Time Management Goals To Take Control of Your Time (With Examples)

Updated June 24, 2022

Time management is a crucial workplace skill, contributing to team productivity, finished projects and a positive work environment. Setting specific goals to improve your time management skills can help you try new techniques methodically and measure whether they work. You might look into the types of time management goals if you'd like to be more organized, prepared or calm at work. In this article, we look at why it's important to set these goals and 10 types of goals that can help you improve your time management.

Read more: What Is Time Management? (Plus Useful Time Management Tips and Advice)

Why is it important to set time management goals?

Setting time management goals is important for improving specific skills like organization, prioritization and planning that help you control your time and finish important tasks. These time management skills can help you finish tasks quickly, prepare for events, accomplish more, avoid distraction and create more profit. Goals can help you work toward these time management skills in a purposeful way and allow you to measure your success.

As an employee, you might set time management goals to improve your work experience and contribute to your team. As a small business owner, time management goals may open up new opportunities by helping you streamline your current workload. If you lead a team or project, setting time management goals may help your team reach deadlines and use more consistent procedures.

Related: 7 Time Management Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

10 types of time management goals

Here are different types of goals you may set to improve your time management skills and examples of what those goals might be:

1. Organization goals

Setting a goal may help you integrate a new organization method or tool into your workflow. If using new tools is challenging for you or your team, a goal may be a practical way to motivate you to use this new tool long enough to start the habit. Here are some example organization goals you may set:

  • Every morning I'll make a to-do list for that day.

  • I'll update professional and personal events in the same calendar app.

  • We'll import team tasks into this new app for two weeks to test whether it works for us.

Related: 10 Time Management Apps to Organize Your Projects and Keep You on Track

2. Priority goals

Setting priority goals can help you accomplish urgent and important tasks before less significant work. You may want to consider your professional priorities before setting any goals relating to them. After you understand your priorities, you can consider whether your work tasks help you with those priorities. Here are some goals you might consider:

  • I won't schedule any other meetings or presentations during the two days of team member monthly interviews.

  • When I begin working on the weekly report, I won't start any other projects until I'm finished.

  • I'll complete the next step on my urgent task as soon as I get to work each day.

3. Distraction goals

You might make goals to help you avoid distractions or work for longer stretches of time to accomplish large tasks. Using goals can be effective to remove personal, professional and habitual distractions. Here are some example goals to set about distractions:

  • I won't check my phone during work meetings.

  • When I'm working on longer projects in the afternoon, I'll close email and messaging apps for two hours.

  • I won't bring any distracting items into my home office.

Related: How To Improve Focus in the Workplace: Strategies and Tips

4. Planning goals

Implementing plans can help you make your time management more effective and help you be more prepared for meetings and deadlines. You might make planning goals if you find certain times of the week, month or year unmanageably busy or you would like to prepare more thoroughly for significant meetings. Here are some planning goals you might try:

  • I'll outline agenda points for our daily meeting so I don't forget items.

  • Six weeks before the report is due, I'll ask the other departments to send me their data.

  • At the end of each week, I'll make a list of tasks to remember for the next week.

5. Habit-changing goals

It can be hard to build new habits or change current habits, but making goals can help you intentionally and successfully change which activities you do regularly. Because many factors can influence people's behavior, you might customize your habit-changing goals to make them manageable and appealing for your situation. Here are some example habit-related goals to improve your time management:

  • I'll add new meetings to my calendar as soon as I learn about them.

  • Instead of getting on social media at my desk, I'll stand up and get a drink of water.

  • I'll outline a new writing assignment before I log off each day.

6. Time limit goals

You might make goals to maintain a strict schedule or minimize how long certain tasks take you each day. This can be especially helpful as you implement a new schedule or if you're trying to change former habits. You might set limits for certain tasks or types of work, or you might set goals for how long you work continuously before resting. Here are some sample time limit goals:

  • I won't spend any more than 15 minutes answering emails when I arrive at work.

  • Our weekly meetings will always be 45 minutes or less.

  • I will work for 20 minutes and then take a five-minute break.

7. Workspace goals

Setting goals about your physical environment can help you work more efficiently, find what you need quickly and keep your workspace tidy. You may set workspace goals if you find that you are procrastinating other tasks by cleaning your space, if you share a workspace or if you have trouble finding tools. Here are some workspace goals:

  • Every evening I'll clean off my desk before I leave the office.

  • I'll put away tools in the lab area each time I finish a project.

  • I'll organize the files in my office so I can spend less time searching for them.

Related: 14 Ways To Get Organized at Work

8. New responsibility goals

Making goals about what kind of new responsibilities you take on can help you from agreeing to more work than you can accomplish. Setting goals about new responsibilities can help you make decisions that are consistent with your professional priorities and know when it's best to delegate tasks to team members. Here are some responsibility goals you could set:

  • I won't agree to any more than five meetings each day.

  • I will teach my coworkers how to use new software or send them a tutorial instead of just doing the software task for them.

  • I will only join teams or committees that line up with my role in the company.

9. Work-life balance

You might set goals about your non-work time so that you can maintain mental and physical health, get enough rest and concentrate fully on work during work hours. Setting goals about resting and taking time away from work can help you focus on your personal life and feel the importance of your life and contributions outside of work. Here are some rest and balance goals:

  • For my lunch break, I'll take a walk away from my computer and phone.

  • I won't work more than my scheduled 40 hours a week.

  • I will only answer truly urgent emails over the weekend.

Related: 10 Tips for a Better Work-Life Balance Now (That Actually Work)

10. Analysis goals

To understand how you're currently spending your time and whether you're reaching your objectives, it might be helpful to make goals to analyze how you're spending your time regularly. What kind of analysis is most useful for you can depend on your role, your work and your industry. If your work involves software that tracks your performance, you might be able to easily gather data. If your work is more subjective, you might have to write short summaries of your own projects and goals to understand progress. Here are some sample goals:

  • I'll check my sales dashboard data every Friday afternoon to see whether my time management techniques have increased my productivity.

  • I'll write my achievements and new goals at the top of the calendar for each month.

  • When our timecard software sends the pay period reminder, I'll check whether my recorded hours match my working goals.

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