5 Time Management Styles You May Find in Your Workplace

6 min readJan 13, 2021


Photo by Luke Chesser

Effective time management is the fuel that runs the machine when it comes to business success. It keeps your business running smoothly as workloads are scheduled, deadlines are met and your clients or customers are satisfied. Delivering your products or services on time demonstrates that you’re reliable and produce only quality results.

However, time management isn’t a “one size fits all” system. For your employees, organizing their workload and project deadlines requires a personalized approach to naturally follow their organizational methods. One style may work better for one employee to produce quality work on time, but that won’t apply to another.

It’s helpful for employers to be aware of their team’s various time management approaches so you can be assured they’re approaching their deadlines effectively, but their way. It helps to understand your employees’ personalities and their productivity levels so you can put your trust in them, distribute their tasks according to timelines that work best for them, and overall get everything completed on time.

Here are the 5 time management styles you may see in your workplace:

1. Early Starter

The early starter is a proactive employee who will look ahead and start working on their list of tasks long before their deadlines. Deadlines are their enemy, so they will ensure everything is completed as long before them.

These employees will often have a long checklist of things to do as they work to cross items off before their required submission.

Benefits of this style: This employee will likely hand in assignments ahead of their deadline so you can revise or review them early. They’ll be helpful as you work to impress your clientele and demonstrate your reliability.

Things to note: The early starter time management style may make it hard for these employees to handle schedule changes or new assignments within short time frames. They may work at a slower pace as they don’t like working under pressure or rushing.

2. Multi-Tasker

Multitasking employees, also known as hoppers, prefer performing the balancing act, where they bounce from project to project and work on each one in parts. They may have a system where all tasks on their dockets are planned at once and then follow each progressive stage simultaneously.

Benefits of this style: You’ll appreciate your multi-tasker employee as they can take on various loads of work and get it done on time. They’ll submit multiple projects at once, so you’ll have a pile of completed work when they are done. This trait is useful in a business where you have many clients or projects to complete by certain times. Your employee will be able to manage chaotic days and keep all tasks at hand moving forward.

Cons: There is some room for risk with multitasking. You may end up with muddled projects that are missing flow or structure naturally because they’ve only worked on in fragments. The quality may be lower because your employee was distracted with other tasks, so it’s rushed or not focused enough to accomplish your targeted goals.

3. Big Planner

When briefing your staff with a new project, you may notice your worker who prefers this style, creating a schedule immediately. They’ll have an understanding of the umbrella deadline or final submission date, and they’ll work backward to plan stages and uncover where to begin. They’ll consider the big picture of the project and develop a plan to achieve it.

Benefits of this style: This employee will be a great fit for business projects. Their outline of the big picture and breakdown of stages and mini-deadlines will establish an easy-to-follow system for getting things done. They’ll have a solid structure to follow for accomplishing heavier tasks and completing them on time.

Cons: Focusing on the big picture and making a plan may cause details to be overlooked. Furthermore, some stages of the big plan may take longer to accomplish than initially anticipated. The big picture system could lead to unrealistic deadlines and a delay in the overall task production.

4. Intensely-Focused

Your employee who relies on hyper-focused attention to their assigned tasks will get them done efficiently with all necessary details. They will commit to one job at a time until it’s completed and then move onto the next in their lineup.

Benefits of this style: The intensely-focused time management approach means you will likely get a strong product as your employee committed all of their attention to finishing it. This method is useful as it includes undivided attention, which will lead to quality results. If your employee conducts this workstyle properly, like with the 50-minute focus technique, they could be incredibly productive and complete tasks on time.

Cons: This employee may not appreciate being disrupted. It may not be realistic to leave them to only focus on one committed task at a time, as it could cause lags in your other project completion. You may notice your employee lose some of their productivity if they burn out from focusing and aiming to finish a heavy project or task at once.

5. Pressurized

This time management style follows the lines of procrastination, which doesn’t sound necessarily appealing when you have a business to run. You’ll likely face employees who prefer this style where they complete their work as they near their deadline. The close-call timing causes them to focus on the task and work quickly as they work against the clock. They can improvise their approach without needing a set strict plan.

Benefits of this style: Employees who complete their tasks as things get down to the wire are efficient, speedy workers. This style causes them to take their work seriously and ensure it’s completed before time runs out. They work well under pressure, so often more level-headed and won’t get stressed or overwhelmed easily. If you are handed any last-minute projects or requests from your clientele, you’ll want to rely on this employee to get it done under the wire.

Cons: There is always a risk of pushing projects close to their deadlines. If your worker hasn’t correctly estimated the task’s timing, they may not complete it on time. If there are any concerns or questions that they have, they won’t have the time to connect with the client or requester, leading to improperly completed projects. This time management style may backfire and leave your business with more work or dissatisfied workers.

Time Tracking

Time tracking will help you monitor if these time management approaches are really working for your business and your employees. You can use tracking software to see how much time is being spent on tasks and if it’s enough to produce quality results. Are they as productive as they could be with their time-management style? Is there room for improvement?

actiTIME software is a useful time tracking tool for you to rely on when determining if your team’s time management approaches are helpful or if you need to recommend adjustments. That way, you can ensure your projects are completed on time and at the best possible quality for clientele satisfaction and your own business success.

Online timesheet interface in actiTIME where every user can select task parameters
they want to see in their timesheets

To learn more about how actiTIME can help you ensure your employees’ time management styles benefit your business, start your free trial now.




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