time management challenges
Management & Mindset

5 Ways to Conquer Your Time Management Challenges

Endless meetings, piled up paperwork, no personal life…When time management challenges get out of control, the consequences are ugly.

And sometimes we just wish the day had a few extra hours. 

While we’re stuck with just 24 hours in a day, we can take steps to manage the time that we do have more efficiently. And we need to; research by Development Academy shows that only 20% of people feel like their work is under control on a daily basis. 

In this article, we share five tips to face these time management challenges and get a better grip on our workdays.

Why is time management so crucial?

Good time management skills enable you to maintain an ambitious workload, focusing on the important tasks over the superficial ones. If you’re able to strike the right balance, you can check off your goals quicker, while reducing stress and risk of burnout. Good time management should: 

  • Improve work quality
  • Make room for new ideas (innovation)
  • Reduce employee stress
  • Improve decision-making

So, with these time management benefits in mind, let’s see how you can implement time management best practices:

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5 tips to help you face time management challenges

1. Keep track of your time

If you often ask yourself, “just where exactly did my day go?”, it might be a good idea to invest in some type of time tracking tool. 

Time tracking can help you understand which tasks took you the longest or how much time you spent getting coffee. If you’re working for a company of a certain size, it could make sense to go all in on specialized time management software.

If you’re a smaller organization, simpler techniques might be just as efficient. The options out there include: 

Simple mobile apps. 

There are hundreds of applications with various features. Here are some of the most popular: 

Forest

Get distracted on your phone? Forest might be just the thing. A creative app which gamifies focus, Forest encourages users to stay focused on a current task by planting a tree within the app and setting a timer—if the user goes on their phone before the time is up (when they should be focusing), their tree dies. 

Forest

Rescue Time  

Sitting in your taskbar, this app promises to find an ideal Focus Work goal, just for you: “We assess your work style and meeting schedule, then combine those results with our analysis of over 3 billion hours of activity from people like you to give you a daily Focus Work Goal.”

Rescue time

Toggl

This is an all-time favorite. Toggle is one of the simplest solutions for freelancers, small, or large teams to track where their time goes.

Toggle

Timely

This app uses AI to help better manage your time. It’s perfect for professionals who need to track their time and task management from one spot. Timely also helps categorize your tasks with an automated system.

Timely

Clockify

Clockify is a practical solution for keeping track of how much time employees spend on various tasks and projects. Its interface is simple and sleek.

Clockify

Work Time

The name says it all. The software provides insights on how your employees use their time and helps them manage it more efficiently.

work time

Timecamp

This app offers the advantage of tracking time both manually and automatically. Also, if you’re looking for integrations with other apps, this might be your perfect solution.

Timecamp

Being aware of how much time you spend on tasks, conferences, and personal time off is the first step of successful time organization. This will also help discover any productivity gaps in your business.

2. Find out when people are most productive

Did you know that 65% of employees feel more productive during the holidays

Ouch. What do you do now? 

Your best bet is to determine the most productive period during the day. Whether you’re a team lead or a team member, here are some tips to work this out: 

  • Track and adapt progress by using goal tracking apps like ClickUp, Targets, Goal Folder, etc.
  • Keep track of clock-ins and clock-outs through your software. You can also use additional tools like Clockify which helps store employee attendance and progress data. 
  • Ask employees when they feel most productive with a simple survey.

Once you do this, prioritize tasks and deadlines according to when you and your team feel the most productive. If your graphic designer is more creative and fired up in the evenings, let them work later and get started later. This is one of the benefits of a flexible, asynchronous work culture; employees can work at their own pace and manage their productivity highs and lows.

3. Assign tasks effectively

Properly splitting the work between team members helps achieve efficient task management. This means anticipating tasks, assigning tasks, and scheduling deadlines based on each team member’s individual skills. 

If Marie from Marketing doesn’t like copywriting and always has to triple check her work for grammar mistakes, she might not be the best person to schedule Instagram posts on the fly. Giving that task to Eric, who likes writing and majored in English literature, who also enjoys social media monitoring, will probably be more efficient.

Here are some tips for effective task assignment:

  • Determine the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. Who likes doing what? Who hates doing what? 
  • Set clear, realistic, and well-communicated deadlines. Leave room for error, and assign one ‘owner’ per task.
  • Use special task management software to create and assign jobs, and check whether they get completed on time. Platforms like Infinity, ProofHub, and Teamwork are perfect for tracking task management through a visually appealing interface. 
  • Use an SMS platform to always keep communicating with the team and discuss different topics or issues here and save time for personal meetings. 

4. Get smart about recruitment

Many companies are on a constant lookout for fresh minds. However, with so many projects and tasks going on, it can be hard to prioritize all of your open positions, find appropriate candidates and in the end send them welcome emails. While using emails, ensure proper email security and deliverability for best results.

If you or your recruiting team feels overwhelmed with all the open roles to fill, then you need to think of a functional time management strategy for hiring new candidates. Here are three tips to consider:

  • Automate the recruitment process. When you’re dealing with a large pool of candidates, it’s hard to find enough time to engage with each one. A well-thought and automated procedure will cut down on busywork. Zoho Recruit, ZoomInfo, and Hiretual are a few platforms to help automate the recruitment process in your company.
  • Consider online interviewing. With remote work becoming the new normal, conducting online meetings and interviews is considered perfectly acceptable. Online meet ups will not only save your time when it comes to welcoming candidates, but also creates extra comfort for the interviewees, some of whom might get more nervous during in-person meetings. 
  • Automate the interview reporting process. After meeting with candidates, you’ll need to save and review data to choose the right person for the job. To manage your time more effectively and get real results, consider automating data acquisition and analysis with tools like Yello.

5. Offer time management courses

Your employees might have the best intentions, but it could be that they don’t yet have the skills to properly manage their time. A good option would be to offer training to help them get up to speed. You can opt for off-the-shelf content from places like Udemy, Coursera, and LinkedIn, or you can use a Collaborative Learning approach to build your own courses using internal subject matter experts. You can learn more about how Collaborative Learning works in our ebook, below.

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With good time management, team members can also have their personal life after working hours and don’t need to work overtime. If they organize their work properly by prioritizing tasks and use the time management tips mentioned above, then they can easily do their personal things, go to gym, listen to online podcasts, meet friends and other activities. It will increase their productivity and give motivation to work the next day.