What is time? Is it really money

Time is really money

Sins in time management: wasted time - through emails and meetings - costs companies millions.

Thousands of hours of working time are wasted in top management every year. The reason: Meetings have taken over and at the same time floods of e-mails have to be dealt with. This is the result of the current study "Managing Your Scarcest Resource" by the management consultancy Bain & Company, which examined the time management of 17 corporations.

Not only time but also money is wasted, because the wasted time entails enormous costs. Companies lose millions every year because top management does not manage their working hours as efficiently as capital or other scarce resources.

Emails and meetings get out of hand
Executives now receive 30,000 emails a year. In the 1970s, they only had to deal with 1,000 inquiries and messages. If this trend continues, top managers will soon spend more than one full working day a week on electronic communication.

In addition, the entire workforce of the companies examined spends around 15 percent of their working time in meetings each year. The top management meetings sometimes add up to 7,000 hours per year. If the preparatory meetings with the teams and the follow-up meetings are added, the total is 300,000 hours.

The eight "deadly sins" in time management - and how to deal with them:


1. Unclear scheduling: Chaos costs time - and time costs money.
Clearly determine who affects which topics and for whom which tasks have priority.

2. Time doesn't cost anything: Time is just as scarce a resource as capital and must be well invested.
Create time budgets for every project that need to be managed as consistently as financial budgets.

3. Make a project out of every idea: It's easy to get bogged down.
Better: base every new project on a business plan.

4. Complex organization: Too many managers and levels cost time and create extra work for the entire organization.
Simplify the structures in the company.

5. Anyone can call a meeting: Not every conference is necessary; many meetings are just a matter of habit.
Make it clear who has authority to schedule meetings.

6. Make or prevent decisions: That too takes time.
Standardized processes for decision-making in the company are therefore indispensable.

7. Conference time is free time: No discipline in meetings (being late, being distracted by emails) becomes expensive.
Consistently demand meeting discipline with a clear agenda, good preparation and a punctual start. End meetings early whenever possible.

8. Pointless time investments: Often you don't even notice what is taking time.
Therefore, record the time spent on conferences, as well as the participants and the volume of e-mails during the meeting. This is the only way to ensure effectiveness. Because what is not monitored cannot be measured.