Why Time Management Skills are Beneficial to Your Health

Effective time management skills are undeniably beneficial to your health. In our rapidly changing world today anxiety and stress levels are on the increase. Therefore it becomes imperative for us to actively find ways to manage our lives better. Time management skills will definitely help you to feel more in control.

Time management is the discipline of gaining control over events and managing your daily actions and activities towards the achievement of your personal values and goals. Time management skills prevent us from functioning in crisis mode where events and people control our life. Crisis mode makes us focus on firefighting in the short-term. It is a reactive mode of behaving. If it becomes a way of life, it leads to chronic stress. Our body is continuously trying to be ready for the next crisis. The risk here is over-active adrenal glands and potential burn-out.

Brian is an A type personality who lives for his work. His “Things to do List” consists of over 150 items. He is extremely stressed about this long list and very worried he will be unable to get the tasks completed. He does not take the time to work through the list as he says he is too busy! Eventually he happens to read a book on time management and experiences a light bulb moment. Time management skills can reduce his stress levels!

As an executive or business owner you are under tremendous pressure to produce immediate results. So let us consider ways to improve your time management skills.


Urgent means a task requires immediate attention. These tasks may be easy and pleasant but very often they are unimportant and just need to be done. Importance, on the other hand, has to do with results. If something is important, it contributes to our values and our work goals. We need to apply our time management skills to ensure that we schedule time for important matters. These may often not be urgent in the short term.

Important tasks need to be scheduled so that we can complete them timeously. Unless we do this we may find we are rushed and pressurised when there is a looming deadline. This creates unnecessary stress and will impact on our physical and mental well-being.

Therefore follow the golden rule on Improvement versus Urgent tasks: If it is very important, much time and effort should be invested in the task. If it is very urgent, it should be done as soon as possible. If it is both important and urgent, it should be done as soon as possible and sufficient time and effort should be spent on it.


Now that you know what needs to be done, schedule these activities into your diary. This is such an obvious step and yet one that is so often neglected. Unless we use our time management skills to schedule tasks into actual time slots in our diary there is a risk of tasks being uncompleted. Or worse still, we may be forced to work after hours. All too soon this becomes a pattern in your life creating more stress for us and our family.

Schedule the following into your diary: reviewing documents, important phone calls, planning for meetings or conferences. It is all too easy to think you will find time for this somewhere. In fact anything that is on your daily “Things to do” list needs to be written next to specific time slots in your diary. Why? The reality is that empty slots in your diary will always be taken up with less important matters or time wasters. This will place stress on you as you will need to find time later for the really important matters.


Reflect on whether you really need to attend certain meetings. Prepare well so that you firstly, know what you want to achieve in the meeting. Secondly, that you can participate effectively and thirdly, that you can limit the length of time of the meeting. This will give you more time in your day and you will feel more in control.

When conducting a meeting start on time. Keep strictly to the agenda (distribute this prior to the meeting) and ensure that participants keep to the topic. Hold side issues over for another meeting if necessary. Have a definite start and end time.

Managing interruptions

The 3 biggest time wasters are people, phones and information.


Forget about having an open door policy. I recently heard of an MD who has an open door policy. He insists that everyone who comes into his office needs to have a solution to their problem. The result: No one comes to his office anymore! Instead they are thinking for themselves and taking responsibility for solving problems.

Let people clearly know when you are available and when not.  Schedule appointments with start and end times. Keep to these time slots.

Some useful tips for dealing with the drop-in visitor: Do not sit down, put a time limit on the interruption and be assertive in a polite, but firm way.


Manage your phones so that they enable you rather than interrupt you.  Use your secretary to screen calls, use voice mail to inform callers of your availability.

Switch off your cell phone when you need uninterrupted time. Tell others what time is convenient for them to call.  A ringing phone does not demand your urgent attention. It just means someone wants to speak to you.  Use your judgement to decide what is important or urgent at that moment.

Keep all calls short and to the point. Save up your calls and make them all during a specific time period set aside for that purpose.


During a week you will get various forms of information. The challenge is to deal with it as effectively as possible.  A guideline for managing all forms of information is the P.A.F.T rule.

P is for pass on: This is information that is irrelevant to you. Pass it on to someone who may find it useful or need it.

A is for action: This requires your attention and action.

F is for file: This is relevant to you at some later stage and you need to keep it, so file it.

T is for throw it away: This information you will never need.

With an increase on demands for our time, the onus is heavier on us to manage our time more clinically. Business coaching would be of tremendous benefit if you would like to improve your time management skills.

Posted in CEO, Entrepreneur.