Time management, the perpetual struggle of any employee in the corporate world. Although time management is potentially one of the most important soft skills employees need to have in our fast-paced and interconnected world, it is also one of the most overlooked training topics.

Recent research by Zappia showed that about 39% of American workplace stress come from workload, with personal issues coming second (31%). This is telling of the fact that we are facing a skills gap created by an increasing demand of productivity and lack of giving employees the proper training to manage their time efficiently to produce quality work within short timelines.

In this article we explore the value of developing your employees’ time management skills and how to do so. We look at:

What is Time Management Training?

The focus of time management training for employees is to provide your workforce with the tools and habits necessary for them to be more efficient and productive with their time at work. Time management is critical in helping employees learn how to prioritize their task list to meet deadlines, create quality work, and help to accomplish organizational goals.

Time management training can focus of a variety of different areas depending on the needs of your organization, although most time management training should touch on skills like goal setting, prioritization, time-tracking and other foundational skills that will enable employees to achieve more meaningful work while keeping a healthy work-life balance.   

The Importance of Time Management for Employees

It’s fair to say that having strong time management skills is no longer a “nice to have” in today’s job market. As we discuss in our blog on the importance of soft skills, it’s crucial for the modern employee do develop  skills like strong time management – these skills are quickly becoming decisive in whether employees are able to succeed in a particular role or not.

According to a rescue time study, workers, on average, spend just 2.8 hours a day on productive tasks (or 14 hours per week).  

This is a telling sign that distractions like social media, emails, internal messaging applications, and unnecessary meetings are a huge time and productivity drain for employees.

In a world where remote and hybrid work have become the norm, and employees are expected to spend more time communicating through these mediums, this is a very real challenge that organizations and L&D teams have to contend with.    To counteract the negative effects of distractions and low productivity tasks companies need to include comprehensive time management training within their broader soft skills training initiatives and provide their people with the tools they need to get the most out of their time and efforts at work.  


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Benefits of Time Management Training

Improved Productivity/Prioritization

One of the main factors here is teaching employees how to prioritize tasks. The more training your employees receive on how to identify what task holds the most importance to the project they’re working on, or goal they’re trying to achieve, the more success they will have in getting to the finish line quickly while still producing high quality work.

A recent survey by Timewatch showed that 90% of employees felt that knowing better time management techniques would increase productivity, with 86% also agreeing that it would improve their focus on tasks.

Being able to identify and prioritize the highest value tasks will allow your people to use more of their working hours working efficiently and effectively. This increase in productivity will help them to push their projects forward in a way that is both beneficial to them and to the organization at large.

Reduced Stress Levels

One of the main reasons we all get stressed at work is due to having overwhelming workloads we don’t quite know how to tackle. From individual contributors all the way to leadership, employees are often stressed because of the sheer amount of work they must get done in a certain amount of time which can easily send many down a slippery slope of feeling overwhelmed and procrastinating.   

Time watch’s survey also revealed that only 44% of people feel like they have things under control at work 5 days a week, but 46% feel they don’t have things under control for one or two days a week.

Providing employees with training that will give them tools they can use to tackle their workload and teach them organizational skills will allow them to effectively build a roadmap for themselves and visualize the best way to knock out that long list of tasks in front of them. In turn, this will reduce the stress they feel because of their workload, make them feel productive, and encourage the free flow of creative thoughts and ideas.

Increased Retention/ Engagement

Being able to manage their time at work more efficiently allows your employees to be more productive and be less stressed at work – both factors will make your people want to stay with your organization along with the access you’ve given them to upskilling and reskilling training resources.

LinkedIn’s 2023 Workforce Learning Report found that 31% of job searchers ages 18-35 placed opportunities to learn and develop new skills as their top priority when considering a new job opportunity.

This is a telling sign that providing your employees with  resources for time management skills training will have a positive effect on their desire to stay with your organization and their ability to be engaged with the work their doing daily.

Don’t forget that engagement and retention are directly correlated with organizational growth and profit. Engaged employees stay engaged and stay for longer which has a future proofing effect on your organization.

Top 5 Time Management Frameworks

1. Eisenhower Matrix

The Eisenhower matrix is, named after the 34th president of the United States, is a time management framework designed to help you prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency.

This method works based on creating a matrix that you divide into four sections as follows:

Quadrant 1: Urgent and important – task with approaching deadlines and highest urgency.

Quadrant 2: Important but not urgent – important task with undefined deadlines that should be done later.

Quadrant 3 – Not important but urgent – these are tasks you should try to delegate when possible or work with your team/manager to see where they fit in with the bigger project and/or plan.

Quadrant 4 – Not important or urgent – these are tasks you should get rid of or delete.

