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Are Time Management Activities Effective for Boosting Productivity? - HRDQ

Are Time Management Activities Effective for Boosting Productivity?

Have you ever heard it said that "if you want something done, ask a busy person"? This quote from Benjamin Franklin highlights something truly fascinating about time management – the more you have on your plate, the more efficiently you will check tasks off your list.

If you end the workday every day with tasks left unfinished, deadlines looming dangerously near, and stress levels at an all-time high, you might find this quote far from the truth. After all, you're plenty busy, but it feels like you and your team can never quite get what needs to be done.

Believe it or not, the answer to this problem could be stepping away from work for a bit and engaging in time management activities with your team. These exercises can help everyone learn the best time management skills to make your office function more efficiently individually and as a team.

Are time management activities truly effective at boosting productivity, though? Let's dive in and take a look at what you need to know.

What Is Time Management and Why Is It Important?

Time management is the process of planning out your time and determining how long you will spend on various tasks to work as efficiently as possible. Some people might be more naturally inclined towards having time management skills, while others might need to work to improve these skills deliberately.

Man Managing Time

When your team suffers from poor time management skills, several adverse outcomes can result, including:

  • Missing deadlines
  • Producing work of poor quality
  • Increasing stress in the office
  • Negatively influencing client relations
  • Having employees with poor work-life balance

Time management is an essential skill in a productive and successful workplace. With the proper tools in your team's arsenal, you can expect that both the company and your workers will be more successful. Basically, time management can teach you and your team to work smarter, not harder.

What Are Time Management Activities?

Time management activities have become increasingly popular in the workplace in recent years. When your team plays time management games or participates in time management activities, it allows them to build the necessary skills to deal with several different tasks at one time.

These are exercises where your team can learn how they make decisions under pressure. Through these simulations, valuable lessons are learned that can then be applied later in actual situations.

Team Performing Activity

Some of the time management skills that your team can learn from this type of activity include:

  • Prioritizing tasks
  • Planning ahead
  • Avoiding multitasking (focusing on one task at a time)
  • Eliminating distractions
  • Setting goals
  • Staying organized (both mentally and in your workspace)
  • Delegating tasks
  • Managing stress
  • Creating routine
  • Allowing for flexibility
  • Estimating how long tasks will take

Time management activities and games can be practical because they allow your employees to gain self-awareness about their habits, skills, and shortcomings. It can be challenging to zoom out on real-life scenarios to understand how time could be better managed. Playing these types of games can help to strengthen your workers' skills without the pressure of the task at hand.

It's critical to recognize that your team members will likely have different time management styles. This variance means that they will each have their strengths and weaknesses when managing their time. Understanding the different types of time management styles can help you best support your team members at the individual level to boost overall productivity in the workplace.

How Do Time Management Activities Boost Productivity in the Workplace?

If your employees are constantly missing deadlines, stressed, and generally doing their work inefficiently, time management activities can help them learn the necessary skills to correct these issues. While it might seem counterintuitive to step away from your actual work to play games or activities, it can be beneficial to practice time management skills in a simulated situation.

Productive Employees Working

When your workers know how to manage their time better, it can boost their productivity in several crucial ways.

Helps Employees Produce Better Work

Time management doesn't just mean that work gets done more efficiently. It also means that your employees can work with more focus and engagement. When a person has a sense of exactly how they will be using their time, they aren't constantly getting distracted by every little task that pops into their mind.

Employees At Work

Instead, they learn that the best way to be productive is to create a plan and do one thing at a time. They don't have to stop working on their report to check their email because they know that they have scheduled their email response time for 2 p.m., for example. When your employees can stay on task and work in a focused way, you'll find that work doesn't just get done faster, but the work produced is also of a higher quality.

Avoids Missed Deadlines

Working Under Deadline

One of the most significant ways that time management activities can help boost productivity is that they help ensure that critical deadlines are never missed. For example, when a person doesn't know how to manage their time, they might put something off until the last minute in a way that makes completing the task by the deadline nearly impossible. With time management skills, though, they can plot out when they need to start working on the project to ensure it is completed by the time it is due.

Helps Keep Stress Levels Low

The workplace can be stressful, whether the stress results from an impossibly long to-do list, an all-too-near deadline, conflict with team members, or a lopsided work/life balance.

Learning to manage stress is vital for having a successful, sustainable career. When you possess adequate time management skills, however, it can help you avoid stress altogether.

