Practicing good time management skills in the workplace isn’t just a great way to get ahead. It’s actually an important soft skill that’s in quite high demand.
Corporate emceeing has taught me the importance of time management skills. And now, I want to share that critical soft skill with you.
But wait – time management is considered a soft skill?! That’s right. And I’ll be going through the reasons why with my favorite acronym TIME below!
See Related: 3 Reasons Why Productivity Is Important in the Workplace
Time management is considered a soft skill because it is:
- Transferrable to every profession
- Ideal for goal setting
- Matched to meet your work ethic
- Essential for making better decisions
What’s a soft skill again?
Soft skills refer to the way you work and interact with co-workers in the office. Unlike hard skills or practical skills, you don’t have to attend any number of technical schools to acquire soft skills.
In fact, soft skills are often chalked up to personality traits.
But that’s not to say that you can’t develop your soft skills over time. Some of the most important soft skills include:
- Critical thinking – Being able to analyze, conceptualize, and problem-solve important tasks.
- Emotional intelligence – Being empathetic, self-motivated, and aware of your own emotions.
- Interpersonal skills – Being able to develop rapport with colleagues, work together on projects, and build healthy relationships with the work environment.
- Creativity – Being able to think outside the box to create innovative solutions for completing tasks.
- Adaptability – Being able to adapt to different situations that unfold within the workplace.
- Collaboration – Being able to work with others, producing high-quality work, to achieve a common goal.
- Problem-solving skills – Being able to identify issues within important tasks and implement a resolution.
- Leadership skills – Being able to lead by example while encouraging others to step into their own strengths.
- Communication skills – Being able to speak to colleagues effectively, sharing information, and ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
- Time management skills – Allocating specific time windows to accomplish tasks, designating your efforts appropriately, and using time efficiently.
By now, you can see just how important time management skills are. But let’s see how time management skills break down into soft skills, using the acronym TIME below.
Time management skills are:
#1. Transferrable to every profession
Certain industries will have different requirements for their hired work candidates. But across the board, every profession wants to know that you know how to use your time effectively.
In fact, time management isn’t just reserved for your professional life. It’s a life skill that can easily transfer into your personal life.
Creating a healthy work-life balance also comes from using your time wisely.
There’s a time to meet deadlines at the office, and a time to meet deadlines at your kids’ school. You likely have a to-do list of chores waiting for you when you return home!
But time management helps create a sense of organization no matter where you are.
There are only so many hours in the day. But by keeping track of your time anywhere you go, you’ll be able to increase your overall productivity and stay focused no matter where you find yourself.
While soft skills may be a term used for corporate settings, they’re also essential skills that you can transfer to every area of your life.
#2. Ideal for goal setting
You use any and all project management tools you can find. But why? Because you have goals you want to accomplish!
Some days, those goals may mean staying focused so you don’t miss deadlines. On other days, those goals might be focused on how to decrease your stress levels.
Either way, how you manage time is also how you effectively accomplish your goals. You can look at your life and get easily overwhelmed by all the tasks you have to accomplish.
But if you use your time effectively and tackle one task at a time, suddenly these tasks don’t seem so daunting.
Time management skills can be used for your day-to-day. But they can also be applied to your entire career.
Let’s say you work at a company you want to advance in. You can see your career path before your eyes.
Now, it’s just a matter of getting there. Using time frames to accomplish tasks doesn’t just have to be for mundane day-to-day work.
These time management skills can easily apply to your long-term goals too. When you map the road ahead, you make time to gain additional skills, explore external mentoring, and complete your present-day tasks efficiently.
How’s that for a universal skill set? More like a superpower, I’d say!
#3. Matched to meet your work ethic
One of the other most common soft skills I didn’t mention above is work ethic. So, why didn’t I mention it?
Because time management already takes care of it as a soft skill. When your tasks are completed efficiently due to your time management skills, you’re already demonstrating how dedicated you are to the work.
Having a strong sense of purpose in the workplace is an important skill that many employers are looking for. Because it shows employers that you are focused, motivated, and equipped with the right soft skills to accomplish any task with ease.
The purpose you bring to the workplace makes a far bigger impact than you think.
When you dedicate yourself to the work, others notice. Your time management skills don’t exist in a vacuum.
You’re actually inspiring others to take more initiative in their own work. You might not think of time management as an inspirational skill set.
But maybe you never thought of time management as a soft skill either! Just know that the efforts you put into your time management go beyond completing your own tasks.
You’re serving as a leader within the office. And that’s yet another soft skill for you to add to your resume.
