“I don’t have enough time in my day! Where does my time go?”
Recently PWH members participated in an online survey to help the blog committee identify areas members were challenged with at work in order to determine blog content that they would find beneficial. Time management was the number 1 challenge!
To assist our members in addressing this area, over the course of the next few weeks, you will be receiving a quick time management tip every Tuesday-Tuesday Time Tips!
No Time? Join the Club.
Everyone has the same 24 hours in their day. The question becomes how are you using those hours?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spend an average 7.6 hours per day working and 2.5 hours per day doing household activities.
On top of this, if you have children under 6 years of age, the average American spends an additional 2 hours on childcare.
This means that over half of your day is gone, with over 12 hours a day devoted to working, household and caring activities. Then there is the time for sleeping (an average of 8.6 hours) and eating.
No wonder that you feel pressured by time, with never enough time to do things that you want to do.
In addition, according to Dr. Donald E. Wetmore, 80% of employees do not want to go to work on Monday morning. By Friday, the rate only drops to 60%. Definitely an indication that time management is important to ensure you want to get up and go to work and enjoy what you do.
Thus time management is really about how you “self-manage” your time, and how you use the time available to you in the most effective way. Effective use of your time now only increases your quality of life, but also elevates your level of professionalism with peers, bosses and other influential leaders.
First Step to Time Recovery
When I coach my employees, many of them are not aware of some of their time management issues. This is especially true of new employees whether it’s their first job or they are new to the job, or if they are in a transitional role, in a downsize situation or working with a rapidly growing company. They just know that they are very busy and stressed, and wonder how they will get through the day, let alone the week.
Does this sound familiar?
If so, then the first step is to identify where your time is going.
To use an analogy, think of a time that you saved your money for that pair of shoes or family trip. What did you do?
In most cases you probably budgeted your money. You probably examined your spending patterns looking for ways to save more.
Well a time inventory (audit or assessment) works the same way. By keeping an objective track of your time you are collecting your own time management statistics.
I find that when my employees do this, they we are able to identify their current time wasters and areas of their life which could be more effectively employed and own the responsibility of defining the changes they need to make and be held accountable for them.
The saying that "You can't fix an issue until you have identified a problem" is also true of time management. A time management inventory eliminates the "trial and error" approach to time management and gives you the time management facts on your own
Understand Your Time Challenges
Below are two time audits or assessments you can take to identify your time challenges. I have found both approaches to be very beneficial.
- a. Simple Time Audit- A time audit can help you find places where you are putting in too much effort for the results returned. It can also help pinpoint pockets of time you can use to put to other uses, such as making your long-term goals come to fruition. By doing a time audit we can boost our productivity. It’s a way we can improve our time management skills, and make sure that we are using our time for the things we want to spend it on. Learn how to conduct your time audit here.
- b. Time Management Style Assessment-This is super cool and quick, only 12 questions online. The Time Management Style Assessment (TMSA), by Kevin Kruse, will give you a thorough analysis of your current time management behaviors. The two primary factors driving time mastery are being clear on your priorities, and using the mechanics of planning (based on the groundbreaking 1994 research of Dr. Therese Hoff Macan). Understanding your current level of competence in these two domains will enable you to identify areas for improvement and further productivity gains. Take the free online quiz here.
Time is a precious resource, so it is worth checking up on our spending now and again. Do you know exactly where your time goes? Often, time management is a case of redistributing our time. After all, we know that we’ll get 24 hours a day, every day; no more, no less. Some people tend to somehow be able to do a lot more with that same amount of time. Don’t miss the next Tuesday Time Management Tip.
We’d love to hear your secrets for managing time-please share!