We’ve all been in that situation where there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get all of your important tasks completed - and, often, we feel helpless to do anything about this. We often blame our lack of time on others and consider the fact that we are busy as “unlucky”.
What if I were to tell you that there was a simple solution to all of your time-sensitive worries? Well, have I got news for you?!
There are a lot of methods available for you to effectively manage your time, with the most famous of these methods being the 20/80 rule (which we will discuss shortly). But why are we often so bad at managing our time?
The productivity puzzle
UK workers' productivity fell once again in the final quarter of last year, with a drop of 0.1% compared with the same quarter a year before.
However, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) understands that this issue has been prevalent for years, and refers to it as the “productivity puzzle”.
This is a problem as productivity is considered the main driver of long-term economic growth and higher living standards in the UK.
What are the effects of poor time management?
With that said, there is clearly an underlying issue with productivity in the UK. Could it be the poor management of working time?
Poor time management can have detrimental effects on both individuals and their organisations. Let’s take a look at some of these effects…
Poor quality of work
When trying to complete tasks at the last minute, you will almost certainly sacrifice the quality of your work for speed. You can avoid this by leaving yourself enough time at the end of each day to check for any mistakes and make last-minute changes.
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes you take on/get given too much work and you will inevitably miss the deadline for one of these jobs. That’s why it’s crucial to set up a prioritised schedule - and to cut out or delegate any unnecessary tasks.
Poor working relationships
Your poor time management could potentially impact others negatively, for example, if you are late for a meeting. Properly planning a schedule is a must if you are looking to avoid awkward situations like this. Always plan enough time for corrections to your work, even if you don’t need it. It’s better to be early than late!
The 20/80 rule
The Pareto Principle, also known as the 20/80 rule, is one of the most recognised concepts in time management.
Named after its founder, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, he recognised that society naturally divided into what he called the “vital few,” or the top 20% in terms of finances and influence, and the “trivial many”, also known as the lower 80%. So how does this relate to time management? Well, Pareto then realised that this rule could be applied to almost anything - in business, it is often said that we spend 80% of our time on mainly trivial tasks and only 20% on the things that will actually make a difference.
We can take Pareto’s 20/80 rule and apply it to almost any situation. Understanding the principle is essential to learning how to prioritise your tasks and the time you should dedicate to them.
One commonly practiced time management method is to “eat that frog”, which involves doing your least enjoyable task at the start of the day, hopefully meaning that you won’t have to do anything worse than that throughout the day.
However, to do this you must avoid the temptation of clearing up the smaller tasks first.
This relates to the Pareto principle as you need to ask yourself whether the task falls into your top 20% of tasks for the day, or whether it falls into the bottom 80%.
Online Time Management Training
We now offer an Online Time Management Training course that helps workers effectively plan their time and explains what “time-bandits” to avoid.
This course will equip you with the tools you need to take control over your time so you can spend longer on more important tasks.
The CPD Accredited course can be completed in just 25 minutes!