Table of Contents
- What are time management skills?
- Why good time management is important in 2022
- Examples of time management skills
- How to put time management skills on your resume
- How to improve your time management skills
What are time management skills?
Time management skills are a set of transferable skills that help you decide what you’re going to do and how for every second of the day — in both your working and personal life.
Good time management skills help you:
- get more done
- improve the quality of your work
- decrease stress
As a result, developing effective time management skills can bring you better work and life satisfaction as well as prepare you for success in the workplace.
Why good time management is important in 2022
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has increased and is likely to continue. While preferred by many Americans, working from home — without adapting and developing your time management skills — can decrease your productivity and disrupt your work-life balance.
Scroll down to identify why it’s harder to focus, manage your meetings, and achieve work-life balance, and learn how to develop specific time management skills to overcome these challenges.
Home offices can make focusing hard
You may get distracted or procrastinate more without bosses and colleagues around for accountability. When you work remotely, you also have added distractions like children and TV.
Stay focused by:
- choosing an uncluttered working space away from distractions
- arranging regular schedules with house members to ensure you can work without interruption
- using software that blocks non-work websites, like social media, during working hours
- getting an accountability partner who works at the same time as you over video (e.g., Focusmate)
- checking in frequently with your boss and colleagues
- setting challenging deadlines
Employees are adding more meetings to their workload
Studies show that workers are having more meetings now than before the pandemic. In addition to the meeting time, meetings take up time before and after for preparation and post-processing.
Also, as it takes nine minutes or longer to redirect your focus to a task after being interrupted, meetings that break up your day can cost you a lot of time.
To have fewer but more productive meetings, set a few guidelines with your manager (or as a manager), including:
- determining whether a meeting is needed (e.g., would brainstorming in a Google document or a company-wide memo do the same job?)
- setting goals for your meeting
- ensuring the scope of the meeting is neither so big that it would exhaust workers nor so small that it could be added to another meeting
- verifying that every person invited to the meeting needs to be there
Remote work blurs the lines between work and life
Employees are working longer in COVID-19 times, reducing time spent with family and friends or doing hobbies. Additionally, because employees are easily contacted via technology, remote workers may not be engaged fully in their personal time.
To protect your personal life and take advantage of its associated benefits, track your working hours. Only work for the number of hours that you would normally work in the physical office.
And separate your work and personal space as much as possible to further differentiate work and personal time. For example, if your home office is in a living or dining room as opposed to a designated office, you may be tempted to slip into work mode while in those areas for leisure time.
5 examples of time management skills
Enhance your resume by adding these top time management skills to your resume:
1. Goal setting
Goal setting, or establishing an endpoint, is important for anything from small tasks to career-long projects. Set Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based (SMART) goals to create a rough roadmap for how to get to your destination.
Specific skills related to goal setting include:
Planning is organizing your time and resources to complete a goal. While planning may seem like time taken away from action, diving into work without a plan can actually lead to extra work, lost time, and project failures.
Planning-related skills include:
- Setting and meeting deadlines
- Risk assessment
3. Developing and using a time management system
Time management systems are structures that guide how you work. Do you prioritize your work using an urgent-important matrix? Do you keep a to-do list? Do you block out your time for certain tasks? Using a time management system gets you partially through your planning, no matter the project.
Time management skills that are part of your time management system include:
- Resource management
- Organizational skills
- Breaking down tasks
- Batching and automating tasks
Focusing is the action part of work, no matter how hard or boring a task may be. Like your physical muscles, you can develop the length and intensity of your attention. By using smart working strategies, you can maximize the four to five hours of intensive work your brain can handle in a day.
Specific focus-related skills include:
- Avoiding procrastination
- Eliminating distractions
- Avoiding multitasking
5. Setting boundaries
Time management is a zero-sum game, meaning more time spent on one task takes away from time on another task. While your saying “no” may disappoint yourself and others at first, maintaining boundaries improves the quality of your work.
Setting boundaries involves skills such as:
- Communication skills
- Stress management
- Avoiding perfectionism
How to put time management skills on your resume
While critical for all jobs, time management skills are especially important to include on your resume if you’re applying for roles:
- that are client-based (e.g., consulting)
- made up of many different types of work (e.g., head nurse)
- in management (e.g., project manager)
Choose which time management skills to highlight on your resume based on the job ad and your job type.
