13 crucial time management statistics for business owners

by Stuti Dubey
Time Management Statistics

According to Miles Davis, “Time isn’t the main thing. It’s the only thing.”  And I cannot agree more. This statement holds true for everyone, but it holds the utmost importance for business owners.  

With a finite number of hours available every day, proper management of time is what differentiates successful business owners from others. That’s why numerous studies, tests, and surveys have been conducted on this subject, and there are hundreds of time management strategies available on the market. 

In fact, there are thousands of fascinating time management statistics that one can find. However, not all of them might be important for a business owner like you. 

Time management statistics for business owners

Therefore, we’ve put together some of the most important and relevant statistics for you to understand the importance of time management.

1. Time audit

49% of working professionals have never conducted a time audit to see and analyze how they spend their time. 

Planning your schedule works only if you actually follow it. An extended lunch break, multiple tea/coffee breaks, chit-chat sessions with colleagues, etc. are enough to distract you from your goals and can lead to lost time. 

So what can you do to avoid that?

Analyze how much time you actually spent on your tasks and how much of it you ended up wasting! In simple words, do a time audit. 

Conducting a time audit can help employees as well as business owners to take control of their time and get more done! A time audit helps take out the guesswork from time management with proper analysis of the time you spend at work. This can, in turn, help you set a realistic and effective schedule to spend your time on productive tasks. 

Even then, only about 1 in 5 people do it on a regular basis. Many others just go with the flow, which might actually affect productivity. 

2. Time management system usage

82% of people do not have a dedicated time management system. 

They rely on a simple to-do list, their email inbox, or nothing at all. 

This can lead to poor time management and loss of productivity, a lot of it! 

Tools in all domains are meant to make life simple and spend time on important things. A tool for managing your time can make this process easier for you.

A time management system can help you and your team keep track of how you’re using your time and fill the necessary gaps to achieve your goals and complete your tasks effectively and efficiently. 

One such tool that can help you boost your company’s productivity is a time tracking system. It will allow you and your team to use their time more consciously and hence, more judiciously, ensuring growth in productivity and business success. 

3. Time spent on mundane tasks

80% of the total time on a workday is spent doing tasks with little to no value and only 20% is spent doing something of importance for the company. 

The numbers should ideally be the opposite, right?

But sadly, that’s not the case. 

No one does it on purpose, but it just happens. Some last-minute things may come up, or some unanticipated communications may eat up your time. 

To ensure that you don’t fall into this trap (as much as possible), there’s one thing you can do: optimize your schedule. 

Prepare your schedule for the day/week and stick to it. Prioritize the important tasks so that you don’t miss out on them. Schedule limited times for meetings, emails, and other communications – planned and unplanned. 

And more importantly, make sure your schedule is a realistic one. Don’t jam-pack your calendar with tasks for every minute. Why? Because urgent last-minute tasks are bound to come up, and you cannot be leaving behind your major work for the same. 

You can even use a tool to automate your scheduling – an online scheduling software. It can let your team members, as well as clients, schedule meetings/appointments with you. You can set your availability and block times where you won’t be available for a meeting or other communications. 

4. Workday planning

If a working professional or business owner spends 10-12 minutes planning their day in the beginning, they’ll save up to 2 hours of time that would have otherwise been wasted. 

And in a typical workday, two hours is too much time to be wasted! 

And therefore, the first thing you should do when you start your day at work is to plan your day. Prepare a proper schedule and decide your goals for the day. Allot the required time to all the required times based on their priority. 

A tip to ensure that you don’t lose out time on unanticipated communications or tasks is to add buffer times in your calendar. Keep gaps between tasks and leave out about an hour on your calendar free to handle any urgent tasks. 

Encourage your employees to do the same to ensure that each of your team members is able to make the most of their day! 

5. Unforeseen interruptions

Three hours per day are spent by the average manager on handling unforeseen interruptions and problems. 

Unanticipated issues are inevitable at work, especially if you’re the owner of the business. 

And despite proper planning and scheduling, you might have to deal with unplanned tasks urgently. 

As discussed in the above point, the solution to this problem is to leave out some buffer time on your schedule to ensure that your important tasks don’t take a backseat because of emergency situations. 

And if nothing of that sort comes up, you can always utilize the buffer time to complete more of your tasks to move forward in terms of your business goals.

6. Time spent on important tasks

Workers spend only about 27% of their day on skill-based tasks

Just 27%! 

