Top 9 corporate time management techniques and strategies that work!

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Corporate time management

What is corporate time management?

Corporate time management refers to the process of managing and organizing time spent on activities in a corporate structure. Unquestionably, time management is important in any field. Overall, it enables professionals to utilize their time more effectively, allowing them to work towards their business goals.

Corporate time management is the process of managing and organizing time spent on a corporate structure.

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A workforce that utilizes effective corporate time management techniques achieves better results with less effort. As a result, productivity and performance improve, enabling the business to reach its objectives in good time.

When time management is done right

  • When time is well managed, the team can easily deliver work on time.
  • Effective time management assists businesses in identifying time wasters in the workplace.
  • Businesses that employ effective time management techniques are better equipped to deliver their product or service consistently.
  • Companies that use time management techniques have a more organized work structure.
  • Good time management techniques also indicate that a company can resolve issues without interfering with day-to-day operations.
  • Time management techniques improve a company’s efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Time management techniques that work boost confidence and respect among the workforce.

Corporate time management techniques are essential in any industry. They allow the workforce to be more productive while also saving time and money.

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When time management is poor

According to recent time management statistics, only one in every five people (18%) has a proper time management system, while the other 82% do not have a specific time management technique. Low productivity, financial losses, and a slew of other issues are frequently the result of poor corporate time management. If businesses continue to ignore time management concerns, they’ll be confronted with the following issues:

  • Low effectiveness: when there are no time management techniques in place, the workforce ends up doing the wrong things at the wrong time, misallocating tasks, missing deadlines, and prioritizing the unimportant.
  • Lack of control over employees: when businesses fail to adopt time management tools, such as tracking or monitoring software, it becomes difficult to properly evaluate gaps in the team’s work and effectiveness.
  • Lack of priorities: one of the most common causes of low productivity and wasted time is a lack of prioritization. Without efficient prioritization, the team would make several mistakes during the work process.
  • Missing deadlines: a lack of control and chaos in task execution results in a consistent failure to meet deadlines.
  • Reduced customer trust: Over time, trustworthy relationships with customers may be destroyed in one fell swoop owing to deadline failures or mistakes committed throughout the job execution process.
  • Clients loss: clients will leave if there are frequent delays and low-quality service for which they are paying. A customer loss results in a monetary loss for the business.

Poor corporate time management might lead to low productivity, financial losses, and a slew of other issues.

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4 time management do’s and don’ts

1. Planning

Do: It is necessary to plan your day, from tasks to deadlines. When you plan your daily activities, you can focus on and achieve your goals. Planning serves as a guide for future decision-making and reduces the likelihood of chaos resulting from unanticipated events.

Don’t: Never skip this step as this might result in failed projects and other issues. Improper or no planning allows for a planning fallacy, in which you underestimate the time needed to complete a task or project effectively. Furthermore, when projects lack enough preparation, workers spend time that might have been spent finishing the task/project finding out how to address the problem. Without careful planning, the workday will certainly be stress-filled.

2. Setting priorities

Do: Set priorities that allow the team to stay focused on achieving the most important goals first and taking the necessary steps to ensure they do. Setting priorities will help them avoid becoming overwhelmed if they have several goals to accomplish.

Don’t: When setting priorities, don’t forget to differentiate between what is important and what is urgent. One of the main reasons businesses don’t prioritize properly is a lack of clarity in distinguishing between urgency and importance, which leads to choosing the wrong priorities. This can have a long-term impact on overall productivity and output.

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3. Setting deadlines

Do: Establish realistic deadlines to promote a smooth flow of work. Deadlines define what the team is anticipated to produce and when it is expected to do it. This means they can manage the work process adequately. Deadlines allow employees to work together to achieve a common goal and keep projects on track.

Don’t: When deadlines are not met or set unrealistically, it can negatively impact performance and business reputation, especially if it occurs more than once. For example, when teams try to complete long-term, large-scale projects that could take a month in a matter of days, they become stressed and unable to cope with the enormity of the “problem.” The perfectionist’s paralysis and fear take control, and their subconscious mind postpones such activities. Employees eventually get distracted with other duties, and the “complicated” jobs go unsolved.

4. Applying time management tools

Do: Choose time management systems that are tailored to your specific business requirements. A good example of a time management tool would be time and productivity tracking software. This technology enables accurate time tracking, streamlines the workflow, boosts productivity, and much more.

Don’t: When businesses don’t utilize time management tools, it won’t be easy to properly estimate how employees spend their time or how productive they are.