There are three places to showcase your time management skills on your resume:
1. Include them in your resume introduction
If time management is crucial to your role, mention your time management skills at the start of your resume in a 2-4 sentence resume summary.
Here’s an example of time management highlighted in a resume summary:
2. Quantify them in your work experience section with hard numbers
In your work experience section, use hard numbers to describe your time management skills.
Instead of just using the phrase “time management,” give examples of your accomplishments on your resume that show how you managed time, like this bullet from a warehouse manager’s resume does:
Along with hard numbers, using time management-related resume adjectives, like the following, makes your work experience section concrete and engaging for hiring managers:
Below are more examples of how to write your time management skills into your work experience section for various job roles:
- Attentively and efficiently perform dialysis for 6 patients per day, systematically prioritizing patients based on department, number of rounds of dialysis required, and dialysis modality
- Manage scheduling for CEO using organizational software like Calendly and Google Calendar, adapt to urgent requests from various departments, and answer phone calls and disseminate memos in a timely manner
- Set monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals for the editing team, and make quick creative decisions to prepare scenes for 4 screenings per year
- Return grades in a timely manner with an average turnaround time of 1 week for exams and 2 days for homework assignments
- Promptly and accurately prepare 450+ tax returns per year, delegating tasks to temporary employees and batching similar returns to accommodate the large influx of work around tax season
3. List them in your skills section
If time management skills are considered secondary skills for your role, place them in your skills section at the end of your resume. Doing so saves space while allowing hiring managers to ask you more about them later in interviews.
Here’s an example of time management skills in a skills section:
How to improve your time management skills
Whether you’re looking to become more effective at your current job or succeed in landing a new job, use the following tips to develop your time management skills:
1. Decide which tasks to do
Define what “effective” means for your job role and your company. Once you’ve identified the tasks required for your job, set realistic goals based on the quality of work expected and the timeframe you’re given.
Setting deadlines for your goals will naturally help you arrange the order of your tasks. Generally, prioritizing a few high-impact tasks is better than completing many low-impact tasks (the 80/20 rule) when working toward your goals.
2. Develop a time management system
After you’ve decided what you’re going to do, figure out how to schedule the work.
Whether you use existing time management systems or create a system all your own, ensure your system takes into account factors such as:
- how many different types of work your job has
- how much or what kind of accountability you need to focus
- how often urgent matters come up in your job
- the times of day you like to work
- the number of hours of focused work you can do
Perform regular reviews of what is and isn’t working about your time management system. You may need to try many systems before finding the best one for you.
3. Use technology
While distracting at times, technology can also be used to enhance productivity. Software is available for all aspects of work, from organization and scheduling to focus.
Examples of time management tools include:
- Make a Plan. Effective time management isn't achieved randomly. ...
- Create a Priority List Rather Than a To-Do List. ...
- Start Early. ...
- Breakdown Every Task Into Small Chunks. ...
- Practice Decision Making. ...
- Delegate tasks. ...
- Set SMART Goals. ...
- Set Up Deadlines.
- 12 essential time management tips.
- Focus on your goals. Goals are one of the most important things we overlook in managing our time. ...
- Structure your time. ...
- Schedule time blocks. ...
- Discover your power hours. ...
- Focus sprints. ...
- Prioritize your tasks. ...
- Plan your week and days.
One example of time management might be writing a “to-do list” in the morning (on a piece of paper). It might sound old-fashioned; but getting our priorities straight at the start of the day is an efficient way to begin every morning. Then cross things off the list as you do them.How can students improve time management skills? ›
- Make Use of a Daily Schedule Template to Plan Your Day. ...
- Understand How You Are Currently Spending Your Time (and Where You Are Losing It) ...
- Set Proper Goals to Measure Your Progress. ...
- Break Large Projects Into Smaller, Actionable Tasks. ...
- Be Realistic About the Time You Need to Complete a Task.
- Know how you're spending your time.
- Stick to a daily schedule.
- Tackle the most difficult task first.
- Batch-process similar tasks.
- Set reasonable time limits.
- Learn when to say no.
- Avoid multitasking.
- Create time blocks to do focused work.
- Use time management tools to be more productive.
- Prioritize your most important tasks first.
- Avoiding multitasking.
- Group similar tasks together.
- Create a schedule. ...
- Designate a workspace. ...