Stressed Out Employee

When a person gets stressed out, it can take a real toll on their productivity. It can make them feel so overwhelmed that they cannot practice the time management skills they know. It can negatively impact their ability to focus and even take a toll on their health. Getting stressed out is a key ingredient in the recipe for burnout.

By teaching your team time management skills through activities and games, they are better equipped to stay on top of their to-do list and avoid stress. Even when stress does arise, it can give them a map to follow to ensure that they continue to make steady progress.

Helps Identify Priorities

Setting Work Priorities

Another significant benefit of time management activities is that they can teach your team to prioritize their most important work. When your workers understand which tasks need to get done first, they can work more effectively and experience less stress and anxiety. It can also nip procrastination in the bud, helping to sequence tasks in the order of their importance.

Boosts Confidence

If you've ever felt completely overwhelmed by what you need to get done today, this week, or this year, you know that "confidence" isn't the right word to describe how you feel. However, when you start the day with a clear sense of your plan, you can face the day with your head held high and your shoulders back.

Confident Company Employee

By allowing your workers to engage in time management activities, you are allowing them to associate time management with confidence. In addition, these activities and games allow your team members to see how effective they can be in using their time, and they can then carry that over into the work they do. This can offer a much-needed self-esteem boost and allow your newly empowered workers to create better work more efficiently.

Increases Efficiency

Another benefit of time management activities is that they can help your team become more efficient. Different activities and games can teach your team skills such as how to delegate, deal with distractions, order tasks, and avoid things that waste time.

You'll find that one of the most prominent results of these types of activities is that work gets done more efficiently. Your workers will learn how to prioritize tasks, keep the big picture in mind, and give the proper amount of time to each item on their to-do list.

Efficiently Working Team

One of the best things about efficiency in the workplace is that everyone wins. As a manager or a business owner, you enjoy the benefit of a workforce producing their best work in the shortest amount of time. In addition, your employees benefit from not putting more energy towards work than they need to, meaning that they can use that energy to make further progress in their careers or personal lives.

Are you looking for time management tools and training materials that you can use to improve efficiency in your workplace? Take a look at what HRDQ has to offer.

Improves Decision Making and Problem Solving Skills

Solving problems and making decisions in the workplace can be one of the biggest time sucks. It's possible to contemplate the different options on the table endlessly, going back and forth about the pros and cons of all of the routes you could take in response to a specific problem. While it's crucial to put the right amount of thought into each decision that needs to be made, it's just as essential to make a decision and pull the trigger when the time is right.

Team Making A Decision

Time management activities can help your employees recognize that solving problems and making decisions can be done efficiently. By learning how to break bigger issues into smaller parts, they can learn how to tackle a large problem piece by piece.

Provides Better Work/Life Balance

In the world of productivity research, it has become increasingly apparent that work/life balance is essential for the health of both a company and its employees.

If you work in a fast-paced industry, it's easy to have your eye so fixed on the goal that you don't give yourself (or your workers) a chance to catch their breath. However, allowing your employees to have a healthy work/life balance is one of the most important things to prevent burnout. Burnout isn't just bad because you want your employees to be happy and healthy, but also because it can be incredibly costly to your organization.

When workers are burned out, they are more likely to look for another job or take sick days. Unfortunately, it can also wreak havoc on office morale, which isn't good for productivity, the company culture, or your turnover rate.

Employees Outside Of Work

Through time management activities, you can help ensure that your employees maintain a balance between their careers and personal life. When they have the necessary skills to get all of their work done in a timely fashion, they won't be spending their evenings in the office on the night of a deadline or taking their work home.

When you help your workers learn how to manage their time effectively, they have more time and energy to put towards their personal lives. That means that they are much more likely to show up for work in the morning refreshed and ready to go after having had plenty of time to rest, relax, and enjoy their lives outside of the workplace.

What Is Your Time Management Style?

One of the great things about time management activities is that they can help you and your employees learn about your unique time management styles. What's important isn't finding one cookie-cutter solution to time management issues for your entire team but rather helping each individual figure out the skills that help them produce their best work efficiently and at the lowest possible stress level.

Team of Employees

At HRDQ, we understand how important it is for you as a leader to know your style in the workplace. That's why we created What's My Time Style, an assessment that will help you identify your time management style. When you understand your time management style, you'll find that you are more efficient in your personal work and that you are also better able to work with others who have different time management styles.

Do you have any potential questions about time management activities or how you can implement them into your company? If you do, please feel free to leave a comment down below, and we'll get back to you within a day or two! We make it a point to reply to every comment or question that we receive, and we'd be more than happy to assist you however we possibly can!

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About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.