#4. Essential for making better decisions
When you get bogged down in work, it can feel difficult to make a good decision. Or maybe, you made a decision that felt right at the time but ended up not going your way.
Time management helps you keep your head above water. No more having to make decisions while drowning in paperwork.
Instead, you can make better decisions knowing the full scope of your responsibilities thanks to the time management skills you implemented.
Time management can give you a bird’s eye view of the greater scope of things.
Remember how I mentioned that time management can be used for your long-term goals? Well, the same principle applies here.
With effective time management, you can see the end of the road to all of your tasks. Sure, you’re tackling one task at a time.
But you ultimately know where the completion of all of these tasks is heading. This broadened perspective is crucial for making decisions that will benefit you and your work in the long run.
It’s easy to be short-sighted and make a snap decision at the moment. But sometimes, having that broadened perspective can help you assess different factors that will reveal themselves down the road.
Bonus: How to Improve Employee Engagement in 15 Easy Steps
Different ways you may already be demonstrating your time management skills
As an important soft skill, time management is a highly sought-after trait. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult to attain soft skills than hard skills. And to be a master of soft skills takes even longer.
But don’t beat yourself up quite yet! You may in fact be implementing certain time management strategies without even realizing it.
That’s the beauty of time management. There are many different ways to manage your time.
You prioritize tasks
Prioritizing tasks is a great way to get ahead of your to-do list. Go down the list of tasks and identify what matters most.
Then, rearrange these tasks in order from most important to least important. This is the order in which you should tackle these tasks.
You can also take into account how long each task is going to take. For example, if you’re able to get a bunch of smaller tasks done in a short amount of time, you might consider getting ahead on those first.
Then, you’ll have blocked out enough time for you to dedicate your efforts towards a bigger, longer project at hand.
Start with today, then prioritize the week.
Time management looks at both short-term and long-term goals. And you can prioritize tasks in this way as well.
Start by looking at what tasks absolutely need to be done by end of the day today. Then, identify which projects have a little more wiggle room you can work on throughout the week.
You schedule tasks
Keeping a schedule helps you keep track of everything you need to do. Without a schedule, it’s easy to say, “Oh right, I’ll get to that in a bit.”
But do you actually get to it? Or does that one thing end up being incomplete until the last possible second before it’s due?
With a schedule, you set aside specific time windows to get everything done. You can prioritize your workflow according to day, week, and month.
And when you know what you need to do each day, you end up avoiding procrastination naturally.
Scheduling tasks helps to keep you accountable.
If you’re prioritizing time management as a soft skill, then you likely have a lot of responsibilities. And within those responsibilities, issues are bound to arise.
But when you schedule everything out, you can see potential issues from afar. Think of time management as another way to enhance your problem-solving skills.
Not only will scheduling your tasks out keep you accountable for your responsibilities. It will also give you a leg up when identifying potential areas of improvement.
You effectively manage each task
Each task will have a different set of responsibilities and deadlines. And learning how to navigate each task effectively is a big part of time management.
Managing a task effectively means breaking the task down into bite-size pieces. It’s similar to how you would prioritize all of your tasks when stacked up in a row.
But now, it’s prioritizing within each specific task what needs to get done. In a way, you can think of managing a task as taking a magnifying glass to the responsibilities at hand.
You eliminate distractions
Eliminating distractions is tantamount to getting your work done on time. I can’t tell you how many people neglect to eliminate these distractions, forcing them to work longer and harder!
But when you arrange your workspace just so, you set yourself up for success. Your environment shouldn’t be cluttered or messy.
Otherwise, the mess itself can act as a distraction. Instead, make sure you maintain a clean work area, use noise-canceling headphones if you need to, and focus on the project at hand.
You’d be surprised at how much more you can get done when you eliminate distractions. There are many things to be distracted by!
You delegate tasks
You may not think that delegating tasks has anything to do with time management. But why are you delegating these tasks in the first place?
To save time. So, as you share responsibilities with your colleagues, know that you’re implementing a time management strategy that will help you focus on other top-priority projects.
There’s no way for you to accomplish everything all on your own. That’s why you have colleagues and co-workers.
So use them to your advantage. And save time where you can!
Time management is considered a soft skill because it is:
Transferrable to every profession
Ideal for goal setting
Matched to meet your work ethic
Essential for making better decisions
I hope this blog has taught you the importance of time management as a soft skill.
Keep Reading: 9 Reasons Why People Skills Are The Must-Have Skills In The Workplace
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.