The Important Difference Between Time Management and Task Management

January 22, 2016

6:00 pm

If there is something that everyone in the world was given in equal measure then it must be time. Yes, even oxygen is not equally distributed. People who reside at top of mountains have less oxygen. It might appear like some people have more time in the world than others. Well, this is probably because they have mastered the skill of time management better than others. Before going any farther into this article it is worth pointing out that there is a world of difference between time management and task management. They might sound the same but they are quite different.

The thing that people have is not a difference in amount of time it is the number of tasks that they have to conduct. For instance many working parents have to grapple with dropping their children off at school and picking them up. There is the part where they have to prepare them for school while at the same time trying to organize their day’s tasks over the phone. It is a really busy life for a majority of people. This is where the problem lies.

What Should You Be Managing?

Sure you were taught when you were in grade school that it is important to manage your time. There is time for everything and a season for every task under the sun. That is true but then once you are in the corporate world, things do not work in such a black and white manner anymore. You do not plan when your clients are going to load you up with an innumerable lot of tasks to complete within a short period of time. When you are working for your client you should also remember that you have a life outside the office and it must be catered to as well.

Therefore, you should start managing your tasks and stop trying to manage time. No man or woman for that matter has control over time. It will continue moving even when you are seemingly doing something important.

The Time Concept

Time is one concept that is just too hard to define in its entirety. Human beings might not be entirely sure what time is but they are experts when it comes to measuring it. The fact that you can measure time makes all the difference. It is so easy to check your BlackBerry calendar and add tasks to it. Try checking a to-do list and assign dates and times to the tasks on that list. You will realize just how difficult it is. This is probably because when you try to do that, you run out of time for all your tasks.

It is a common assumption that the more tasks people complete in the limited time they have the more productive they are. This is just assumption and not a true one for that matter. When people focus a lot on scheduling their time too much they end up being overwhelmed. However, if you schedule your tasks then you should not have a problem getting them done without being stressed. Burn out is real and you do not want to experience it. Luckily technology has made it possible for people to organize their tasks better.

Keep the Tasks Rolling

A task is a piece of work that has been assigned to an individual to complete within a given period of time. The thing that many people try to do is to keep the tasks moving at a pace equal to time. Well it might work once or twice, but not always. Time moves regardless of whether you are there or not but then tasks need your attention to keep them rolling. Managing a task is thus easier to handle than trying to manage time.

When you decide to manage time then you will end up handling one thing at a time rather than grabbing something that is too big that even rocket scientists are unable to explain. This does not mean that you should not try to understand how tasks fit into your time. You should do that however stop placing too much importance on that. Allocate a task – what you believe you can handle within a given period of time and get it done. How will you do this?

Identify What Is Important and What Is Not

There are tasks that are most important to your business’s performance. These are the ones that should take priority when you are allocating time to them. You know your abilities and how fast you can get the work done excellently.

Learn to Say “No”

Picture this scenario: you are working on a project then your supervisor tells you that there is something that they would like you to do for them urgently. Of course you will be tempted to say yes and take up a task that did not get an allocation. If it is important then you can take up the task but then if it is not just say no to it.

Identify Time-Wasters

In as much as you are not paying too much attention to time management, you should learn what wastes your time. It could people like a certain colleague who always has the latest gossip and the social media pop-ups that just will not stop.

Slot in Some Personal Time

To manage tasks properly you will need to be relaxed and focused. This means that you should take some time and breathe. Slot in time to read those social media posts, chat with your colleague and if you can afford to take a 20 minutes power nap during lunch break then you should do it.

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A passionate blogger who loves to travel.

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