New Time Management Statistics in 2022
We asked 300 employees across a wide range of industries in the United States and the United Kingdom to uncover new time management statistics in 2022. To achieve this we asked:
- How many people use a time management system at work
- What time management systems people use
- How often they feel they have things under control at work
- How much time is spent in a day looking at email and working on unimportant tasks
- What people feel are the benefits of better time management
- What the maximum amount of time people would be prepared to spend to gain the benefits of better time management
Key Takeaways Of This Study:
- 1 in 8 people (12%) use a dedicated time management system
- 88% of people don’t use a proper system, but make do with a calendar, their email inbox, a to-do list or work it out as they go along
- Time blocking is the most common time management system use (5%), followed by the Rapid Planning Method (3%) and the Eisenhower Matrix at 2%
- 44% of people feel they have things under control at work 5 days a week, but 46% feel they don’t have things under control for one to two days a week, 11% feel they don’t have control for three or more days
- We asked people what they thought of 9 specific benefits of time management: 91% agreed that better time management would reduce stress at work, 90% agreed it would increase productivity, 86% that it would improve focus on tasks, 82% agreed it would give more confidence a work, 74% that it would result in better workplace relationships
- 32% of people say they are constantly looking at email, 31% say they look at email whenever they see a notification and a further 20% say they are looking at least every hour
- 38% of people say they spend up to an hour a day on tasks or meetings that aren’t important to their role, 32% say they waste 1-2 hours and a further 17% waste 2-3 hours
- 76% of people said they would be prepared to spend between 15-30 minutes a day if better time management saved them 90 minutes, reduced stress and improved their reputation at work
Lets take a look at what we asked and more details of the new time management statistics we found:
How do you manage your time at work?
- 12% of people have a dedicated time management system
- 88% do not have a dedicated time management system
- 38% use a to-do list to manage their time
- 23% use their calendar
- 14% do what they feel is most important
- 13% use their email inbox
- Of the time management systems:
- 5% use Time Blocking – where you break your day into time blocks and assign a task to each block
- 3% of people use the Rapid Planning Method – where you define the outcome you want to achieve, why you want to do it and what you need to do to achieve it to help you keep focus on that task
- 2% use the Eisenhower Matrix – categorize tasks into one of 4 types – important and urgent items you do straight away, important but not urgent you schedule to do later, the un important items you delegate or delete
- 1% use the Pomodoro technique – where you choose a task you need to get done, set a timer for how long it should take to do, focus on that task until the timer goes off, then take a short break and re-evaluate.
Key Takeaways On How People Manage Their Time:
- The to-do list is the most common time management technique people use. It is one of the simplest yet most effective time management techniques as you prioritize tasks, so they become manageable. It is often overlooked as a time management technique (as people did in this study)
- The next three highest methods are also a form of to do list. Scheduling everything in a calendar creates a to-do list of tasks in date order, it also uses techniques in Time Blocking (blocking time in a calendar) and the Eisenhower technique (scheduling important tasks in a calendar)
- People who are doing whatever feels most important are using the top row of the Eisenhower technique, the important row
- Using the email inbox is yet another form of to-do list
- 88% use some form of to-do list (38% that say they use a to-do list + 23% schedule in their calendar + 14% that do what is most important +13% that use their inbox)
- 77% use part or all of the Eisenhower matrix (38% use a to-do list + 23% schedule things in their calendar + 14% that do what is most important + 2% that use the full 4 quadrant matrix)
- 27% fully or partially use time blocking methods (23% that schedule in their calendar + 5% that use time blocking)
How well do people manage their time at work?
We wanted to know how well people manage their work tasks. To gauge this we asked “how often do you feel you have things under control at work?”.
- 56% of people say they do not have things under control at work every day
- 23% say the having things under control 4 days a week
- 23% say they have things under control just 3 days a week
- 10% say they only have things under control up to 2 days a week
What do you feel are the benefits of time management?
We wanted to understand what people felt were the main benefits of time management. To achieve this, compiled a list of nine unique benefits, then asked people whether they strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, disagree or strongly disagree that these are benefits of time management. In the summary below we’ve provided the percentage values of those that either agree or strongly agree that these are benefits:
- 91% say better time management will lead to reduced stress at work
- 90% say better time management will lead to increased productivity
(You may also be interested in our recent research on employee productivity)
- 86% say it will lead to improved focus on tasks
- 83% say it will lead to better decision making
- 84% say it will help in reaching goals faster
- 82% say it will give people more confidence at work
- 76% say it will bring a better reputation at work
- 75% say it will lead to better workplace relationships
- 73% say better time management will lead to more free time
How often do you look at your email in a day?
