Time Management Statistics for 2024

Author: Madalina Roman

Looking at time management statistics teaches us how we behave and provides essential intel to make our work days more efficient.

Time spent is bound to have an impact on people’s well-being. We all want to include time for meaningful personal activities during the busy work week. At the same time, we all work with a higher productivity goal in mind while dealing with challenges and performing our tasks. 

If we all want to organize our time better, increase our productivity and still be satisfied with our work-life balance, there are major critical points on time management to keep in mind. These time management statistics show us what techniques might be helpful to enforce in the future. 

How an IT consultancy became 20% more profitable by using Timeular
Good time management starts with a good time tracking solution

“We have become 20% more profitable because everyone is in the habit of time tracking.” – Richard Wingfield, Head Geek at Envision Design

Time management statistics: Key factors for 2024

The principal objective of time management is to optimize time spent on tasks and activities by helping people achieve their goals faster. Here’s some data on how it relates to productivity and other components. 

Time management statistics: General factors to keep in mind

According to the American Psychological Association, 20% of adults are chronic procrastinators, something to be aware of when trying to improve productivity.

To do it, having a proper time management system is key, but according to data from the job searcher tool Zippia, 82% of people don’t have one.

This translates into the average worker spending around 51% of every workday on tasks with low to no value, not knowing that spending only 10 minutes a day planning the day can save two hours.

This would help the worker manage daily stress more effectively, and have more control over their day. Only 20% of people feel like they have their workload under control daily.

Only 20% of people feel like they have their workload under control on a daily basis.

Also, according to Zippia, 82% of people mentioned above, who don’t use a time management system, rely only on an essential to-do list, or do nothing at all, not living up to their whole efficiency level. Just dealing with events and things as they happen is not a successful time management technique, leading to workers feeling out of control regarding workdays.

They’re more susceptible to distractions and procrastination. Only in the United States, distractions at work cost businesses around 588 billion dollars yearly, per research presented by Zippia.

Boost your productivity with one of the best time management methods.

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Time management statistics according to methods and techniques

Acuity Training, a UK-based IT education and training company, surveyed 500 workers from different industries and gathered which time management techniques have been more prevalent in the last couple of years. When analyzing the 18% of people who use time management methods, the average person tries 13 different time management methods.

How an engineer reduced disruptions fourfold with Timeular
“Timeular has been a game changer. It has helped me develop a discipline for being mindful of my time and really understanding the value of it so I get more done.”

Jenny Blackett, working remotely as a software engineer

Every person is different, and the time management method that works for someone might not work for another person. It takes some time to find the perfect fit, and it’s good that most people try several methods before finding the right one.

Acuity Training reached the following conclusions:

  • The Eisenhower Matrix is the most successful strategy: 50% of people who took part in the survey and who use the Eisenhower Matrix feel their work is under control every single day. This method helps you prioritize tasks based on levels of urgency and importance. Something can be urgent and important, not urgent but still important, not important but urgent, or not urgent and not necessary. 
  • The Pomodoro Technique is the second most successful time management strategy: 60% of people using a Pomodoro timer technique feel that their work is under control from four to five days a week. The Pomodoro technique is commonly used to prevent distractions.

Read also: Why is time management important in a business?

Time management statistics about the time wasters

We can address time wasters as procrastinators and no-value tasks. Going back to Zippia’s research, the average corporate employee spends 51% of every workday on low to no-value tasks.

What are no-value tasks? Some examples of these are commuting, unnecessary meetings, unnecessary e-mails, and too much time spent on social media.

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2018, the average commute to work (one way) took a worker 27 minutes. This scenario has changed with the effects of the pandemic and the rise of remote work, but it’s worth noting that just before 2020, the average American worker spent nine working days of the year commuting.

After the imposed COVID-19 lockdowns, many companies decided to keep remote or hybrid positions as consistently as possible since commuting to an office job is wasted. Longer commutes can be bad for workers, their families, their employers, and the economy as a whole.

The average employee spends 12% of their working hours, on a daily basis, using social media productively.

Time is also wasted on social media. Zippia’s research tells us that the average employee spends 12% of their working hours daily using social media unproductively. They also spend an average of 2 hours and 11 minutes procrastinating daily. These two-factor points seem to be connected. 

Over one week, this means that over 10 hours (of the average 40-hour work week) are lost. This is one-fourth of the total time an employee is “on the clock”.

According to a survey from NetQuote, workers waste most of their time on these social media websites:

  • YouTube ( average of 16.98 days per year)
  • Facebook (average of 14.70 days per year)
  • Instagram (average of 8.72 days per year)
  • Twitter (average 5.91 days per year)

However, while easy to blame, the internet and social media are not the only culprits of wasting time at work.