2. Pomodoro Technique

The pomodoro technique is a time management technique based on 25–30-minute times slots of uninterrupted work. The technique relies on the thought that this amount of time is ideal to keep your focus on a certain task before losing concentration.    

The idea here is to choose your higher priority task for each time slot and focus on executing that task – uninterrupted.

Many use the pomodoro online timer to keep track of focus blocks and respective breaks. However, if you want to use a different time tracking method, the steps are very simple to follow:

  • Work for 25-30 minutes straight
  • Record Completion of the Pomodoro
  • Take a short break (2-5 minutes)
  • After four Pomodoro, take a longer break (15-30 minutes)
  • Repeat  

3. Time Blocking

Time blocking is another excellent way to get organized, give your days structure and get things done.

In simple terms, time blocking is exactly what it sounds like, creating literal blocks of time on your calendar for each task you must accomplish each day. The best way to get started is to write out all your tasks, organize them by descending priority, and assign a block of time to each specific task.

Much like the pomodoro technique, these blocks are designed to be dedicated to that task alone and you should aim no minimize any distractions and eliminate any task-switching all together. Yes, that means no checking emails, messaging apps, Instagram or anything else.

4. 80-20 Rule / Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle or the 80/20 rule is based on the thought that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort.

The 80/20 rule can be applied as a productivity framework by laying out all your task, organizing them by highest to lowest importance and focusing your efforts on the tasks that are going to have the biggest impact on your progress with a project or assignment.

An important note to make here is that following this principle doesn’t mean you should work less or ignore smaller tasks, it’s more of a simple way to identify the most impactful tasks on your to-do list so you know where to spend most of your time.

5. Getting Things Done Framework

Created by productivity expert David Allen, getting things done (GDT) is based on the idea of organizing the ideas and thoughts in your brain, thinking less, and executing more.

The GTD method follows five steps:


Store any thought that comes into your brain into an “inbox” or a list of all the things you need to deal with on any given day.


In this step you take all the tasks and ideas you just wrote down and organize them. This means completing simple items right away, delegating, setting specific due dates, creating specific projects for larger/longer tasks, and even deleting unactionable items.

Separate your task into projects and one-off task. This will help to identify the items on your to-do list that are really projects and require a list of action steps and ones that don’t.


Engaging is where you get to work. Having organized and prioritized your tasks and projects you can now get to work.

How to Start Your Time Management Training Program

Asses your current soft skills training program

It’s important to first look at the state of your soft skills training program and offerings and identify where time management training would best fit in.  

Start by analyzing any data you have already collected from your current training program or by collecting new data through sending out open and anonymous surveys to see how your employees feel about the effectiveness and impact of your program.

You should also take this opportunity to ask about their current time management practices and what areas of time management they would benefit from improving. Doing this assessment will make sure you can construct a program that is relevant to your workforce and will boost engagement and satisfaction.

Tailor the program to your people’s needs

Once you’ve identified the time management skills your employees would benefit from bolstering, you can start building out the roadmap of specific resources your program will offer.

Consider using online learning resources -an online training platform like an LMS gives L&D and HR teams the ability to easily customize their training program by assigning modules from a vast library of training content depending on the learners needs.  

Whether you decide to offer online learning exclusively or a hybrid model with in-person training, it’s important that the program be tailored to the needs of your organization as well as to the different roles within it. Make sure members of management and leadership can also derive value from the lessons by including materials on how to prioritize and increase the efficiency of a team, as well as how to use time management in big picture roles for your directors and c-suite.   

Provide spaces for follow up and support

Once your program is up and running and your learners are engaged in learning valuable skills, it’s critical that your program provide spaces for employees to practice what they’re learning. A great way to make this happen is to block out spaces for employees to chat about how they are applying their new time management knowledge with other team members and management. As with any other training program, it’s also important to use tools like surveys, feedback forms, and performance metrics to see what kind of impact your program is having. It’s important that your L&D team look at this data and find gaps that need to be filled within the training program. This will help you pivot the program correctly and provide the most value to employees.

Online Learning and Time Management for Employees

Online learning offers employees the flexibility of accessing on-demand microlearning style video content that is engaging and up to date. Long and boring presentations, plain slide decks or long text-based training content does not cut it for the modern learner – online training content allows employees to learn complex topics such as how to set up a time management framework through bite size lessons that are easier to digest.

Online learning also offers HR and L&D teams the ability to customize their training programs by building custom learning paths for different positions within the organization which is invaluable for boosting learner engagement.  An online training platform like an LMS can also give administrators a real time look into valuable information like learner progress and trends that can be used to iterate on the program and make sure employees and the organization are getting the most value out of training and development resources

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