Time really is money, and THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO. Time slips through our fingers as our inbox fills, and it’s difficult to grasp how some people actually manage it. It feels impossible to know how we can improve the way we manage our days, yet when we do, we are far more productive and far less stressed.
As well as reducing personal pressure, (in turn increasing engagement), UK businesses would be £750 million better off each year if only they could help employees manage their time more effectively[1]. And, according to a Microsoft® Office survey[2], unclear objectives, lack of team communication and ineffective meetings are among the top time wasters and less than 60% of the working day is spent productively.

Multitasking is the enemy

As we contend with doing more in less time, working longer hours and striving to achieve a better work-life balance, our response is often to juggle our task list. Multi-tasking is pervasive in the workplace even though we KNOW it doesn’t work – researchers from the University of Michigan[3] found productivity dropped as much as 40% when subjects tried to do two or more things at once – so why do we do it? A small study published in the Journal of Communication explains that multi-tasking enables individuals to “feel more emotionally satisfied from their work.”, one unquestionable explanation for persisting with juggling tasks in the face of doing-more-in-less-time.

Analysing and prioritising tasks and projects using a model like this one to the right, (Stephen Covey’s time-management matrix, click to enlarge), can unearth some quick wins.

Distraction and self-interruption

Avoiding distraction is impossible:

How to improve your time management skills using your Discovery® profile

  1. The ‘Managing Me’ section

This excerpt of your profile describes the most important strategies you (and others) can use to maximise your potential. Take the time to identify which items on the list stand out as current and significant needs, build a plan around implementing strategies to combat them more often, and start working more effectively.

  1. Revisiting your colour energy make-up

It’s important to remember that interferences aren’t always as obviously physical as a colleague asking a question. Do some homework, read back over your ‘Possible Weaknesses’ with fresh eyes – try to view each point through the lens of ‘how could this cost me time?’, and use this knowledge to plan your day more effectively, e.g.:

  1. Learn more about your time and life management

Add the Personal Achievement chapter to your Insights Discovery profile. You can see a sample starting on page 32 of the full profile here. The chapter explores how an individual can grow and improve in different areas of personal achievement and includes the sections Living on Purpose, Life & Time Management, Personal Creativity, Life Long Learning & Learning Style. It’s practical application spans far and wide:

“Time is highly elastic. We cannot make more time, but time will stretch to accommodate what we choose to put into it.”
Laura Vanderkam[9]


[1] https://digitalnewsroom.media/uploads/2016/03/UK-DST-Report-Final.pdf
[2] https://news.microsoft.com/2005/03/15/survey-findsworkers-average-only-three-productive-days-per-week/
[3] https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/204980
[4] Basex Study (Sept 2005) – The Cost of Not Paying Attention by Jonathan B Spira and Joshua B Feintuch. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/ file/467443/bpe_2015_statistical_release.pdf
[5] https://www.fastcompany.com/944128/worker-interrupted-cost-task-switching
[6] https://digitalnewsroom.media/uploads/2016/03/UK-DST-Report-Final.pdf
[7] https://research.udemy.com/research_report/udemy-depth-2018-workplace-distraction-report/
[8] https://blog.rescuetime.com/225-million-hours-productivity/
[9] https://www.ted.com/talks/laura_vanderkam_how_to_gain_control_of_your_free_time

Why not view our solutions on workplace culture today?

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