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Top 9 corporate time management techniques that work

The following are the top workforce management techniques that managers and teams should incorporate into their work processes:

1. The Eisenhower matrix (The 4D’s) technique

Statistics show that the Eisenhower matrix is the most effective time management technique. This technique is mostly used for task prioritization and categorization. It is based on a quote from US President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said, ”what is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.”

”What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” – US President Dwight D. Eisenhower

This time management technique assists in distinguishing between urgent and important tasks and non-urgent and unimportant tasks. The idea is to strike a happy medium throughout the workday. This time management technique is only successful when goals are well stated.

Eisenhower matrix helps to distinguish between urgent and important tasks and non-urgent and unimportant tasks.

How it works
Eisenhower divides tasks into 4 distinct categories:

  • Urgent and important (DO): These tasks need urgent attention and should be done immediately. Tasks with short deadlines, for example.
  • Important and not Urgent (Decide): This involves future planning. These tasks may be postponed until a later date. For example, carrying out project work that has been scheduled.
  • Urgent and not important (Delegate): These tasks should be tackled next.You may also delegate these duties to others to spread out the work process and provide results on time. Low priority emails, for example.
  • Not important, not urgent (Delete or Do it later): Remove any activities that are insignificant and do not fit with the company’s objectives or purpose. Unproductive online surfing, for example.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People who require assistance in prioritizing work.
  • People who have a lot to do but have no idea where to start.
  • Managers and executives.

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2. Timeboxing technique by Elon Musk

Timeboxing, also known as time blocking, is a time management technique that requires you to allot a specified amount of time to concentrate on a task or activity and then integrate the resultant time blocks into your schedule. Elon Musk plans his own calendar using this time management technique. Teams may also use this technique to manage their time better and be more organized and productive.

Elon Musk is quite a busy man. He has a ‘5 minute rule,’ which entails planning his day out in 5 minutes blocks.

How it works
Timeboxing consists of four phases:

  • The ”plan” phase entails: planning everything, including tasks and activities, and prioritizing them.
  • The ”block” phase entails:
    – Allocating a particular time block for each task/activity.
    – Defining start and end times.
    – Determining the amount of time required to block time by defining the task duration
    – Keeping a buffer to accommodate an unexpected activity or if you need additional time on a given task.
  • The ”act” phase:
    – Begin working on the first daily task or block (start with high priority tasks) at the set start time and finish by the specified end time.
    – Then, as you work your way through your day’s schedule, repeat the process.
    – Plan your breaks in between time chunks.
  • The ”revise” phase entails: tracking time spent on various time blocks to see if any are too short or too lengthy, allowing you to revise and improve them in the future.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People who require more structure in their work-life.
  • People who require assistance in prioritizing work.
  • People who have a lot to do but have no idea where to start.

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3. Automated productivity management technique

Observations alone may not be enough to understand how to improve time management, particularly in larger teams and businesses. Automated productivity management tools, like employee time tracking solutions, are a technology that no computerized office should be without today. You don’t have to guess; you know exactly how your employees spend their working time with this technology. Time tracking tools provide a simple, straightforward method for measuring and improving employee time and productivity. They provide teams with the information needed to make strategic improvements.

With automated productivity management technology, you don’t have to guess; you know exactly how your employees spend their working time.

How it works

  • Install time tracking software on your network.
  • It works automatically in the background and collects comprehensive data about employee computer usage.
  • View reports in real-time. The reports provide the following info: productivity level and factors affecting productivity; attendance, overtimes, and false overtimes; employee distraction level and factors; the total number of hours worked by each employee, logins/logouts, etc.
  • All the monitored information helps the managers and the employees become aware of the traits keeping productivity low and how exactly the working time is being wasted.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People from every industry, any computerized office.
  • Teams looking to increase performance and productivity.

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4. The Pomodoro technique

According to statistics, this age-old technique is the second most successful time management strategy for combating procrastination and maintaining productivity and focus. Francesco Cirillo invented it in the early 1990s. The Pomodoro technique alternates between 25 and 5-minute work and break periods. Each of these 25-minute productivity bursts or intervals is known as a Pomodoro.

The Pomodoro technique alternates between 25 and 5-minute work and break periods.

How it works

  • You’ll only need a timer. (You work in short sprints)
  • Choose a task to be completed. (One at a time)
  • Set the timer to 25 minutes.
  • Work on the task until the buzzer goes off.
  • Take a 5-minute break.
  • Repeat the process.(Pomodoro)
  • Take a longer break after 4 Pomodoros.(15-30 minutes)
  • Make a note of each session to track your progress.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People who are easily distracted.
  • People working on flat-rate projects.
  • People whose line of work is to create something that others will review, such as developers, software engineers, designers, authors, etc.
  • People who perform a lot of repetitive tasks.

