Do you approach your calendar like it’s a game of Tetris? If so, you may be missing the point of time management.
Building your teams’ time management skills isn’t about loading employees down with work. In fact, this line of thinking can lead to extreme burnout. It may sound counterintuitive, but good time management is about finding a balance and ultimately doing less work.
Productivity vs. Busyness
To understand why having the goal of adding more work to your load may be a bad thing, it helps to think about something called busy bee syndrome. This is the false idea that many managers and business owners have that if employees are doing more tasks and frantically completing one thing after another they are being productive. The unfortunate truth is when we prioritize busyness, we make more mistakes, develop burnout and operate less efficiently.
Time Management and Stress
Many of today’s workers feel incredible pressure to work as quickly as possible. A 2019 survey from the American Institute of Stress showed that 94% of workers felt stressed out by their jobs, and 63% were considering quitting for this reason. As more research is done into time management and productivity, some experts have even suggested that it is inhumane to expect employees to perfectly manage their time. At the very least, doing so increases stress and anxiousness and the likelihood for employees to leave the company.
Finding Real Productivity
Just because time management is often closely associated with doing more tasks doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. Good time management should involve taking the time needed to do tasks correctly and not overloading yourself or others with long to-do lists. This means working with individual employees to come up with a routine that suits their strengths and areas of specialty. Over time you should find that cutting down on people’s task lists leads to better employee well-being and even increased productivity due to less time being spent fixing mistakes.
If this style of time management is new to your organization, don’t worry. There are plenty of tools and resources to help you and your team get up to speed. Consider productivity processes such as the Eisenhower Matrix, which can help you prioritize tasks. When searching for new strategies for healthy work routines look for the signs of good methods, such as an emphasis on well-being, recovery and prioritized downtime. Stay away from strategies that are pushing extreme productivity measures.
Incorporating Good Time Management in Your Business
As a manager, you need to set a precedent for good time management for yourself and your employees. Employee retention is a vital part of operating smoothly. Working to prevent burnout helps you keep your best employees happy and productive. Take some time to work with your team on cutting down to-do lists to make space for each person to focus on their areas of specialty. You should find that doing so leads to high-quality results that help your business thrive.
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