Time Management. What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

By Antwaun ParrishDecember 29, 2022

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, time management is the ability to use one’s time effectively or productively, especially at work. Oftentimes, we are tasked with completing several projects that can have a concurrent deadline.

Why is time management important? It’s important to be able to be productive as some jobs or careers have a higher operational tempo than others and require much more in order to support the unit. It not only is important for work tasks but for your personal life as well. Most people aren’t focused on work 24 hours a day, as they have other responsibilities and interests outside of their jobs. So, including these as a part of time management is important to build a healthy work-life balance.

Since COVID-19, many organizations have adopted remote work for many of their employees. Working from home has proven to be just as effective as being in the office, however, there can be more distractions at home than in the office.

How does one work on multiple tasks yet still manage to do their best with each assigned project? From personal experience, I often work best when I make a list of the things I need to accomplish daily. Also, I figure out the requirements for the tasks and prioritize them based on the amount of work each takes to complete. Being organized and having everything clearly listed has helped me stay focused and able to meet deadlines without the stress of completing something at the last minute. An Indeed article titled 5 Time Management Strategies to Defeat Distraction outlines ways to be productive and use your time more effectively. The 5 strategies are:

Prioritize-Instead of trying to tackle everything on your to-do list at once, start by figuring out what’s most important.

Avoid multitasking-Once you know what’s most important, avoid multitasking; research shows humans aren’t very good at it. Why? Every time you switch tasks — even if it’s just looking up from reviewing a resume to check your email — your brain has to refocus, breaking the extended concentration needed for innovative thinking.

Eliminate distractions-Don’t rely on willpower alone to reduce distractions.

Set boundaries-Even though the hiring process demands a high level of communication, that doesn’t mean you need to be reachable 24 hours a day or respond to requests within minutes. Setting boundaries about when you can be contacted and managing expectations for response times will make both you and others feel less frantic.

Do the hardest tasks when you feel the best-Research shows that for most people, morning is the ideal time to take on challenging tasks, so try to stick to this schedule. Do tasks that require lower engagement during your “off times,” and consider scheduling meetings then, too. Save your golden focus time for the most important work.

In closing, the thing that has helped me the most with time management is organizing. Once everything is organized, I am more capable to complete my projects and not miss any deadlines.