So if we consider a typical workday of 8 hours, only about just over 2 hours are spent on doing high-priority tasks! And this can severely impact your employee productivity and business growth. 

To increase this percentage as far as possible, the best way is to prioritize! Set priorities for all the tasks you have for the day. Optimize your schedule according to your priorities and your productivity. 

What this means is that you know at what time of the day your productivity is at its peak, and the best way to deliver the most is to allot such times for the high priority tasks so that you can complete the critical work fast and efficiently!

7. Time spent on personal tasks

Employees at work surf the web for about three hours per day for personal reasons.

It could be window shopping, social media scrolling, sending messages to their friends, or even searching for a new job! 

No business owner would be happy about this! So how do you deal with this situation?

Start with time tracking! 

Use software for tracking time for your employees. This will make them conscious about how they’re spending their time at work. Being aware of the fact that their boss will know what they’re doing, they will try to avoid personal web surfing at work and devote the same amount of time to working instead, which should ideally be the case. 

8. Employee productive time

Employees are only productive for 2 hours and 23 minutes per day

The remainder of their workday is used to check social media (44 minutes), browse news sites (1 hour, 5 minutes), discuss work with officemates (40 minutes), coffee breaks (17 minutes), instant messaging (14 minutes), snack breaks (8 minutes), making food in the office (7 minutes), making calls (18 minutes), and searching for new jobs (26 minutes). 

While a few breaks from work are necessary to maintain productivity throughout the day, these may extend pretty soon in the absence of a time tracking system. And this statistic again supports the use of a time tracker for your workplace to minimize the time wasted on unproductive and non-work tasks and to increase productivity. 

9. Multi-tasking, time tracking and productivity

Multi-tasking without time-tracking decreases productivity to 45%

Business environments today are all about multitasking. Whether it’s employees or the business owner, everyone has to do multiple tasks in a day. 

But not carefully allotting and spending time on the required tasks can lead to all the tasks remaining unfinished or even if completed, might not be the best possible result.

Multitasking can even cause stress and anxiety in some employees, which is bound to affect business productivity. 

However, if combined with a time tracking system, multitasking can yield good results in terms of quality of work as well as productivity.  It will help employees be aware of how they’re spending their time and optimize their schedule and productivity accordingly. 

10. Time spent on business

Business owners spend only 32% of their time working ON the business. 

Working ON the business involves more strategic activities for the company that leads to growth, improves profitability, and higher morale of the employees. The decision-makers should be spending more time working on these tasks. 

And business owners want to do that, but they end up spending significantly more time working IN the business than ON it! This can be the result of a myriad of factors including lesser productivity from the employees. 

Keeping track of how you as well as your employees spend their time can help you identify the gaps and delegate work in a better manner. This way you can allot more of your time to working ON the business rather than In it. 

11. Time spent on important activities

Business owners only spend 34% of their time on activities that are both important and urgent. 

Ideally, these activities should consume the majority of your time.

But due to multiple reasons and shortcomings, it becomes very difficult to focus on the more important tasks. 

Keeping track of your time and how you spend it can help you understand where you’re losing time, especially on unimportant tasks or work that can be delegated to your employees. This way you can dedicate a larger portion of your schedule to important and urgent activities. 

12. Time spent on internet browsing

Business owners spend 32% of their time on email/web browsing. 

This compares to 25% being spent interacting with employees and 21% interacting with customers. 

The latter activities can be more beneficial for business owners, but a lot of them aren’t able to devote sufficient time to those activities. 

Optimizing your schedule and managing your calendar can help you out here. And in your daily schedule, leave out some time specifically for checking emails or browsing the internet for business.   

13. Time lost

Owners lose most of their time on unscheduled communications (33%), waiting for information (22%), and personality issues (16%). 

While the last one depends completely on the individual, the other two can be avoided to a huge extent, if not alleviated completely. You can save a lot of time if you and your employees decide to incorporate systematic scheduling into their routine, apart from automated time tracking. 

Schedule meetings, calls, and other communications in advance as far as possible, and encourage your employees to do the same. This will help you streamline your business to a huge extent, and help cut down the time lost. 

Wrap up

Time management is an age-old and effective success strategy. The above statistics show that a lack of planning and time management can lead to losses in terms of time and revenue. 

The bottom line is that investing some time and effort in the management of available hours can help business owners and their employees utilize their day better, increase productivity and hence, boost revenue. 

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