Important Time Management Skills at the Workplace

Important Time Management Skills at the Workplace

Today, we’re in a much better position than that of our Great Grandparents and Grandparents in terms of freedom and flexibility in our work life. However, though we have many more tips & tricks, tools & technology, calendars, and checklists at our disposal than ever before, no amount of time seems to be enough. We know more about time management than ever, and yet stress is at an all-time high. Did you ever ask yourself what's the reason for this? In this article, we're going to unfold the secrets of Time Management that you can use for not just a better work-life balance, but to increase productivity as well.

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Time Management Theory

Time Management Theory came around the late fifties and sixties, almost around the time of the Industrial Revolution, and the whole idea of it was to increase Efficiency. It was the method to approach all your tasks based on Urgency. However, as time passed, this one-dimensional approach started being irrelevant and a more two-dimensional approach came into existence. 


Dr. Stephen Covey, in his book "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective" gave us this approach. Now we were not only focusing on Urgency but also on Importance, and this 2-D approach is still practiced and taught by many people and institutes. However, we need to understand that, unlike other concepts, this also needs to be evolved. This is the method by which task 7 on your list becomes task number 1 but ultimately leaves you at the same spot where, though you'll be more productive at the end of the day, you'll again have time constraints. Now it's time to shift to a much 3-D approach, and that's what author Ray Vaden in his book "Procrastinate on Purpose: 5 Permissions to Multiply Your Time" has told us about. So let's look at this 3-D approach.

Read Also: Five Tips to Manage Your Work and Time


3-Dimensional approach to time management

 As a manager you often find yourself surrounded by all sorts of queries and confirmation by your team. In fact, repeated studies have shown that the managers who are constantly interrupted have little time left for their important tasks. Also, the team who is solely dependent upon their managers for decision and information are always held up and not very productive. So what can you do to avoid this? The answer is very simple, adapt to the Modern-Day Time Management Skill.


At the beginning of Time Management theory, there was only one axis i.e. Urgency. With its evolution came another axis i.e. the Importance. But as discussed above, this is still far from being a fruitful method. We needed a third axis to it and that is Significance. And when we add this 3rd dimension, the whole equation changes. Let's discuss how.

  • Elimination of the tasks that don't hold much weight for you: The idea is that you make the funnel of the tasks based on Urgency and Importance, and for the tasks that come top into that funnel, ask yourself this- Can I eliminate it? Is it even worth doing? Well, the idea behind the next generation's time management has much more to do with what you don't do, than what you do. Perfection can be achieved when nothing more can be added, but when nothing more can be taken away. The tasks for which we say NO to create more for us tomorrow. However, we have this guilt of saying NO in-built that most of the time we say Yes even when we want to say No.

  • SOP or Automation: Now, if you can't eliminate the task, ask yourself- Can I automate the task? So anything you create a process for today saves you time tomorrow. Like if you get the question around similar things or the team is mistaking on similar things again and again, why don't you have an SOP in place. Initially, this will cost you probably 4-5 hours from your precious work schedule, but in the long run, it'll save you time. This is known as ROTI (Return On Time Invested).

  • Delegation: If the task can't be automated, ask yourself- Can it be delegated? Can I teach someone else to do this? However, there comes the fear that someone else might not be able to do this as perfectly as you could. But, you need to understand that while this might be true for the first or second time, in the long run, they'd be able to do it just as perfectly as you could. You need to give others the permission to fail.

  • Procrastination on purpose: It is very different from traditional procrastination as you're now not doing it because you don't feel like performing the task. But, you're doing it because that's not the right time. Ask yourself Can this wait until later? And you'll find that there are many tasks that you can hold for a day or 2 more.

Well, we all have 24 hours or 1440 minutes or 86400 seconds in a day, but there are some people who are able to give extraordinary, explosive, and exponential results, while others, well, they never seem to really caught-up! The difference between them and the former is the ability to not only manage time but to multiply it. The above tips not only help you reduce the burden but have more time for yourself than ever.