you can postpone tasks you don't need to complete immediately. This doesn't apply to small tasks, which fall under "do." It applies to tasks that can take up a large part of your time. Abandoning your schedule to attend to new tasks can affect your focus and productivity. In contrast, following your schedule and prioritizing tasks based on their due date can have better results.

3. Delegate

Delegating involves sharing tasks with others if they are too many for you to complete in time. This works best with tasks that anyone can do effectively. You can also delegate tasks you feel you aren't qualified to handle or that someone can handle better than you.

4. Delete

Delete involves removing unimportant tasks from your schedule to create time for relevant ones. First, go through your schedule and reflect on the importance of each item. Then, remove any item you know doesn't add significant value, like needless meetings or calls. Once you remove the unimportant task from your schedule, you can use the space in your schedule for more relevant tasks.

Read more:

  • How to Prioritize Work Tasks

  • Organizing at Work: 12 Effective Ways to Stay Productive

  • Traits and Examples of Workplaces That Improve Productivity

Why is time management important?

Review answers to the question, "Why is time management important?":

It ensures less stress and fatigue

Managing your time well means you can allocate the necessary time for each task. This means you're less likely to work at an uncomfortable pace. Allocating your time well allows you to complete tasks on time, which prevents unfinished tasks from accumulating. This also helps you to avoid rushing, which is a major cause of stress. When you learn good time management, you're less likely to work long hours to meet deadlines.

It makes you more productive

By allocating the necessary time for each task, you can relax and focus on each task properly. This allows you to complete more tasks, which increases your productivity. Proper time management ensures you can rest and eat well since you hardly have to worry about overdue tasks. Resting and eating well can benefit your energy levels and make you more mentally alert.

It improves your image

Time management and punctuality are essential traits for any employee or person. For instance, where you provide a service directly to customers, punctuality protects your employer's reputation. In addition, managing your time well can help you impress your employer. Friends and family are also likely to appreciate your punctuality.

It allows you more personal time

Learning how to allot time to a task and focus on it also helps you work more effectively. This helps you complete tasks when due and have enough time for yourself. In addition, you can use your free time to rest or perform other personal obligations.

It opens you up to more opportunities

By completing your tasks when due, you have more time to complete more and different tasks. For example, managing your time well can allow you to spend more time on your startup, making it more likely to succeed. In your workplace, completing your tasks on time can encourage your employer to give you more tasks. This can expose you to promotions or special work training that can help advance your career.

It improves the quality of your work

Learning how to manage time properly allows you to allocate the right amount of time to each task. You are also less likely to allow tasks to pile up and resort to rushing your tasks. Being able to spend sufficient time on individual tasks allows you to achieve better results.

It helps you manage multiple deadlines

Meeting deadlines is a crucial part of work and demonstrates that you're responsible. Time management allows you to prioritize tasks based on urgency. This makes it much easier for you to manage multiple deadlines without failure.

It helps build your focus

Proper time management allows you to focus on a task at a time. Dividing your tasks into timelines can help prevent you from worrying about too many tasks at once, as you know you've planned each. This allows you to focus on what you're doing at the moment.

It boosts your energy levels

As you complete tasks on time, you can complete your work at a comfortable pace. This helps you conserve your energy throughout the day. When you manage your time well, you can also allocate sufficient time to rest. This can boost your energy levels, making you more active and focused.

It improves your confidence

Time management allows you to complete tasks within their deadline and allows you to maintain a great public image. This leads to people viewing you as reliable and trustworthy. External validation can help influence your opinion of yourself and increase your confidence in your abilities.

Read more: Benefits of Effective Time Management (With Actionable Tips)

Tips for managing time effectively

Now that you know why time management is important, here are some tips to help you manage your time effectively:

Create a to-do list or schedule

A to-do list is a list that details the tasks you have to complete over a specific period. A schedule is similar, but it involves attaching timelines to your tasks. You can choose the one suited to your profession or personality. A to-do list allows for more flexibility in completing your tasks. To prepare your to-do list or schedule, list out all the tasks you have to complete for the day. Then, think about the time it usually takes you to complete similar tasks and include extra time to handle unforeseen circumstances.

Read more: How Do I Create and Stick to a Daily Schedule? (With Tips)

Be factual about the time you need

While creating your schedule, be realistic about the time you need for each task. Giving yourself too little time can lead to placing too many tasks in a single day, which can cause fatigue. In contrast, giving yourself too much time can reduce productivity. A simple way to allocate the appropriate time is to consider how long similar tasks usually take and add an extra 30 minutes. If the task is a new one, you can ask colleagues who have experience with such tasks or review your duties and estimate.

Schedule your tasks strategically

This entails arranging your tasks in a way that helps you complete them faster. A few variables to consider are your most productive period, when you have access to helpful resources, and when you have access to help. By allocating your tasks strategically, you can act based on your strengths and be more productive.

Be productive with your free time

Using your free time productively is a great strategy for time management. Resting during your free period is important, but you can rest while also maximizing your time. This involves completing low-stress chores or tasks during your free time. For example, you can reply to an email or feed your pet while taking a break from work and listening to your favourite music. This helps you accomplish more at the same time.

Read more: How to Stop Procrastinating and Become More Productive

Divide your tasks into smaller ones

Sometimes, having a large task can make you hesitant to begin because you think it takes too much time. This is a common cause of procrastination and results in poor time management. When you break a task into smaller parts, it appears easier to complete. This can motivate you to work. Also, by dividing tasks and handling the smaller tasks gradually, you can complete your tasks comfortably.

Decline excessive work

A coworker or colleague might ask you to take on more work. Scheduling your tasks only works if you don't allow others to infringe on your time with more work. Learn to decline excessive work politely and firmly to ensure you stay within your time limits.

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