You want to know the most ridiculous thing that I worry about? I worry about becoming one of those people who will get worried when there is nothing to worry about. To be clear, I’m not currently one of those people. So this ridiculous worry I have is either a testament to my having a control over my anxiety or to there never having been a period of time where there’s nothing to worry about.
If I had to judge for myself, I’d say the time management activities I have put in place have given me greater control over my anxiety than the average Joe or Jane. But, how long did it take to put those time management tasks in place and what are the benefits besides just “feeling less anxious”?
Well, I’m here to tell you that time management – which goes hand in hand with priority management – has a benefits list that reaches into every area of your life. If you’ve not been convinced to use some of our free resources to reap the glory of time management, perhaps going over the 3 biggest benefits of time management will convince you.
Benefit 1: You feel more productive
Placing an emphasis on time management will reign in wasted time in all areas of your life. Of course you will actually be more productive, but that is nothing in comparison to what it feels like to get more done.
To understand this benefit, you have to understand what wasted time is. We have certain times of days where we are more productive than other times of day. Motivation and work can typically meet for a nice mutual ride in the morning, for instance.
Eric Barker, a famed productivity writer, has crafted a nice post on the schedule successful people follow every day. He says, that it is key to “make sure your energy levels are matched to the importance of the task at hand.”
With that in mind, how often do we have high energy and expend it doing wasteful activities (like checking social media, anyone?). Having better control over your time management doesn’t mean that you give up “wasteful” activities. Rather, you just start to only do leisurely activities when your energy levels aren’t quite fit enough for more work-intensive activities.
Watching out for how you use your energy toward daily activities will allow you to energy maximize and inevitably make you more productive. When you get more done, there’s the added benefit of feeling accomplished and wonderful about yourself. There’s really no way to fake getting this feeling unless you actually increase your productivity.
Benefit 2: You get better at prioritizing
Priority management goes hand in hand with time management, but they are not the same thing.
Here’s the difference: just because something is low priority doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to take you a short time to complete it or that you shouldn’t get it done sooner rather than later. On the flip side, when something is high priority it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to take a long time to complete or that you shouldn’t put it off until next week.
Priorities have to be taken into consideration along with what is pressing to get done in the timeframe you’re considering. Something can be low priority for the current week but high priority for the month.
For many business owners, the constant shuffling of priorities can leave you feeling anxious and a lot of tasks just half way done. If you have stronger willpower and control over how you manage your time, your priorities (a) get done and (b) become a little clearer as a result without having to constantly re-prioritize.
Instead of having 9 items on your daily to do list which will all take 5 hours to complete, you’ll have a shorter list of items which you’ll know can actually be done today. By prioritizing, you can stop with the constant “I got it about 75% of the way done but then had to move on to this other item.”
Actually finishing the tasks you prioritize is much better than having prioritized a bunch of items but getting only a slim number completed.
Benefit 3: You get to be in control
The opposite of feeling like you’re in control is having to feel like you’re at the mercy of someone or something else. In the case of time management, oftentimes you feel like you are at the mercy of your schedule instead of in control of your schedule.
Feeling like you have no control over what you’re going to do day to day or week to week can leave you feeling mega overwhelmed and potentially depressed. If you can’t get a handle on scheduling all your competing work & personal interests, then you’ll never get a grip on leading your life. I know that sounds harsh, but I’m not into sugarcoating things.
You see, humans have this tendency to believe (idyllically) that we will one day become the type of person that likes to do whatever it is you believe “successful” people do differently than you.
I used to believe that I was one day going to grow into this mature adult who really liked to get up early and go to the gym to exercise. When I realized that that day was never going to come (at least for me, a natural born night owl) I was forced to give up that idyllic version of my future self.
I still don’t like getting up at 5:45. I would much rather stay sound asleep. Yet, I’m crazy if I think that I’m going to one day become this person that will enjoy it without forcing myself to make the healthy decision to get up and exercise.
The same thing goes with scheduling your daily tasks and sticking to your schedule. You may think that you will one day (magically, no doubt) become this person who has it all under control, who can prioritize well and get everything checked off her list. I’m here to tell you that this magic change has to start with you deciding to change.
Only when you decide that you want to improve your time management will you start to feel like you’ve got a grip on your priorities and daily tasks. Unless you decide to start doing it, it will never happen (and if it did magically happen, how much control would you have really had?).
Now that you know the benefits of time management, how do you actually improve your time management skills? This blog is a good place to start (along with our guide to free online organizer resources), but you can also check out some books and other writers who are good resources for time management advice (like Eric Barker or S.J. Scott).
Have a question about time management that we can answer? Let us know in the comments below!