Sandra is a Brand Strategist in a leading company whose responsibility requires that she begins the week with a brief staff meeting scheduled for 8:00am. She hurriedly leaves the house, jumps into the car, and drives off into the heavy traffic ahead. It’s 7:45am and she is far from the office. Twenty minutes later, she arrives at the office, all sweaty and tired. The meeting had begun without her but she was five minutes later. She was right on time.
Oftentimes, employees and bosses find themselves in this bizarre situation as they juggle to work very early, and spend hours or minutes in traffic before they eventually get to work, making them look tardy. This happens 50% of the time. Other times, they are lucky to be at work in time for the daily task or scheduled meetings.
In the scenario above, Sandra was late for a number of reasons that could have been avoided irrespective of distance or circumstance. Time management was all she needed.
Time management is the planning and execution of activities for the purpose of effectiveness and proper delivery in a form of organization. Time is essential to a work-life balance as everything rests on the balance of time. Doctors are on call in Hospitals, food vendors are available for patronage, meetings are scheduled and ceremonies are organized, all at the right time.
Time management revolves around skills; family, social life, education, interest, and commitments as long as there are tasks to be accomplished or work to be done. In time management, styles and techniques are applied according to the organization or individual committed to all sorts of service delivery.
Problems with Time management
Managing time is a skill that is mastered with practice over a period of time. A good time manager is a professional who prioritizes the necessary and achieves the right amount of goals set for the day or week as the case may be. There are two major problems of time management that ought to be properly looked at;
- Being On-time and
Being On Time
This factor is confused with the term ‘being in time’. Being on time is referred to the situation where one is at the appointed meeting place or venue early enough before the purpose of the meeting is established. It simply denotes punctuality on the part of the person. It also shows that such a person respects their time and does everything person to make the appointment.
It also proves responsibility on the part of such individuals, sending a signal that matters concerning an organization can be entrusted to their care.
Some benefits of this factor include stress relief as one is better prepared and composed before the meeting starts, it puts one in control of how his/her time is spent, avoiding unplanned or unexpected situations. Another profound benefit is how efficient it makes an individual, helping them develop a reputation around their workplace and amongst their peers.
For work to be done efficiently and on time, procrastination has to go. People suffer from various factors that delay work delivery and punctuality but Procrastination is the father of them all. This is an act of postponing or pushing work to be done while busy doing something unimportant or unnecessary at that given time. Procrastination at work could be watching videos instead of working or spending time getting busy with other things instead of digging into work-related reports or assignments.
Employers are not exempted from this work disease as they often occupy their time engaging in too many fun activities, leaving the work undone which in turn delays the employees’ work or affects their delivery. Such employers fail to realize that they suffer from this and term it as ‘been the boss’.
Dangers of Procrastination
Procrastination is linked with poor work performance and carries dire consequences if not curbed or worked on. One major setback can be the loss of a job as the individual has lost credibility in the workplace. Others are unemployment, lower salary, emotional exhaustion, stress, and even frustration.
Employers or bosses that also procrastinate tend to worsen the growth and performance rate of their employees and the business as a whole, slowing down the progress of a good work environment. Also, employers unconsciously inject this disease into the workplace, influencing the lifestyle of the staff which then affects their employability in the future.
Psychotically, procrastination at work makes a less happy environment, frustrating the efforts of both the employers and employees.
Tips on Time Management
In a work environment where one is tagged a ‘perpetual late comer’ or a ‘never on time’ person, here are a few proven tips on how to manage time and become productive in your workspace;
Investigate; As an employee or employer who is unfulfilled after a day’s work with one or two of the problems above, it’s important that you take out time to figure out what makes you lose out on work. Being on time may require a different routine that gets you to your appointment or work earlier than usual or cutting off those habits that push your most important work aside.
1. Start a Time Management plan; implementing this may sound difficult as it has to do with routines and priorities. Set your scale of priorities by listing out the most important to the least important task, following the list till the goal is achieved every day. This automatically changes your daily routine and takes your out of your comfort zones.
2. Apply Management tools; having made life easier, technology has provided a platform where software that helps manage time and schedules is now available. This software plans your day, ensures that you follow through, and reminds you of the next on the agenda or to-do list.
3. Delegate or assign tasks; for many business owners or employers, this is a difficult feat as they are used to doing things on their own. Too many tasks on their hands delay a good work report and crumble a structured workflow. Delegation of tasks to others relieves the excess workload and alleviates stress.
4. Make good use of time; most times, after the designated work or tasks have been carried out, it is advisable to prepare ahead or do some other work if there is still time as this helps to create more free time while others are stuck on their routine. This in turn improves your work style and broadens your exposure to work ethics and time management.
Time management gives you full control of your time at work or home. With proper use of time, one can have fun and still be productive in his/ her workspace. Master the Art of being on time, it kills Procrastination and workspace embarrassment.