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5. The SMART technique

The SMART technique is a common goal-setting technique.
This technique has been in use since 1981 when George T. Doran’s paper titled “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) way to write management goals and objectives” was published.
Setting goals is an essential part of effective time management.

According to Entrepreneur, goals are significant contributors to successful business growth.

How it works

  • Specific: the goals you aim to attain must be clearly defined.
  • Measurable: there must be a solid way to evaluate progress.
  • Achievable: set goals that you can realistically accomplish within a given timeframe.
  • Relevant: your goals must apply to the broader picture and long-term.
  • Time-bound: there should be a clear time frame for when the goal will be accomplished.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People who have a general concept of what they want to achieve but aren’t sure where to start.
  • Business owners with long-term objectives.
  • New hires with little or no experience.

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6. The Kanban technique

The Kanban technique is a system that can help you better manage your tasks and provide clarity on what to do, and evaluate how well you do it. Its origins can be traced back to Japanese manufacturing. The Japanese word for a “visual” sign is kanban. This management technique involves moving tasks through a sequence of processes to aid teams to visualize work, increase productivity, and continuously improve. It underlines inefficiencies in the system as well as anything else that could disrupt smooth workflow.

The Kaban technique involves moving tasks through a sequence of processes to aid teams to visualize work, increase productivity, and continuously improve.

How it works

  • Visualize the workflow: Deconstruct the work process into various stages and track workflow on a Kanban board with cards and columns. There are three basic columns: “To Do,” “In Progress,” and “Done.” Each column on the board represents a stage in your process.
  • Limit work in progress (WIP): This is a key feature of Kanban. WIP limits enable teams to manage the work process to promote a smooth workflow and avoid overloads. In addition, WIP limits ensure that team members prioritize completing current tasks before beginning new ones.
  • Measure and manage flow: This step involves evaluating work processes and knowing how to move work through the system more quickly.
  • Make process policies explicit: Work policies should be developed, clearly outlined, accessible, and open to revision (if and when necessary).
  • Feedback Loops: This could be in the form of quick regular stand-ups. The goal is to get valuable feedback from the entire team.
  • Use models to identify opportunities for process improvement: Kanban employs several scientific models, such as the Theory of constraints, to identify and resolve flow flaws to improve the entire process.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People from every niche can benefit from Kanban.
  • Teams who are lagging on work.
  • Teams looking to improve existing processes progressively instead of enforcing a new system.
  • Teams whose priorities can change at any time.

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7. The ALPEN method

The ALPEN method is a quick and simple way to complete tasks during the workday. This time management technique ensures that you accomplish the right things at the appropriate time through daily planning. The focus is to enhance performance while drastically reducing stress. The approach was created by Lothar J. Seiwert, a German professor and author. “It method focuses the user on pragmatic daily planning and consistent priority setting, and it only takes around 5 minutes per day to plan,” says professor Seiwert.

”The ALPEN method focuses the user on pragmatic daily planning and consistent priority setting, and it only takes around 5 minutes per day to plan.” – Professor Seiwert.

How it works
The framework is built around 5 simple ideas. The only things needed are a pen, some paper, and some self-discipline.
Based on the acronym ALPEN, it divides planning into five activities:

  • Aufschreiben (Activities): Get all tasks and activities, no matter how big or small, written down in one place to create a complete picture of everything to be done during the day.
  • Lange schatzen (Length of time): Work out how much time it will take to complete each task on the list. It is advisable to be specific and realistic.
  • Puffer Zeit einplanen (Plan buffer): Adding a buffer makes a workload more doable and less hectic. Plan small buffer periods between the individual tasks. A good rule of thumb is to plan for 30-40% of the day as a buffer. The idea is to expect that all tasks will take at least 20% longer than intended and that another 20% of the workday will be lost due to breaks, interruptions, etc.
  • Entscheidungen Treffen (Establish priorities): It is often necessary to define priorities. Make a conscious decision about which pressing and critical tasks you will prioritize during the day. It is advisable to prioritize the most crucial activities at the start of the day.
  • Nachkontrolle (Note success): Review the day and identify what worked well and what did not. How effective was the daily planning? Is it possible to make it better? Were tasks prioritized correctly? Was the length assessment realistic, and was the buffer adequate? What were the interruptions like, and what might be done differently next time? The goal is to determine what needs to change in the future. After that, begin the next ALPEN plan for the following weekday.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • The ALPEN method is popular among project managers and executives, although anyone may use it.
  • It is better suitable for people who require assistance in prioritizing work.
  • People who procrastinate frequently.

