Nicola Brunton – Partner – Officiumns
Time Management or Multi-tasker? Which are you!

Recently I caught up with a good friend for a coffee and after the normal catch-up and debrief … the subject of a workplace conversation came up, about having ‘Good time management’. 

She works in a very busy / high call rate reception role and was told by her manager that it was “Good time management” to take calls and greet clients / customers whilst also physically on the phone (continuing to talk) or answering the phone! Now, don’t get me wrong I’m all for efficiency (having worked in similar busy roles in my youth).  This then led us to question the practice of the time management versus multi-tasking. These two crucial skills seem to be getting blurred and more importantly the art or common sense of customer service is becoming a rare thing in lieu of speed and efficiency! 

When you look more closely at the meaning of each one we have a better understanding of them: 

Time Management

Time management is the process of deciding on the order in which you will do tasks, and making sure that they are done on schedule.

(Source: Collins Dictionary)

Multi-tasking

The execution by a single central processing unit of two or more programs or functions at once, either by simultaneous operation, or by rapid alternation between the program or function.

(Source: Collins Dictionary)

It seems to me, that having the ability to multi-task naturally leads to enabling better use of time? … NOW, whether we use that time effectively or efficiently comes down to good time management!!   What do you think? 

It was intriguing that there is oodles of Time Management training or courses available but for Multi-tasking that had more of a skill / something you are good at normally. 


TIME MANAGEMENT = Can be learned or acquired  

or

MULTI-TASKING = is a skill or naturally occurring.  


Going back to the original conversation the manager saw it as ‘Good Time Management’ and my friend saw it as ‘Good Multi-tasking’, so I ask you this? … 

Does this mean that if you have a natural multi-tasker skill, you automatically have the ability for good time management, and vice versa? 

Personally, I think no, the two are very different. But there does seem to be a natural link to those that are multi-taskers are naturally better at time management!!

When I worked for a branch of the NZIM (Institute of Management), one of the perks was the ability to do the training that was available, so over many years I did various management-training courses, of which, Time Management was one. I personally loved it, but not everyone did! Now looking back I wonder if the ones that didn’t enjoy it, were naturally not multi-taskers?? 

I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer here, just food for thought. 

Do you know or work with someone that is great at both? Or maybe they are great at time management and not so great at multi-tasking? I would love to hear your what you think. 

Thanks again for reading our blog for February 2020 (Feb! scary right). By no means do I consider myself a writer, expert in topics or a wordsmith and some of you will no doubt spot grammatical errors and spelling mistakes (I do try to spot them before posting lol …), but its about enjoying the journey for yourself and giving your business the chance to inform, create and share.

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