To many, email is the main communication system at work, but to many email can be a distraction. We found that:
- 1 in 3 people live in their email system (32%), keeping it open and accessible continually through the day
- 1 in 3 people (31%) use notifications to look at emails the instant they come in
- 5% say they look at their email at least every 10 minutes
- 1 in 4 (24%) say they look at their email at least every hour
TIP: Email notifications can be distracting, take you off task and waste time. Turn notifications off and plan your tasks in order of importance or urgency or both. Schedule reminders for work that can be done later, and try to stay focused on each task until complete or for a set minimum amount of time and then take a break. Look at emails in your break.
How much time do you spend per day on tasks that aren’t important?
For the people that weren’t using time management, we wanted to find out how much time they waste in a day on tasks that are not important to their role at work.
- 38% waste less than an hour a day
- 32% waste 1-2 hours a day
- 17% waste 2-3 hours a day
- 7% waste 3-4 hours a day
- 6% waste 4-6 hours a day
Having asked people to think about how they currently manage their time, how much time they spend on unimportant tasks and the benefits better time management provides, we wanted to see how much time they would be prepared to spend every day to improve their time management. We asked the following question:
TIP: Upgrade to Windows 11. The new taskbar has a bar under your open app icons that turns pale red when there are new items. This is great for Outlook and Teams as you can work without notifications, but with a quick glance to the bottom of your screen you can see if there is anything new to deal with without having to flip over to that app.
If better time management saved you 90 minutes a day, reduced stress, and improved your reputation at work, what is the maximum time you would spend per day for that gain?
- 4% said they would spend a maximum of 5 minutes
- 15% said they would spend a maximum of 10 minutes
- 27% said they would spend a maximum of 15 minutes
- 21% said they would spend a maximum of 20 minutes
- 28% said they would spend a maximum of 30 minutes
- 67% of people say they would spend 15-30 minutes a day to gain the benefits of better time management
Time Management Research Details
Timewatch carried out this research in late June 2022 with Pollfish. 300 people were surveyed in the US and UK. The poll was split as follows:
- Male 53%, Female 47%
- 11% 18-24 years of age
- 39% 25-34 years of age
- 34% 35-44 years of age
- 10% 45-54 years of age
- 6% > 54 years of age
Some Surprises In Time Management In Business
Ignoring the people that already have a dedicated time management system, 74% of us use some form of time management system (a calendar (23%), to-do list (38%), inbox (13%)), but don’t recognize it as a time management technique.
- Although only 5% of people say they use time blocking, a further 23% are using time blocking techniques, scheduling things in their calendar
- Although just 2% say they use the Eisenhower Matrix, a further 78% are actually using some elements of the system, giving the possibility that they could improve their time management
- 56% of people say they do not have things under control at work 5 days a week
- on average people waste 100 minutes on unimportant tasks each day
- more than 63% of people are distracted at work by emails
- 89% agree that better time management will increase their productivity at work
People do recognize the benefits of better time management though and say they would be prepared to make the effort to better manage their time:
- on average 82% of people agree or strongly agree the benefits we listed would be gained through better time management
- 76% say they are prepared to invest between 15 and 30 minutes a day to gain the benefits of better time management
How Can Timewatch Help?
If you are interested in better time management and saving time for your employees, there are a few ways Timewatch can help.
- We will soon be releasing an article explaining how people can better utilize their Outlook or Google system for time management using the Eisenhower technique.
- We are investigating creating a tool that would make it incredibly easy for anyone that uses Outlook or Google calendars, uses to-do lists or their inbox for time management to use the full blown Eisenhower Matrix within their calendar. If you are interested in this, we’d love to hear from you.
- As our timesheet systems integrate with Outlook and Google, we today help any organization that uses these tools turn people’s Outlook and Google calendars into timesheets, which typically saves people 1-2 hours a week compared to other timesheet and time tracking systems.
Want to Learn More?
Want to learn more about these time management statistics? Contact us or complete the form to arrange a call with a Timewatch specialist.
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