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8. The Pareto principle

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80-20 rule, is one of those fundamental principles that every business should understand. This time management technique was named after an Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, in the19th century. This economist observed that 80% of Italy’s wealth was concentrated in the pockets of 20% of its citizens. The same phenomenon can be seen today in everything, where things are distributed according to the 80/20 proportion most of the time. In time management, the Pareto principle states that 80% of outcomes come from 20% of their time and effort. This principle can help prioritize activities that will have the biggest impact on business.

In time management, the Pareto principle states that 80% of outcomes come from 20% of time and effort spent on them.

How it works

  • Evaluate tasks/activities: Because 20% of effort equals 80% of the effect of work, go through your to-do list and identify the top two time-consuming tasks/activities, then prioritize them to increase your efficiency. Once you’ve finished the most important tasks, you can move on to the less important ones. Even if you don’t finish all of the remaining tasks, the 20% you did could account for up to 80% of the impact.
  • Task delegation: As a manager, it is almost unavoidable in a work environment to feel like you do not have enough time to complete everything independently, which is where delegation comes in. The 80/20 rule can help you decide which tasks you should do yourself and which should be outsourced to your team.
  • Remove all distractions: Implementing the 80/20 rule can assist in cutting down distractions. Make a list of the most common distractions, such as phone calls, social media notifications, and so on. Once you have determined which distractions bother you the most, figure out how to get rid of 80% of them.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People who have a lot to do but have no idea where to start.
  • People who require assistance in prioritizing work.
  • People from every niche can benefit from Pareto’s rule.

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9. Eat that frog technique

The “Eat that frog” concept entails tackling the most difficult and tedious task first. This task, or “frog,” is the one that you consider the worst and are most likely to procrastinate on. By doing so, you remove the possibility of pushing it back throughout the day and not finishing it. This time management technique is based on Mark Twain’s quote, “If the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.” Brian Tracy, a self-help guru, used the well-known quote “Eat that frog” as a helpful time management technique in his book.

The Eat that frog concept entails tackling the most difficult and tedious task first.

How it works

  • Start by making a list of your goals.
  • Decide on a deadline.
  • Plan out all the tasks you have ahead of you to reach your goal.
  • Reorder the list so that the items are listed in order of importance. What should be the most important? These are your frogs; start with them!
  • Don’t dawdle! In other words, start with the frog(task) that is the ugliest(most difficult).Just do it.
  • Repeat this cycle every day so that you’re always doing something that will help you get closer to your goal.

Who can benefit from this technique?

  • People from every industry.
  • People who tend to procrastinate on unpleasant tasks.
  • Businesses that are client-serviced based.

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Bonus! Time management from famous successful people

Warren Buffett

Time management lessons from CEO of Berkshire Hathaway- Warren Buffett

  • Try the “two-list” strategy
    The two-list strategy is all about focusing your attention and mastering your priorities by eliminating less important things.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend commuting
    Buffet explains that most of the time invested is the time most of us spend commuting to work.
  • Say no to meaningless things
    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is really successful people say no to almost everything,” Warren Buffet once said. He perfected the art and practice of establishing personal boundaries. Warren Buffett reveals in an interview with Bill Gates that he keeps a very light calendar, often having days where he has nothing scheduled.
  • Warren Buffett: Say no to meaningless things.

  • Decision reduction
    All decisions, no matter how big or small, require energy and mental power. Avoid making decisions that will drain your willpower unnecessarily.
  • Apply the 5-hour rule
    Dedicate five hours per week, or one hour per working day, to intentional learning.

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Sergey Brin

Time management tips from Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin

  • Take away temptation.
    When working on a task, shut down everything open on your computer unrelated to the task at hand.
  • Limit emails
    Turn off the bing, set specific times for checking email.
  • Don’t let Facebook suck you in
    If you don’t rule Facebook or other social networking sites, they will rule you. Limit yourself to 10 minutes and then completely log out.
  • Sergey Brin: If you don’t rule Facebook or other social networking sites, they will rule you.

