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Time Management Styles: Improve Your Time Management
As the classic saying goes, “time is money.” When your employees aren’t best utilizing their time, your business isn’t reaching its maximum potential. That’s why it’s important to provide the training your team needs to prioritize tasks and stay on track. If you’d like to improve your time management skills, learning more about the most common time management styles is a great place to start.
Those who embody the go-getter time management style are all about prioritization. As soon as they receive an assignment, they break it down into a series of smaller tasks and plan out how much time each will take. They often have a checklist of items that they work through, moving from one assignment to the next. Many times, they complete tasks even before they are due.
The downfall of this style is that they generally can only focus on a single project at a time. They don’t respond well to sudden changes and uncertainty, as this often derails the plan they have set for themselves. The importance they place on maintaining a strict schedule can sometimes make them lose sight of the bigger picture and ultimate goal.
The procrastinator time management style is perhaps the most commonly-known style. It involves waiting until the last possible moment to complete an assignment. Employees who embody this style have a hard time with prioritization, but they do tend to work well when the pressure is on. They leave themselves plenty of time to come up with ideas, and they are often readily available to assist others, given that they don’t adhere to a strict schedule.
While it may work for some, there are some serious negatives to this time management style. An employee’s work may not be completed to the best of their abilities because they did not allow themselves enough time to fully engage with the project. Sometimes, the assignment may even be turned in after the stated deadline. Because of their risky behavior, they may cause mistrust, resentment, and serious stress amongst coworkers.
People who fall under the multi-tasking time management style thrive in busy work environments that keep them on their toes. They have a clear understanding of the tasks they have at hand and enjoy jumping between them or working on multiple tasks at once. It’s important that they have complete control of their schedules, so they can pick and choose what they feel like working on at any given time. They believe juggling multiple items at once is the best way to get everything done more quickly.
The primary issue with this style comes down to a matter of follow-through. Multi-taskers sometimes underestimate how much time assignments will take, and since they bounce around from project to project, they may miss deadlines because not enough time was calculated for a certain task. In addition, because they lack focus, you might find that there are many errors in their work. They usually don’t have enough time or energy to pay much attention to detail.
Everything is in the details when it comes to the perfectionist time management style. When you give an employee who embodies this style a project, you can trust that the end result is flawless—perhaps with added touches you may not have thought to include. They stick to the task at hand until it exceeds expectations.
The problem here is that the perfectionist style ends up getting too bogged down in the details. They get so obsessed with producing flawless work that they spend far too much time on even the simplest of projects. They can only work on one assignment at a time, and when tasks start piling up, they can feel quite overwhelmed. Perfectionist styles have a difficult time letting go of their work to move on to the next assignment.
Collaborator time management styles are always eager to take on new projects. They enjoy assisting coworkers with their assignments and are quick to join new teams, which helps to expand their areas of expertise. Although their schedules are usually quite packed, they always make time to help a fellow employee out. In addition, they typically plan their schedules around those of others.
The primary downfall here is the collaborator style’s inability to say “no.” They tend to be overloaded with projects and can quickly burn themselves out. While their assistance is greatly valued by others, they lack necessary boundaries and tend to put others before themselves, making them more likely to fall behind on work of their own.
More Assessments & Training Materials from HRDQ
Understanding these common time management styles is the foundation for improving individual and team time management skills. For more soft-skills training resources, explore our full collection of work style assessments in the HRDQ Style Suite. This virtual library is filled with easy-to-use personality style assessments that can help improve many facets of organizational life.