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Time Management in the Workplace: Simple Tricks to Enhance Efficiency

May 9, 2024

7 min read

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Author : Riddhi Bhadricha
Time Management in the Workplace: Simple Tricks to Enhance Efficiency


We all have read quotes like “Time and Tide wait for none.” Everyone knows that time is the most valuable resource, and once lost, it cannot be brought back again. Yet some people are still not able to use their time effectively. This is because the majority of people do not actually understand the importance of this significant life skill. Research by Macan et al. (1990) defines time management as the ability to regulate one’s use of time effectively and efficiently, involving the allocation of time to tasks based on their importance and urgency. In simpler terms, time management means using your time wisely so that you can get more things done successfully in a limited time. Time management is about making the most of your time so that there is time for other leisure activities.

Time Management In The Workplace

One of the most recurrent complaints we hear from employees is, “Where did all my time go?” “I do not have enough time to complete all of my tasks,” or “I never have personal time; it’s always work, work, work.” One of the most chronic problems faced by employees at work is associated with time management. When a person struggles to get on par with time, it leads to extreme feelings of burnout and workplace stress.  Effective time management is important not only for individual success but also for organisations. Time management does not mean keeping working harder and harder to achieve everything on your to-do list. It means how, as an employee, you can work smarter to achieve the most in a limited time span. 

Time Management Skills In The Workplace

Time management skills are crucial and should be taught from a young age. These skills include constructively distributing time to tasks and activities, as well as categorising and organising, which can help with productivity. These skills embody different strategies that an employee can use to achieve his/her tasks successfully in the workplace. Time management skills also require employees to adapt easily to situations or changes, be flexible, and deal with distractions. When employees master these time management skills, it can help them be successful not just in their professional endeavours but also in their personal growth.  

Importance Of Time Management In The Workplace

Time management is pivotal in workplace settings, and it is backed by countless research and studies. 

  1. When employees use time management principles such as being more aware of and in control of their time, it leads to higher perceived performance, increased productivity, and reduced somatic tension (Macan et al., 1990).
  2.  It also leads to increased job satisfaction (Landy et al., 1991). 
  3. Employees who performed more time management behaviours were more effective at work, had higher levels of morale, and reduced distress levels (Kearns & Gardiner, 2007). 
  4. Time management skills also lead to a better work-life balance, which allows employees to distribute their time for both their professional and personal use (Bryon, 2005).

Time Management Techniques At The Workplace

There are several strategies or techniques that employees can use to improve their time management skills (Arnold & Pulich, 2004). 

  1. Daily Goals: Establishing daily goals is very essential. Start establishing clear goals daily. The absence of daily goals can lead to some tasks being missed out, increased workload and lesser time to achieve those tasks as well as the quality of those doing those tasks goes down. 
  2. Prioritising: Once goals have been established, one should prioritise them. Goals should be pursued based on priority. High-priority tasks, as well as difficult tasks, should be completed first. Important and urgent tasks can be pursued in the beginning of the day, whereas less urgent tasks can be completed as the day progresses. 
  3. To-do list: Employees can also start maintaining a to-do list. A to-do list can be made in the start of the day before starting work. To-do lists help us list down all the activities and tasks that need to be completed in one day. 
  4. Being organised: Try to keep your workspaces or desks neat and clean. A messy and cluttered workspace leads to more distractions. It leads to employees wasting more time finding files and papers, especially when they are urgent. 
  5. Avoid Distractions: Distractions should be avoided to save time. Cell phones, chatty workers, or social media are the most common distractions at work that take up most of the time of employees. If you keep getting distracted at work and it has started affecting your work, take a moment to find out things that distract you. Find solutions that you can use to tackle this problem. For example, if cell phone use or social media is taking up too much of your time, disable social media when working or fix a specific time for social media. 
  6. Avoid Multitasking: Another mistake that a lot of employees make is multitasking. Multitasking can take too much of your time. If you are completing three or four tasks at the same time, you end up achieving nothing. It also affects the quality of work when multiple things are done at the same time. Multitasking also leads to making more mistakes and errors. It is preferable to complete one task at a time, give your hundred per cent to the task and do your best.  
  7. Take Breaks: In addition to all these techniques, give yourself breaks. Taking regular breaks when working is the key to being productive all day. You cannot jump through a task in one go; you need to take a breather. It is even beneficial if you have a scheduled, timed break. For example – taking a short walk, listening to your favourite song or meditating. This helps you relax, and when you get back to work, you are more energised. But the break mustn’t take more than ten to fifteen minutes.
  8. Accept your limitations: Be aware of the fact that there will be times when you will not be able to complete all the tasks. Don’t always assume that you will complete all the tasks and that you should complete all the tasks when your workload is significantly higher. Learn to delegate tasks or seek help when it gets too much. 

Benefits Of Time Management In The Workplace

Time management has numerous benefits in the workplace. 

  1. Time management helps employees manage their workload efficiently, which leads to employees completing their work on time. 
  2. It also helps with the quality of work delivered and improves productivity. 
  3. Time management can also help with the problem of procrastination. When employees use time management skills, they perform better and the concept of doing tasks “later” reduces. 
  4. It also helps reduce workplace stress, thereby reducing feelings of being less overwhelmed and frustrated. 
  5. Time management can help employees be more successful at implementing work-life balance, thereby allowing them to invest more time in leisure and personal activities.


Time management is not rocket science. It is something that everyone can imbibe and incorporate into their lives. It not only helps in employees’ personal growth but also improves the well-being of the entire organisation. All these strategies also help in improving and promoting a positive work culture and increasing employee engagement. Good time management skills and techniques will reap benefits beyond the job. 


Arnold, E., & Pulich, M. (2004). Improving productivity through more effective time management. The Health Care Manager, 23(1), 65–70. https://doi.org/10.1097/00126450-200401000-00011

Byron, K. (2005). A meta-analytic review of work-family conflict and its antecedents. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 67(2), 169–198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2004.08.009

Kearns, H. G. H., & Gardiner, M. (2007). Is it time well spent? The relationship between time management behaviours, perceived effectiveness and workrelated morale and distress in a university context. Higher Education Research and Development, 26(2), 235–247. https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360701310839

Landy, F. J., Rastegary, H., Thayer, J. F., & Colvin, C. (1991). Time urgency: The construct and its measurement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(5), 644–657. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.76.5.644

Macan, T. H., Shahani, C., Dipboye, R. L., & Phillips, A. P. (1990). College students’ time management: Correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(4), 760–768. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.82.4.760

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Author : Riddhi Bhadricha

Riddhi Bhadrichal works as a Counselling Psychologist in Mumbai.

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