No matter how you slice it, there are only 24 hours in a day. Time is a finite resource, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.
If you lose money, you might get a chance to make it back; but a wasted hour is irreplaceable.
While we can’t add hours to our day, I can help you understand the importance of time management, and how time management helps you maximize the time you do have. This isn’t just a skill for entrepreneurs to master. Everyone could benefit from managing their time more effectively and appreciating it for the finite resource that it is.
The importance of time management
The importance of time management comes down to how much it impacts your personal and professional life. Time management is organizing your day so that you find the best use for every moment.
Excellent time management allows you to create a healthy balance in your workflow and home life. The consequences of failed time management include missing deadlines and living with excessive stress.
Even if you’ve failed to manage your time in the past, it’s never too late to change. Set deadlines, get organized, delegate tasks, and prioritize your to-do list to get the most value from your time.
Why time management matters to you
With the right time management skills and tools, you will experience a lot of benefits from good time management. Here are 8 reasons why you should start to manage time better:
1. Do more with less
Knowing how to manage your time means that you’ll be able to accomplish more in shorter periods of time with less effort. Think about how much more you accomplish when you truly focus.
Prioritizing and matching tasks to blocks of available time is one way to do more with less effort. Instead of trying to do deep work in the ten minutes between meetings, complete a minor task. This frees up larger blocks for projects that require concentration.
If you find an extra hour of productivity in your day by using your time wisely, that gives you an additional 250 productive hours at work every year.
2. Make work fulfilling and life meaningful
There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a day being completely busy but also entirely unproductive. A feeling of accomplishment helps you stay motivated at work. At home this translates into being able to relax and enjoy your time.
By being conscious of how you use time, you’ll have more of it to spend on the things you love.
3. End indecisiveness
Worrying about whether you have made the right choice can be time-consuming. Naturally, big decisions take up a lot of time but the small decisions you make every day can also be huge time-wasters. Deciding what to do next on your to-do list, for example, can have a major time cost.
Instead of staring blankly at your to-do list wondering what to tackle, create a plan or a routine. This keeps you from using any of your precious minutes questioning what you should do next.
4. Achieve goals faster
Many people have big goals to feel fulfilled. But without understanding the importance of time management, these goals could sit on the shelf indefinitely.
For example, perhaps one of your goals is to lead a healthier lifestyle but you can’t seem to carve out time for gym sessions. Chances are, the time you need already exists. You just have to find it. By making the time to attend to your health, you can make necessary and desirable changes quickly.
5. Boost confidence
Time management can improve your confidence. You’re more likely to take care of yourself properly if you have the time to do so. You’ll look and feel more put together before you even set foot into your work space.
In addition, you’ll get a regular boost from feeling a sense of accomplishment. Meeting your deadlines and exceeding expectations is a huge motivator. On the flip-side, failing to meet deadlines and struggling to keep up leads to burnout.
6. Have more energy to achieve more
Constantly feeling worn out and stressed is miserable. It also makes it hard to take on new challenges. An efficient workflow gives you the time to build new skills to improve your work.
This doesn’t only apply to work, though. Think of how much more exciting life is when you feel energized. With a boost of energy, you’re more likely to try a new hobby or go on an adventure instead of planting yourself on the couch.
7. Make more time to do the things you love
After you consider the amount of time that it takes for you to sleep, work, eat, commute and attend to your personal hygiene, you have about four hours per day to devote to the things you do for fun.
By learning to manage your time, you’ll have more opportunities to work on personal growth, spend time with family or visit friends. This quality time is priceless.
8. Reduce stress and avoid feeling overwhelmed
In a given day, you might be tasked with creating a mock up for a project, taking your child to practice, leading a discussion at work and buying groceries. When every task on your to-do list seems equally important, you’ll become overwhelmed.
Good time management allows you to look at your to-do list, categorize, and prioritize everything that’s expected of you. You’ll readily see the distinctions between work-related and personal tasks. You’ll know whether you can delegate some tasks or shuffle items so that you can be more effective.
The result is a calmer and more-accomplished you.
Start managing your time
Time isn’t an infinite resource for us. By becoming excellent at time management, everyone can make the most of the time they are given. Failing to manage your time means losing hours you can never get back. Succeeding opens a world of possibilities.
By sharpening your time management skills, you can expect to be more confident and effective at work, and you’ll have more time to spend with your family. You can take care of yourself and feel a strong sense of purpose when you produce your best work.
Effective time management leaves you energized, which translates into living fully and trying exciting things in the new time you’ve found in your day.
Article by Leon Ho, Lifehack
Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst