Time Management Statistics (2021)
Did you know that 82% of people don't have a dedicated time management system? Here's the ultimate list of time management statistics to help you better understand the impact time management has on your life.
List of time management statistics
General and global statistics of time management
"They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself." — Andy Warhol
This segment will introduce you to the topic and point out what's relevant for time management on a global scale. After all, one's habits are the foundation of time management — so let's get some perspective. Why does it matter and why should anyone devote their attention to time management? Improved focus, higher quality of work, reduced stress levels, and a better sleep pattern are just some of the core benefits of being a good time manager — according to statistics on the subject.
The Internet: An amazing information resource or a time trap?
The World Wide Web can be an amazing resource for improvement and learning. However, we've all encountered wasting too much time on browsing, streaming, or scrolling through our social media feed, right? Without a proper time management system, it's getting harder to avoid various distractions by the day. That's due to technological advances — specifically, factors such as highly increased availability of smart devices and high-speed internet connection — allowing us to be online at all times, thus more easily distracted. Here's what else research data has to show.
The average daily time a person spends online is close to 7 hours
The latest data as of April 2021 points to a stunning 60.1% of the world's population being regular internet users. That's 4.72 billion people whose habits are, no doubt, altered by the fact. The adoption rates have skyrocketed since the unfortunate events with the global pandemic and most of the world had to adapt to remote work — 7.6% or 332 million people more than in April 2020.
Being in control and improving time management skills seemed even harder at first, but it turns out that most people feel more productive if they manage their own time and workload. One of the statistics about time management from the same report reveals the average time a person spends online is 6 hours and 56 minutes. The penetration rate of internet users is the highest in Northern Europe — at 97%. In Northern America, it's at 90.7%, in Southern America, it's 72%, and in Central America , it's 66.9%.
Fun fact — the number of social media users is 4.33 billion, meaning that only 5% of Internet users don't have a profile on a social network. If you often find yourself distracted by other (more interesting) websites or notifications, you know we are talking about large chunks of time spent procrastinating.
Internet users spend 216 minutes per day online on their smartphones
Let's mention another prevailing source of distraction — our smartphones. The device has evolved as our screens have become larger and our internet connection better.
A stunning 92.8% of internet users are regularly online on their mobile devices. Here, the explanation is simple — smartphones and tablets are practical when we're on the go. The thing is, most of us don't use them only for relevant matters — nor only on the go.
Time management statistics reveal the average daily time people spend online on their mobile devices is 3 hours and 36 minutes.
Moreover, the Y-o-Y increase in an average mobile connection speed is 58.8% for download and 17.4% for upload (April 2020 vs. April 2021). Before such high-speed connections, the use was limited to the essentials, such as finding a phone number, an address, or checking our inbox. But now, when we can effortlessly stream our favorite TV shows on Netflix, it's become fairly easy to lose sight of our priorities.
Over 31% of internet users list business-related research among primary reasons of use
The data on primary reasons people use the internet tells us a lot about intent, common behavior, and thus habits of internet users. The list from April 2021 edition of the Digital Global Report goes as follows:
- Finding new information (63.3%)
- Staying in touch with family and friends (56.6%)
- Keeping up to date with events and news (55.6%)
- Watching videos, TV shows, and movies (52.5%)
- "How to" research (52.1%)
- Getting inspired or finding new ideas (47.6%)
- Listening to music (46.4%)
- Research of brands and products (46.4%)
- General browsing and spending of free time (44.5%)
- Studying and education (42.8%)
- Research related to places and traveling (38.7%)
- Research on health matters and products (36.2%)
- Management of one's finances (35.5%)
- Gaming (32.4%)
- Business-related research (31.3%)
- Meeting new people (30.8%)
Time management statistics regarding our virtual presence point to education and business purposes being only the 10th and the 15th on the list. You probably notice that not too many of the major reasons can be considered productive, but try to implement just the two tips we've mentioned above and you'll certainly see the difference.
What matters the most in time management?
In order to understand how to stop wasting time and get the most out of the day, one must determine what the priorities are. Writing everything down is a simple solution and a significant starting point. However, only a proper system and regular time audits will bring your time management skills to another level. Let's see how many people do that.
A dedicated Time Management System (TMS) — only 18% of people report having one
According to the latest 2021 research, a staggering 82% of people don't use any time management system.
Bear in mind that a simple to-do list is not a proper system, due to the lack of complexity and prioritization of tasks. Still, 33% reported relying on such simple to-do lists to manage their work. Furthermore, 25% said they simply first deal with what feels most important, while 24% rely on their email inboxes to manage their priorities and, in accordance, their time.
Writing a schedule in a diary or a planner is what around 12% reported doing — and, this does count as a TM system. Time management statistics also reveal that the remaining 6% use specific methods — Time boxing, Pomodoro technique, Eisenhower matrix, and Eat that frog, mentioned by their popularity, in the declining order. According to the rest of their answers, the Eisenhower matrix was the most successful one.
Time audits — only 20% of people conduct them
To put it simply, a time audit refers to a process of tracking what you've done in a specific period of time. It's the first step in developing time management skills. Once you're able to identify how long it takes you to perform a task, it's much easier to understand your pace and plan your schedule in advance. However, organization and time management statistics indicate that 49% of people never carried out a time audit.
Further 31% said they do it occasionally, while only 20% do so regularly.
Proper sleep — an average person in the US sleeps less than 7 hours a day
Many aspects of time management are directly related to overall cultural differences, including the very perception of time. The connection between sleep and happiness is proven in numerous studies, and the experts suggest adults should sleep between 7 and 9 hours. People who are happy are less likely to indulge in mind-wandering activities and therefore can be most productive. So, being able to limit such activities significantly reduces the possibility of distractions, whether at work or in personal life. This is an important aspect of time management and the conclusion is — getting a good night's sleep can make a huge difference.
According to research by Sleep Score Labs, people in Finland get the most sleep per night — 7 hours and 5 minutes. Consequently, they also have the highest Happiness Score — 7.809 out of 8. In contrast, with a score of only 5.9, people in Japan sleep considerably less — 6 hours and 23 minutes. The US is somewhere in between, so there's definitely room for improvement —The average time is 6 hours and 56 minutes per night and a score of 6.9.
Statistics on time management at work
When it comes to business, the saying "Time is money" can be applied at all times. Therefore, productivity and adequate prioritization of tasks are arguably the most important aspects of success. Moreover, business owners who leverage the power of various techniques and tools have higher productivity and morale among their employees, as well as their revenue levels. Let's walk a mile each in both employee's shoes and employer's — by observing statistics on time management at work.
Time management statistics for employees
"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us." — J.R.R. Tolkien
There are many things that individual employees can do to improve their daily effectiveness at work. However, you can already conclude from the data above that's often not the case. The data below indicates that it's a type of decision that no one can really force on anybody else.
Office-based employees spend 2 hours per day browsing through their email inbox
Independent reports a study conducted in the UK examined the habits of 2,000 office workers and found that the time wasted on emails equals 30 working days per year. That's a whole month of unproductive behavior. Email time management statistics thus point to an average of 2 hours per day spent on browsing through the inbox. Approximately half of that time is spent on emails that could've been a quick call, accidentally re-reading old emails, and simply checking our inboxes for new messages.
What's interesting is that more than half (54%) admitted they often lose focus because they check their emails too often — but at the same time they can't stop. That's the case with habits in general, even for those that were not intentionally developed.
Statistics of poor time management point to 2 other common issues that negatively affect the set of skills relevant to improving one's time management. Namely, 20% of respondents struggle with their performance due to the lack of IT knowledge, and 15% said they are too embarrassed to ask for help while they are stuck with an office suite-related issue. People who are properly managing their valuable time won't allocate any of it to being confused if a member of their team can help. Furthermore, that says a lot about the personality type, as ambitious people always want to learn how to do something, especially if it's relevant to their role at work.
26% of work ends up being done outside of office hours
Bringing work home or staying after hours is a common problem that affects one's mental health and triggers further complications related to one's family members, social life, etc. And, arguably, the whole point of perfecting time management is to achieve the ideal work-life balance. It's difficult to imagine a world where the average workload is so unrealistic that over a quarter of it needs to be done outside of work hours. Time management statistics provide the explanation as well — it's the fact that, on average, employees spend 21% of the time they should be working during work hours on entertainment, social media, and news instead. When you add the procrastination between tasks, inefficient multitasking, and other factors of poor time management into the equation, the math seems right.
Chatty coworkers are the most common distraction at work
Another common reason for procrastination is chatting with colleagues — survey results found on Statista show that 80% of workers agree about this. Another reason is office noise with 70%, closely followed by 61% of those being overwhelmed by changes at work. Meetings and social media complete the top 5 list with 60% and 56%. People who are great at time management are more responsible and won't make room for at least some of these distractions.
The average time at work per year is 1687 hours
Different regions, due to various cultural, geopolitical, and economic factors have different standards of what counts as a regular workload per week. For this reason, the number of hours people work varies by country and is the lowest in Germany — 1,331.7 hours per year. It is closely followed by Denmark, the UK, Norway, and the Netherlands, none of them crossing the 2,900 threshold. On the other hand, the ones with the highest average are Colombia and Mexico with worrying amounts of 2,172 and 2,124 hours, respectively. The USA is somewhere in between, with an average of 1,767 hours. As you can see, developing time management skills depends on the region as well, as cultural values and the very perception of time differ. As a consequence, the approach to tracking time differs as well — Western cultures tend to do so by the clock, while Eastern focus on events and are more concerned with the context. So, two people with the exact same time management skills will be perceived differently in different parts of the world.
80% of employees don't feel engaged at work
The year 2020 was certainly an unprecedented challenge for everyone. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health was (and still is) immense. The levels of negative emotions such as anger, sadness, worry, and stress peaked worldwide, as Gallup's report points out. 80% of workers reported they were either actively disengaged or not engaged enough at work, so productivity levels dropped significantly. Time management and productivity statistics reveal that this loss of productivity cost the global economy $8.1 trillion, according to the same Gallup's report. That's close to 10% of Gross Domestic Product. Workplace culture surely matters here, but employees ought to be proactive and start measuring their performance and efficiency.
43% of employees feel stress on a daily basis
Stress is one of the most common consequences of poor time management. As the deadline gets closer, the anxiety levels increase, especially for those who don't have an exact plan. The previously mentioned Gallup's report also shows some eye-opening time management and stress statistics — 43% of workers said they are trying to cope with stress daily. Furthermore, 24% said the same for anger, and 25% for sadness. The formulation of the question makes these numbers even more problematic, as everyone was asked if they'd experienced said feelings "a lot."
Time management statistics for business owners
With great power comes great responsibility — and business owners are well-aware of the fact. Creating a positive, goal-oriented environment that will encourage other employees to thrive is not easy. Every decision a leader makes ought to align with the uniquely crafted values and will affect each team member. Luckily for business owners, there are various solutions available to help them establish certain standards for time management within the company. Tracking time and productivity, leveraging the power of automation, and being a good practice example for other employees are just some of them.
Leaders work on close to 80% of weekends
Have you heard the saying there's no rest for the wicked? Evidently, it applies to the wicked and to CEOs. Results from a study point to leaders spending 9.7 hours (on average) working on weekdays and 62.5 hours total per week. The number implies they also work on weekends, which was the case for 79% of participants. Moreover, the percentage of those who also work during their vacation days is almost as high — 70%. According to statistics on time management for business meetings, CEOs attend points to a weekly average of 37 business meetings. Meaning — business meetings consume about 72% of their time. Out of those 37 meetings, 38% were the ones that lasted over an hour, 32% were the ones that lasted approximately an hour, and only 30% that lasted shorter than an hour.
In the US, employee productivity is the main benefit of flexible working hours
Flexible working hours have numerous benefits and the corporate world has started rapidly embracing the trend. What matters the most is the improvement in time management, as a fixed schedule may be beneficial, but not for everyone. To provide an example, many people who have young children find the 9-to-5 schedule problematic and prefer starting earlier. Time management statistics indicate there is an abundance of benefits if flexible working hours are allowed. Especially if you're using time tracking software to help you get organized. In Mercer's survey results, we can see that 83.36% of companies said they are considering implementing this flexible hours strategy at a greater scale than before the pandemic. The number speaks for itself. Some of the main benefits listed were:
- Employee engagement and productivity — for 75.99% of the surveyed companies
- Attraction and retention (enhanced Employee Value Proposition) — for 67.41%
- Long-term pandemic-related uncertainty — for 65.18%
- Sourcing, attracting, and retaining a more diverse workforce — for 58.35%
- Access to an expanded talent pool to source critical skills — for 42.45%
Collab tools are the most important aspect of flexible work for 36.77% of companies
The same report examined what matters the most for flexible and remote work environments. Some things may be difficult to achieve when coworkers are not in the office, perhaps not even in the same time zone. Luckily we're living in the digital age. Following the data on time management statistics in the workplace we've mentioned and connecting via virtual channels reduces several distractions such as office noise and chatting with colleagues. The top spot for future investments in this segment went to connection tools (46.42%). We're talking about videoconferencing and chat tools such as Skype or Zoom, aside from email. The second most important category (36.77%) was content collaboration tools such as Slack, Trello, Pumble, Teams, etc. The exact same percentage (36.77%) reported no need for future investments because they already have and use those tools.
For 44% of organizations, lack of funds is the biggest obstacle in tracking productivity
Tracking your productivity levels helps you find segments of the day where you can be fully focused. Organizations that systematically measure and analyze this segment have a better understanding of their internal operation, which results in better use of their potential. Research by PwC on productivity levels indicates only 2% of companies who track their performance don't feel they need additional measures for improvement. Another 3% reported they don't see any obstacles.
Time management and productivity statistics show financial matters are the biggest obstacle in reaching the desired goals, in this case for 44%.
Other relevant obstacles were:
- time restraint (39%)
- employee resistance (38%)
- resources distributed to crisis management (36%)
- lack of resources (34%)
- technology being too complicated (33%)
- the lack of technology tools (28%)
Organizations valued over $5 billion track their productivity more often
We've already mentioned that successful people share many values and habits, so it's not surprising that successful organizations use the same practices as well. Having a critical approach simply means they are eager to improve, always being on top of the latest trends. When it comes to the frequency of productivity audits, 11% of organizations whose value doesn't exceed $5 billion report conducting them on an hourly basis, measuring the productivity of a specific task. Confirming the direct relation of time management and success, statistics point to 25% for organizations valued at over $5 billion that conduct hourly tracking. Multiple follow-up studies revealed another supporting claim — 75% of poorly performing employees who took specific actions (over the course of 6 months or less) rose to acceptable levels, or even higher. That's the power of proper time and productivity management.
In 2020, 64% of organizations said they were embracing agile ways of working
Agile working practices are complex and highly dependent on the industry — even a specific organization — but essentially refer to flexibility. The method differs from the traditional one in the sense that it's not a linear process but rather a loop of regular evaluations and adjustments. The possibility of remote work, for example, is one of the aspects of agile. In 2020, 64% of the organizations reported adopting this method.
The IT sector is the most common one for the said approach (57% of the surveyed organizations implementing it). It's followed by finance (46%), business development (40%), operations (38%), and digital transformation (38%) which complete the top 5 list.
🎓 Time management tip: Understand that not everyone provides the highest quality of work in the traditional office. Your focus should be on achieving the right results.
Statistics on time management for students
"Better three hours too soon than one minute too late." — William Shakespeare
Effective time management matters in every stage of life, but it's especially relevant during high school and college. Teenagers and young adults are still developing habits so it's easier for them to learn. Moreover, their approach to organization and structure has a major impact on their overall growth and self-image. The discipline results in more leisure time and makes the academic experience less stressful. Furthermore, it also strengthens their values and helps them adapt to the responsibilities once they start working.
Statistics on student's time management skills
Despite being objectively easier for students to adopt habits, socialization and other fun activities can often be their priority during this period of life. However, those who learn to effectively manage their schedule and responsibilities from an early age actually have more time for themselves. Moreover, the lack of stress contributes to that time being of higher quality.
54% of college students think better organizational skills would improve their performance
Even though it's proven that organizational skills are of utmost importance for various aspects of life — especially when it comes to academic studies and later careers — the level of education on the topic is insufficient. Time management statistics show that 47% of college students believe so. Despite being digital natives, 48% of those who have a system manage their tasks by writing them down by hand. More than a half, 54% exactly, said their grades and overall performance would be better if they had better organizational skills.
88% of college students wish to improve their time management skills
Following the data from the previous statistics, once students get to experience higher-level academic requirements, too many end up feeling inadequate. 88% report wanting to improve their time management and organizational skills — after all, only 21.7% said they use database software for organizing their assignments, while another 23% just memorize the to-do list in their head. Their values are often based on failure and success binary opposition — however, as we've mentioned, that fear of failure often results in procrastination.
Statistics on student procrastination
As we've seen earlier, the topic of procrastination is closely connected to time management skills. When a task has an allocated time slot within a day, people are more likely to finish it — in order to avoid disrupting their schedules. Academic procrastination is the subcategory specifically relevant for students. It's defined as the delay in starting or finalizing an academic assignment, and is continuously correlated to academic burnout.
The majority of students struggle with procrastination.
Even though different studies point to different percentages, one thing is for sure — most college students procrastinate.
The lowest percentage of students who procrastinate (mentioned in a study by Rozental and Carlbring from 2014) was around 50%, while the highest (Steel, 2007) went up to a whopping 95%. There are several possible explanations for such a large gap in the percentage of students who procrastinate. It may simply be that different target groups had different habits. However, it may also be that the lower percentage had something to do with the fact that research was conducted 7 years later. So, another logical conclusion would be that the availability of resources, time tracking apps and programs, collaboration tools, along with other aspects of technological advancements made the academic experience easier, in a way.
Supported by an abundance of research and studies, time management in college statistics point to the fear of failure as the primary reason for academic procrastination.
Some of the main indicators that are often cited are:
- An irregular sleep pattern
- Poor quality of sleep
- Higher stress levels
- The feelings of guilt, inadequacy, confusion, anxiety, and even depression
Developing time management skills can thus drastically boost one's potential to succeed in their academic life. Moreover, as you can conclude from the negative aspects we've mentioned, it's not only about academic life, but rather the structure that builds confidence and a positive self-image.
58% of students submit the assignments within the last 24 hours of the deadline
Here, it seems appropriate to mention the saying: "Deadline is the best motivation". Regardless of how the students had used the time in between, when given a full week to complete a task, 58% submitted it on the last day. It's all about self-regulation. Further analysis of the results showed that the procrastinators also had significantly lower scores. Effective time management statistics from another study pointed out the same — 76% of students who submitted their assignments early got higher scores (A or B). On the other hand, this was the case for only 60% of the procrastinators. There are several reasons why the early submitters have higher performance:
- When any given task is divided into smaller segments, it's easier to motivate and focus. Moreover, whenever a segment is completed, it is followed by a feeling of satisfaction.
- In most cases, the given tasks are related to parts of the curriculum that are still fresh in the students' minds.
- There's room for improvement. Meaning, if a student completes the task on day 3 and sleeps on it before submission, they might get an idea on how to make it better.
Recognition is the best motivation for overcoming procrastination
So, what's the solution to procrastination? This can also vary depending on the type of motivation that a certain personality type values more — intrinsic or extrinsic. In a recent study on motivational factors, receiving recognition — a traditionally extrinsic motivator — was ranked at the top, for 49% of students. Time management statistics indicate the practical study approach breaks the procrastination pattern for 22% of students, followed by collaborative work with 18% of students.
However, that's exactly the thing if you want to improve and, at some point, master time management skills — you ought to learn that recognition doesn't have to be external. It goes without saying that the external type, especially coming from a person in a superior position (teacher, manager at work, parent, etc.) is more effective. Yet, recognizing your own achievements, no matter how small they seem, will bring your mindset to another level.
One of the ways to start with this kind of positive approach is to introduce a reward system. If there's a proper correlation between the time invested in a task and the reward, your internal motivation will almost certainly reach the level of external motivation — your favorite candy bar or an episode of a TV show is a great choice for smaller tasks, while a full treat-yourself-pampering-mode-day is great for larger projects or exams. It simply works.
🎓To learn more about how motivation works, check out our blog post on the subject: Motivation guide: How to get and stay motivated
Interesting time management statistics
"Time is the longest distance between two places." — Tennessee Williams
Did you know that highly successful people have numerous habits in common, such as devoting 15 to 30 minutes a day to focused thinking? Before we wrap the article up, let's see some interesting details regarding the topic.
The positive impact of properly managing your time
One of the main goals of using a time management system is achieving a perfect work-life balance. Freedom that you gain will allow you to pursue new hobbies and strengthen your personal relationships. It's a combination that makes life simpler and easier, as a consequence of people feeling more confident and more capable.
Countries with shorter working hours or a 4-day week have the happiest citizens
The data from 2020 — the latest World Happiness Report — points out that the truth is opposite of popular but outdated beliefs about people living in Nordic countries. Not only they aren't all depressed and have the highest suicide rate, people living over there are actually thriving — 4 out of 5 countries with the happiest citizens are Nordic. The list of overall satisfaction rates for the top 5 goes as follows:
- Finland (7.809 out of 8)
- Denmark (7.646)
- Switzerland (7.560)
- Iceland (7.504)
- Norway (7.488)
Time management and success statistics also reveal that it's the Nordic countries that introduced numerous studies on the 4-day week that resulted in increased productivity and happiness among the employees. The tremendous results from Iceland led to 86% of the country's workforce either already working shorter hours or gaining the right to do so in the near future.
Regular time slots for socialization are an important aspect of time management
Allocating a portion of each day to a simple activity such as taking a walk is a real serotonin booster. The research with a sample of 2.3 million people indicates that taking a hike or a walk on your own raises mood by 2%. Yet, planning your weekly schedule should always include time for socialization. If that activity is shared with a friend, the percentage is at 7.5% and even higher, at 8.9% if shared with a partner.
Over 350 genetic factors impact one's cognitive ability during the day
Society as a whole is based on an early bird's schedule, surely — but, don't stress too much if you're a night owl. Of course, the circadian rhythm is a matter of fact, but our internal clocks are complex and equally important. A study of genome-wide data of almost 700,000 participants proved that the reason is a variation in the chronotype of an individual. The number of genetic factors that will determine when a person feels energized the most is 351.
To avoid several health conditions, allocate enough time to sleep
On average, it's estimated that people who complete all of the REM and non-REM stages during one night dream for 2 full hours. This matters because dreaming helps people process and deal with their emotions. Admittedly, you don't have to plan or schedule these hours but it's another example of how a consistent sleep pattern benefits mental health.
Many studies focused on a regular sleep pattern and how the lack of it reflects badly on our physical and mental health. We'll stick with another study that examined the impact of sleep deprivation on emotions and social interactions. The results once again underline the importance of getting enough sleep. It's much easier to lose focus and get distracted if one hasn't processed their emotions, which badly reflects on your decisions. Moreover, the results indicate that sleep deprivation leads to lower understanding of social cues and facial expressions, which can cause problems at the workplace — even if you've allocated time for work properly. This is especially relevant for planning and scheduling meetings, as social cues and facial expressions play a major role in this type of social interactions.
Other time management and sleep statistics once again underline the importance of being well-rested. Participants who slept only 4.5 hours per night reported increased appetite and hunger. It wasn't the case for the ones who slept for 8.5 hours. Our physical and cognitive capabilities are highly dependent on sleep and the lack of consistency in our sleep pattern can result in severe problems. That's why it's vital for our well-being to adequately allocate enough time to sleep and be consistent.
Statistics on how people deal with poor time management
Being a bad time manager can have a major impact on one's overall well-being, including both physical and mental health. Many people don't realize that a schedule shouldn't be all about planning your responsibilities. Just the contrary, it turns out if we don't plan for breaks, vacations, and leisure time in general, we can find ourselves overseeing those, equally important aspects of life.
In 2015, the National Plan for Vacation Day was introduced in the USA
Taking a vacation is just like planning your daily breaks — but on a larger scale. The latest data points to 55% of Americans not using their vacation days. That's affecting more than just one's mental health. We're talking about the economy. Time management statistics indicate that, despite 83% reporting they want to use their vacation days to travel, most of them don't get to do it. The situation was so bad that the government decided to introduce an encouragement policy — National Plan for Vacation Day, which is celebrated in the USA on the last Tuesday of January. Thousands of organizations nationwide use the day to inspire their employees for future getaways.
Why did the government want to encourage Americans to take their time off regularly? Well, if people planned a vacation in advance and went, it would create an opportunity for 2 million additional jobs in various industries. The vast majority would be jobs in the travel and hospitality industry, naturally. However, it doesn't stop there as tourism's contribution is much greater and reaches various other sectors. Automotive, construction, manufacturing, and even IT are some of those, to name a few.The total loss from missing opportunities and travel spend is estimated at $151.5 billion.
🎓 Time management tip Take regular vacations to change your usual environment and recharge your batteries at least twice a year. Plan them months in advance.
Government in Japan launched an initiative due to the long working hours
One of the main aspects of being a good time manager is creating a balance between your work and your personal life. However, in some cultures, workaholism is embraced as a positive thing, appreciated, and even encouraged. Poor time management statistics show that's the case with Japan — for years, it was the country with the longest working hours. The peak happened in 2012 with 147.1 per month, on average. It has been decreasing since and in 2020 totaled 135.1 hours.
In 2016, a government survey revealed almost 25% of Japanese employees worked a whopping 80 hours of overtime per month. Also, workers in Japan on average didn't take 10 of their vacation days — and 63% of those who did felt guilty. Not having enough time for rest and leisure results in major deterioration of one's mental health. One of the most extreme cases shocked the whole world in 2015. An employee who had been working 100 hours of overtime per month took her life after struggling with severe depression caused by overwork. The Japanese government later introduced an additional public holiday and started the Premium Friday initiative.
Improving time management skills
To sum up, we all need to embrace the fact that time is a limited resource. Being a good time manager actually means using all the resources available.
Learning to set goals and achieve them faster helps us to become the best version of ourselves. As you can see from the time management statistics above, many people are struggling just because they don't have the right tools.
Time tracking tools such as Clockify can help you:
- Improve your daily routine
- Set daily goals
- Monitor your productivity levels
- Improve your efficiency
How to track productivity with Clockify
Bonus: Time Management FAQ
"Own time, or time will own you." — Brian Norgard
First, let's check out the most common issues related to understanding the importance of time management. These 5 frequently asked questions will help you grasp the concept before we dive into the world of statistical data and further reflect on those facts and numbers. You can expect some bonus tips and tricks as well!
Is time management a life skill?
In short, yes. But the topic is much more complex as time management is not really a single, but an array of various skills related to planning, organization, and execution of all tasks, not only the work-related ones. Many people start managing their time in school, in order to boost the productivity rates and efficiency in completing tasks in the best way possible.
However, not too many understand it's crucial to apply the same strategies and prioritize tasks in your personal life. That's the main reason we listed these time management statistics and the only way to truly become the master of your time.
What is effective time management?
Effective time management refers to a unique skill set and thus differs for every individual. In plain words, it means to work smarter, not harder. Various tasks in our daily routine are mentally exhausting, while others wear us off physically. To be effective is to plan the order of those tasks in a way to be fully focused while doing them. We already know that the average person spends one-third of their life sleeping, so it's about leveraging every moment we're awake to its full potential.
Time management statistics below will reflect on basic principles and benefits, but also present the impact on other people. For example, whenever we're late for a meeting, people who show up on time suffer.
What are the benefits of time management?
Being in charge of your own schedule greatly impacts your mental health and boosts your confidence. Showing up on time, meeting deadlines, and feeling focused and productive while at work further make other people respect you more. So, as far as it goes for the benefits of time management, statistics point to a natural consequence — stress and anxiety levels being significantly reduced.
That way, time passes more smoothly and your life starts operating like a well-oiled machine. The main result is thus a great work-home balance that we all strive for.
What is the best way to manage your time?
There are many proven techniques and strategies to improve your time management skills. However, due to the complexity of the concept and the diversity of our capabilities, there is no "one size fits all" approach. The only constant rule is to monitor your performance and track your progress.
According to Harvard Business Review, there are 3 main categories of skills to develop:
Bear in mind, it's perfectly fine to experiment a bit until you find what works for you. Moreover, as technology advances, many digital solutions are available to help you do so. From automation of various tasks and regular reminders to productivity tracking and reporting, these are just some of the features which will enhance your efforts.
How do you master time management?
According to Gladwell's theory, it takes approximately 10,000 hours to master a complex skill. However, it's difficult to talk about time management in that context, as the starting point is not the same for everyone. However, we can point you in the right direction. In gist, mastering time management means taking responsibility, developing positive habits, and being determined to improve. The pace of our life changes as we mature, as well as the surrounding circumstances. It's about the ability to adapt and, ultimately, learn to truly value the limited resource of time.
Scheduling for breaks or creativity may sound strange at first, but it will help you build momentum. Furthermore, there's a reason all of the most successful people do so. Effective time management statistics reveal there are 5 vital habits that such people share, according to Forbes:
- Learning how to multitask in a productive way
- Using the technology to shorten the in-person meetings time
- Creating a routine
- Writing everything down
- Scheduling periods for creativity
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