Why Is Time Management Important? 7 Reasons You Shouldn't Ignore
Updated March 05, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Time is a valuable resource because it is finite. You only have so much time in an average workday to complete everything you need to get done for the week. You only have so many months in an average school year - heck, you only have so many weeks - to turn in projects and papers on time. So, every minute wasted is another minute that could have been more appropriately designated to the project you need to get done.
What follows are seven explanations regarding the importance of time management, and why you should be doing everything you can to make the most of your time.
Reason #1: You Can Reduce Your Stress
Stress, as we all know, is godawful for your health. In fact, it can lead to conditions that can kill you. So, we should all be taking steps to minimize the amount of stress we are under at any given time. One of the best ways to do that is through time management.
If you manage your time appropriately, you won't have to worry about the looming deadline for a project or paper because you are already working on it a little bit each day. Then, by the time the deadline rolls around, you already have a complete, or mostly complete, paper or project that you only have to edit.
Now, you have plenty of time to get the paper or project completed and turned in, and you didn't have to have it hanging over your head like the Sword of Damocles in the weeks or months leading up to the day you turn it in. While other people may have been stressing about their deadlines the night before, you know you have a completed project, and you can spend the rest of the night doing whatever it is that you enjoy.
Reason #2: You Become More Efficient
When you manage your time better, you may find that you work a lot faster and that the work you produce is high-quality. Consider the following example:
You have a project that is due on Friday. The old you would have dreaded the project all week, working on anything that wasn't that project. The new you, however, has decided that no matter what, you are going to dedicate one hour each week to complete a piece of that project. This means that, within that hour, if you finish the piece of the project you were working on that night a little early, then you can devote the remainder of that hour to another part of the project that you had no intention of starting yet.
In doing so, you finish your project on time; you know you are turning in quality work, and you have given yourself more time at the end of the week to do whatever you'd like. Ever hear the phrase "work smarter, not harder"? That's this.
Reason #3: You Teach Yourself Self-Discipline
Sure, we all say we're going to work on that big project every day until the deadline, but do we? More often than not, no. A friend invites us to go out, and we say sure - we'll just devote double the time to the project tomorrow. But then tomorrow comes around, and you forgot that you needed to food shop. And while you're at the store, you bump into an old friend, who invites you out to dinner. How can you say no?
It's not even the big things that steal our time away. If you're bored while working on a project, do you stop to check Facebook or Twitter for "a few minutes"? Then, without even realizing how fast time can fly, an hour has passed.
Do this enough and, before you know it, all of the time you could have dedicated to the project on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are gone. Now you only have Thursday to work on a project that's due on Friday that you knew about on Monday morning. But at least you can say you've caught up on a few memes, right?
Time management helps rein you in. You teach yourself self-discipline when you devote a certain amount of time each day to the project, and if something dares to get in the way of that time, you know to prioritize your project. Surely, the other person will understand if you have to say, "I'm sorry, but I'm working on a huge project, and it's due Friday. Can we get together next week instead?"
Reason #4: You Need Your Free Time
Free time may seem like goof-around time, but you need goof-around time in your life. It helps re-charge your batteries so that you don't burn out. The healthiest thing you can do, after you've met all of your goals, is to walk away for a little while. Hit the arcade, go on a weekend trip to someplace local, take in a movie, or just see old friends. Heck, even watching TV or reading a book can do wonders for the soul.
Time management allows you to essentially budget for time to yourself. If you have a lot to keep up with like with family, work, perhaps even school, and social life, you may find it difficult or almost impossible to secure 10 minutes of alone time. But you need to, and time management will help you do that. Plan your free time around when the kids go to sleep, or when the wife has a night out with friends, and you'll find yourself bright-eyed and ready to take on new challenges come Monday morning.
Reason #5: You Feel More Energetic
There are several reasons as to why this one's true. First, when you don't stay up to all hours of the night to finish a project, you get more sleep. More sleep equals better health and a higher energy level.
Second, knowing that your projects are done on time or ahead of time is not only a huge relief, but it can also make you incredibly happy. That's right - completing your work on time, or earlier can trigger the endorphins in your brain that make you feel happier and ready to take on the world.
And here is the best part: when you finish your work on time, you have more time to do the things that make you happy and release those endorphins, like go for a bike ride, head to the beach, or go for a shopping trip. So, yes, time management can give you more energy. No more energy drinks are necessary!
Reason #6: You'll Be Honing Other Skills Simultaneously
To be able to manage time successfully, you must be able to be patient, relentless, and consistent. These may not be skills that come to you right away, but you must work on them if you're going to budget your time effectively. You may not want to use an hour every day to work on that project, and you may find it difficult at first to put aside the time. But after you do it over and over again, you find yourself beginning a new, healthier pattern.
The saying goes that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. If, after 21 days, you've been able to keep doing that same activity, then you have formed a habit, and habits are much harder to break. You may be surprised to find that you look forward to that hour every day because you know you are making headway on your project and you're going to get it done sooner than if you were the old you, who still procrastinated.
Reason #7: You'll Learn To Appreciate Time More
When we take time for granted, it can come back to bite us in some ways. For instance, when a loved one passes away, we may feel like we spent too much time working and not enough time with that person. When you manage your time better, you learn to appreciate time as a whole. Never again will you waste precious hours that could be better spent on a more fulfilling activity.
Everyone has to do things they don't enjoy; it's a part of life. Most of the things we don't enjoy revolve around work or school, but when we excel at the things we don't enjoy, then those things pave the way for us to spend more time doing the things we love with the people we love. When we learn to appreciate and respect time, we'll do whatever it takes to make every minute count. You only live once. Make it a good life.
Looking for more tips on how to maximize your time management? Contact our BetterHelp counselors for more info.