- Pretend you're going to the office. ...
- Minimize distractions. ...
- Create a daily and weekly to-do list. ...
- Keep technologies to a minimum. ...
- Set goals. ...
- Create a list of priorities.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Get it right, and you'll end up working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is tight and pressures are high.Are you good at time management examples? ›
- To-do lists and checklists.
- Evaluating urgent tasks.
- Goal setting.
- Auditing and improving workflows.
- Filtering notifications.
- Setting thoughtful deadlines.
If you're a manager or team leader, being able to effectively delegate tasks is a must-have skill. Breaking down a big, time-consuming job into smaller tasks that can be delegated translates into a much more efficient and productive way to work.
When you manage your time more wisely, you feel more in control. You're able to meet deadlines and prevent last-minute surprises. You also become more efficient and prepared to handle anything that life throws your way. Eventually, you become more relaxed and less stressed.What is a smart goal for time management? ›
A SMART goal is an acronym that stands for goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. The purpose of creating a SMART goal is to help you use your time and resources productively when starting and completing a project.What is the best way to manage? ›
- Be consistent. ...
- Focus on clarity, accuracy and thoroughness in communication. ...
- Set the goal of working as a team. ...
- Publicly reward and recognize hard work. ...
- Be the example. ...
- Never go with 'one-size-fits-all. ...
- Remain as transparent as possible. ...
- Encourage all opinions and ideas.
- Plan ahead. Your hectic schedule, combined with daily distractions, can easily get in the way of finishing tasks. ...
- Don't multitask. ...
- Set up your virtual office. ...
- Block out distractions. ...
- Reward yourself. ...
- Create a balance. ...
- Get a good night's sleep.
- Figure out how you're currently spending your time. ...
- Create a daily schedule—and stick with it. ...
- Prioritize wisely. ...
- Group similar tasks together. ...
- Avoid the urge to multitask. ...
- Assign time limits to tasks. ...
- Build in buffers. ...
- Learn to say no.
Time management helps you prioritize your tasks so that you ensure you have enough time available to complete every project. The quality of your work increases when you're not rushing to complete it ahead of a fast approaching deadline.How can I be effective at work? ›
- Trim your task list.
- Swap your to-do list for a schedule.
- Stop while you're still on a roll.
- Stay organized.
- Make bad habits more difficult to indulge.
- Tackle your most important tasks first.
- Plan tomorrow tonight.
They can be soft skills, such as problem-solving abilities, effective communication, or time management, or hard skills, like speed typing, using Powerpoint or Excel. Feel free to include any universal skills even if they're not specifically required or mentioned in the job description.How do I say I have good time management skills? ›
Examples of time management skills include: prioritizing, organization, delegation, strategic planning, and problem solving. To show off your time management skills on a resume, don't just list them: back them up with real-life examples.How do you explain time management skills? ›
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to divide your time between different activities. Get it right, and you'll end up working smarter, not harder, to get more done in less time – even when time is tight and pressures are high.
- Set goals correctly. Set goals that are achievable and measurable. ...
- Prioritize wisely. Prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency. ...
- Set a time limit to complete a task. ...
- Take a break between tasks. ...
- Organize yourself. ...
- Remove non-essential tasks/activities. ...
- Plan ahead.
Personal skills are abilities that help people positively interact with one another. Sometimes called interpersonal skills or people skills, personal skills are soft skills. That means people acquire them naturally or through practise, rather than formal study.What are the 7 essential soft skills? ›
- Teamwork. With effective teamwork, teams are more productive, deadlines are met, relationships with your team members are stronger and knowledge is shared. ...
- Problem solving. ...
- Communication. ...
- Adaptability. ...
- Critical thinking. ...
- Time management. ...
- Critical thinking and problem solving.
- Teamwork and collaboration.
- Professionalism and strong work ethic.
- Oral and written communications skills.
- Decreased stress. Learning to manage your time can reduce your stress levels. ...
- Increased productivity. ...
- Positive reputation. ...
- More energy for free time. ...
- Clear daily goals. ...
- Improved focus. ...
- Streamlined decision-making. ...
- Reaching goals faster.
The 4 Ds are: Do, Defer (Delay), Delegate, and Delete (Drop). Placing a task or project into one of these categories helps you manage your limited time more effectively and stay focused on what matters most to you.