  • Close the door
    If you want to focus, shut out all distractions. You may even want to announce to your co-workers or children that you are doing it. You don’t want to do this all the time, but it signals that you’re serious about getting something done when you do.
  • Write it down
    Most of us are visual. We know our goal, but it’s super easy to get thrown off by so-called urgent interruptions unless it’s in front of us.
  • Give yourself downtime
    Allot a block of time to relax and clear your head.
  • Be strong in your focus
    Be like a rock, not a tree. Don’t get blown around by the chaos around you.

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Elon Musk

Time management tips from the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and Neuralink — Elon Musk

  • Start your day with the most important work
    Elon Musk starts his day with his most critical work. This includes dealing with important emails that he needs to address to unblock other people’s work and progress.
  • Make use of feedback loops
    An important part of Elon Musk’s work ethic is incorporating his own feedback and others. Elon Musk believes there’s always room for improvement. He’s always thinking of better ways to approach every area.
  • Elon Musk believes there’s always room for improvement. He’s always thinking of better ways to approach every area.

  • Reason from the first principle of physics
    A first principle is a basic assumption that can’t be deduced from any other proposition. It’s the only sure thing in a complex problem.
  • Use asynchronous communication
    Elon Musk prefers to communicate on his own terms. That means defaulting to email and texts, both asynchronous ways of communication.
  • Outsource
    Elon musk suggests that his team utilize outside resources. There is no need to struggle with a task if you could hire someone to do it.
  • Batch your tasks
    Elon Musk multi-tasks strategically. Whenever possible, he combines several tasks in a productivity hack known as batching.
  • Keep a strictly segmented schedule
    Elon Musk spends up to100 hours a week working. He often manages his time using feedback loops and timeboxing techniques.
  • Develop a wide knowledge base
    Over the years, Musk developed T-shaped skills: a lot of knowledge in one particular field and a substantial amount of knowledge in many other disciplines and topics.

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Oprah Winfrey

Time management tips from renowned American media executive- Oprah Winfrey

  • Plan and schedule
    Oprah plans and schedules everything, from the time she wakes up at 6 a.m. to the time she goes to bed at 10 p.m.
  • Declutter
    Oprah always keeps her desk clean to ensure that she works effectively.
  • Do not procrastinate
    Oprah uses two strategies to combat procrastination:
    First, she gets the little things out of the way to focus on the important things.
    Second, she does enjoyable tasks last.
  • Oprah Winfrey: plan your day, do not procrastinate, give undivided attention to each task, remember “me time”!

  • Give each project complete undivided attention
    Oprah has mastered the art of concentration. She prefers to complete each task one at a time to devote her full attention to it.
  • Grow and let go
    Oprah tries to surround herself with professionals and allows them to do their jobs. This means she delegates work.
  • Don’t forget “me time”
    Oprah has devised a way of life and a schedule that allows her to relax and rejuvenate. Her day begins with exercise and concludes with reading and gratitude journals. She also practices complete stillness, which helps her focus and clears her mind.

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Victoria Beckham

Time management tips from fashion mogul- Victoria Beckham:

  • Be an early bird
    Victoria Beckham is an early riser. She believes that being an early bird is essential for success and enjoying life to the fullest.
  • Victoria Beckham believes that being an early bird is essential for success and enjoying life to the fullest.

  • Self-care is essential
    Always take care of yourself before working to avoid burnout and stay energized for the workday. Beckham works out every morning before going to work at 9 a.m.
  • Manage work-life balance
    Victoria Beckham says the key to balancing her career and a family comes down to meticulous organization. Managing work-life balance can reduce stress and improve your overall life as an entrepreneur.

Bill Gates

Time management tips from business magnet- Bill gates

  • Take your time seriously
    Bill Gates emphasizes the importance of time over money. Gates is extremely conscientious about how he spends his time and avoids wasting it.
  • Take advantage of snippets of time
    Bill Gates always has a book nearby for a quick read between meetings or whenever he has a spare moment.
  • Think long term and invest your time
    “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10.” — Bill Gates.
  • Structure your time
    Bill Gates divides tasks into small chunks of time, sometimes in five-minute increments. He employs timeboxing, which is one of the most effective time management techniques.
  • Don’t waste time to make more time
    Bill Gates’ lesson here is straightforward: the time you spend on activities that do not move you closer to your goals will move you further away from them.

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Choosing the best corporate time management technique for your team

Finding the most effective time management technique frequently entails some trial and error. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all technique; what works for one business owner may not work for another. According to Forbes, trying out different time management techniques to see which one works best can help reduce stress and increase productivity.
WorkTime experts understand the importance of time management in business and have built all of the features required for effective time management into the WorkTime software.

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