Whether in our work or home life, we all have the same limited amount of hours in the day, and most of us report feeling overwhelmed and rushed. Time management in this era of hyperconnectivity is, essentially, stress management.
So why is time management so important? How can we condense our workdays into short bursts of productivity so that we can enjoy our personal lives stress-free?
Managers worldwide need to solve this conundrum because, according to numerous studies, employees struggle with procrastination, inefficiency, and office hours invading their personal time.
Why time management is more important than ever
Time is money, it’s true, but there are some things money just can’t buy. One of them is your employee’s happiness. We’ve gathered a few interesting facts to shed light on how employees really feel at work nowadays and how it could be impacting your business:
- Most employees work on weekends. Full-time employees typically work 8.5 hours Monday to Friday and 5.4 more hours per day on the weekend to cope with the increased workloads.
- Employees are connected to their work 24/7. Surveys show that 66% of workers check their emails 7 days a week and are expected to reply within a day.
- Employees don’t have enough time to interact with their spouses or children. This explains the skyrocketing divorce rate, and working from home doesn’t shield family members from this. Instead, stress levels rise even more as there’s no clear separation between home and work.
- Employees dread going to work. 80% of employees hate having to go to work on Monday. By Friday, this feeling of unease only slightly decreases, with 60% feeling the same way.
- Employees procrastinate to cope with stress. Procrastination increases in lower-income employees and during shorter employment periods. Virtually all employees spend close to an hour on social media or their phones during work hours.
- Employees aren’t passionate or motivated by what they do. If they had financial freedom, 97% of workers would choose to leave their employer and line of work.
So what does all this mean for your business? Frustration at work can be linked to two major reasons: working too much and not being able to keep up, and working on the wrong things, increasing feelings of futility and dissatisfaction.
This is where smart project management comes in, and it all begins with prioritizing, scheduling, and keeping an eye on how tasks get done.
How to use time management to banish employee overwhelm
Parkinson’s law states that work will expand to fit the time allocated to it. Give employees one important task per day, and it will occupy their entire workday. Give them 12 tasks, and while they won’t be able to complete them all, they’ll finish more than half of them.
Sounds productive, right? Not if you take the employees’ feelings of burnout and overwhelm into account.
Sometimes, the best time management technique is learning to say “no” to adding anything else to your workers’ To-Do list.
So how can you motivate your workers to achieve more in less time? Apply only a few of the suggested changes below, and you’ll be amazed at the difference in productivity and employee satisfaction:
Use the power of scheduling. Planning out the day in detail is the most powerful tool of time management. Delegate your most important tasks for the day and follow along on the progress as employees log their time and work. Time tracking is essential for measuring how effectively things get done, yet, less than 17% of people make use of it.
Using a product like our Time Tracker helps companies keep track of how their employees are spending their time and ensure they are fairly compensated.
Leverage the most productive window. Many workers report working most effortlessly between 9 and 12 AM. By delegating the most strenuous work in the morning, you will already set up your employees’ day for success.
Estimate tasks correctly. We all fall into the trap of underestimating how long a task will actually take, and managers are no exception. If you’ve done similar tasks in the past, you could have a look at the logged time and base your future estimations on reality.
Factor in breaks. Employees aren’t robots, and they need recovery time throughout the workday. Keeping breaks and meal times in mind will take some of the pressure off your workers and show them they are valued. Logging breaks, lunchtime, and even managing paid time off (PTO) are intuitive functions within our Time Tracker.
It’s safe to say that time management is a skill that we’re all struggling to master. When managing our employees’ time, we should have more than productivity in mind.
Any good leader will first and foremost protect their employees’ emotional and physical wellbeing while challenging them with just the right amount of work. Do it right, and this approach will boost your company’s growth while also making it a coveted working environment.