“You may delay, but time will not.” These are the words of the ever-practical Benjamin Franklin, and they are, dare I say, timeless – they apply just as much today as they did when he said them. Time management is important for all professionals, and is utterly essential for entrepreneurs. Most of us can probably rattle off at least five or ten time management tips and skills we’ve learned along the way, but do we really know why time management is important in the first place? A recent blog post from schedule consulting company AppointmentPlus offers some insight into the answer to the question of why time management matters. These three reasons in particular stood out to me:
Time is not an unlimited resource.
This might seem obvious and elementary, but it’s important to remind ourselves occasionally that no one, regardless of name, age, profession, or wealth, has more than twenty-four hours in a day. As noted in the blog post referred to above, “That applies to you, and to your co-worker who only seems to be able to do half the amount of work you do. But it also applies to the former coworker who consistently accomplishes more than you, and who was promoted as a result”. If you want to rise through the ranks, you have to acknowledge the importance of finding a way to manage this limited resource.
Work less, accomplish more.
Work smarter, not harder. When you are able to control your time, rather than letting time control you, “you improve your ability to focus. And with an increased focus comes enhanced efficiency, because you don’t lose momentum.” Your ability to focus also increases because when you’ve learned to manage your time well, you’re able to pay full attention to each task at hand rather than simultaneously worrying about whether you’ll be able to get things done on time.
Earn your rest.
I have posted before about what I believe to be the importance of down time, especially when it comes to creativity and morale. Sadly, though, in today’s world, we suffer both personally and professionally when we don’t allow ourselves to relax. “[H]aving good time management skills helps you find that time. When you’re busy, you’re getting more done. You accumulate extra time throughout your day that you can use later to relax, unwind, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.” It’s important, though, to remember to actually use that accumulated time to relax and unwind, and not simply to cram in more work.