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Wasted time costs companies billions of dollars a year. For employees, it could cost you your next promotion, or even your job. Properly managing your time even by using basic tools like a calendar and a to-do list can boost your career in five important ways.
Make plans, set deadlines and stick to your schedules. A simple to-do list or a checklist of the most important tasks for any day helps you prioritize. This allows you to focus your time and energy on the bigger items first, rather than getting bogged down in minutia. This, in turn, increases your productivity, as important tasks and projects tend to get done first.
Making to-do lists and prioritizing your projects helps reduce stress for the same reasons these things help increase productivity. Making and sticking to schedules helps you feel more in control of your day and helps focus your energies away from time-wasting or unimportant tasks. Checklists also serve as a reminder to do things by a certain day or time, thus eliminating surprises – and their accompanying stress – at inconvenient times.
Time management in the workplace can greatly reduce your urge to "do it later." Good time management means being able to schedule the right tasks for the right time frames, which leads to things getting done sooner. Supervisors with strong time management skills can virtually eliminate procrastination by ensuring that their employees understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be finished.
Time management is about more than just making schedules. It's also about eliminating distractions. This can lead to better communication between co-workers. Explain to distracting co-workers that you have a set of things to do and ask if they have any questions or concerns that can wait until later. You may find that they have nothing important to say. Then no one's time is wasted.
Great time management is the linchpin of your reputation at work. Managers and co-workers see those who manage their time well as consistent and dependable. Few co-workers will question whether you are going to show up on time or finish projects and managers may see you as someone who takes his job seriously and has the company's best interest in mind.