People are not very aware of this situation but around 45 minutes per day are wasted because of unorganized workspaces. This translates into more than 4 hours a week.

This is all about the time spent looking for lost papers and files. A messy space is very distracting and contributes to work stress, contributing to poor time management.

TIP: Read our blog to discover all the benefits of time management.

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Adding to that and piggybacking from something we presented above, workplace distractions cost each employee an average of 3 hours per day. That means that every month, 60 hours are wasted in this way.

Some examples of workplace distractions are spending too much time chatting with coworkers, getting coffee, attending workplace celebrations, or extended lunch hours. Not that these events aren’t beneficial on occasion, but they can take a toll on the work day that is hard to recover from. 

Time management statistics: meetings that could be e-mails

A study conducted by investigators at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) stated that the average worker spends about 16% of a lifetime of work in useless meetings.

This represents approximately 22 years of a 45-year career. It’s a lot of time spent on “meetings that could’ve been an e-mail,” as pop culture refers to it, with no value added to the work they have to perform.

The average worker spends about 16% of a lifetime of work in useless meetings. In a 45-year career, it’s approximately 22 years.

However, e-mails are not exactly innocent in poor time management. According to an analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute, on average, 28% of work time is spent reading or replying to emails. The average worker checks email on average 11 times per hour. 84% keep email open in the background while working.

Forbes states that an office worker spends 2.5 hours daily doing email-related things, with around 1.8 hours on irrelevant communications. This constant distraction prevents the worker from engaging in meaningful thinking. 

How time tracking enhances time management

The average work day is 8 hours long, and from that, more than half of this time is wasted every single day. Only 4 hours of each day are productive.

Distractions and low to no-value tasks are very hurtful to productivity and raise business costs. What can these statistics teach us?

As stated above, the average person tries 13 different time management methods, but it is worth the research. Not every time management technique is equal, and certain industries can even develop their very own.

Nearly 90% of workers admit to wasting time.

According to elearningindustry.com, nearly 90% of workers admit to wasting time while on the clock. This ranges from a mere 30 minutes to some admitting to wasting closer to 3 hours daily, in conversations, breaks, or online.

How to turn this around without making workers feel like they are being controlled? It’s all about finding a balance between the need to increase productivity and the wish to reduce stress-driven work days.

Productivity and time tracking software can be very helpful in this regard. Companies that use time management tools can have an increase in productivity levels for several reasons, such as: 

  • It’s a good way to overcome procrastination;
  • Tracking time spent on productive tasks, as well as on unproductive ones, to gather data and avoid this trend turns into a habit;
  • Generating statistics on where departments are logging their working hours;
  • Measuring productivity and comparing your team’s results over time;
  • Setting hourly limits to reduce burnout and overtime costs;
  • Avoiding too much time spent on low and no-value tasks;
  • Setting budgets on tasks or projects and being alerted when the team gets close to going over budget;
  • Generating detailed reports that show how workers spend time at work.

Find how Timeular helps your business or team increase productivity and profitability.

Conclusion

The statistics presented throughout the article are an eye-opener in terms of the impact of time management on productivity.

The knee-jerk reaction of many managers is to promote more discipline to capture the lost time. Yes, everyone can admit they could do better, but the fundamental problem is not the worker’s motivation.

Using outdated methods of time management or not even having one in place doesn’t help the workers.

Time is the most precious resource of all time, and by promoting time management habits, a person can end up saving two hours, daily. It also contributes to avoiding adverse outcomes like missing deadlines and getting stressed out at work. 

When time is structured, people are more deliberate in how they spend this finite resource.

They get things done and feel satisfied and good about their productivity levels. This is the ultimate benefit of good and effective time management.

Read also: How to teach time management

FAQs

Who is responsible for time management?

Managers and superiors are responsible for setting time management rules for the whole team. This is what happens from a business team point of view.
Ultimately, you can also apply time management techniques to your daily schedule and work more efficiently.

Is time management effective?

Yes, time management is effective. It allows us to better use our time, to become more focused and productive.
Good time management helps us achieve our goals, increase productivity, and reduce procrastination. Spending 10 to 12 minutes planning can save two hours throughout the day.

How to track time

The simplest way to manage your time is by using a time tracking tool and a time-management technique. It’ll allow you to reach conclusions on how much time is spent on each task.
With this information, a worker is capable of better organizing a workday and putting into practice more effective methods and techniques.

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