Time management training and productivity training are common terms that are often used interchangeably throughout conversations with our potential clients. There is often confusion between the two types of training. However, understanding the differences between time management training and the advantages and disadvantages of each will make it easier for you to determine which type of training is right for you.
What is the difference between time management training and productivity training?
Even though most of us use the terms time management training and productivity training interchangeably, this is a misnomer as they are two distinct types of training.
Time management is the process of organizing and planning how to allocate your time between your goals, activities and tasks. And time management training focuses on strategies and tools that enable you to more thoughtfully and effectively distribute your time.
Productivity is defined in the dictionary as the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance or bring forth goods and services. It is more broadly defined than time management and it focuses on the output of your efforts, not just how you allocate your time. As a result, productivity training provides a wholistic appraisal of how you generate and complete your work and includes strategies and tools designed to optimize your output.
Advantages to Time Management Training
The most significant advantage of time management training is its singular focus on how you plan and exercise control over the time you spend on activities and tasks.
The majority of the time management programs will provide you with the following:
- A system to schedule your time
- A process to help you prioritize your tasks and projects
- Strategies, tools and techniques to save you time
- Strategies, tools and techniques to more effectively use your time
Advantages to Productivity Training
The primary advantages of productivity training are its wholistic analysis of how you generate your work and how to optimize your output.
Analysis of How You Generate and Complete Your Work
Most productivity training programs will begin with a wholistic analysis of how you generate and complete your work. For example, you might review your calendar to see how you allocate and plan your days and weeks, or evaluate your to-do list to see how you track and organize your tasks or evaluate your email management.
In our productivity training workshops, we take our participants through an analysis of how they manage their time, attention, energy, email, and tasks. The goal of this assessment is to identify the areas where your strategies are supporting your performance goals and where they are not. Once you know what optimizes your performance and what does not, you are better able to select and implement strategies and tools that will enable you to achieve your goals.
How to Optimize Your Output
Productivity training teaches you how to more effectively and efficiently complete your work. It provides strategies, tools and techniques across a broad domain of factors that impact your performance beyond just your time management. For example, project and task execution, goal setting and planning, and email management.
In our productivity training workshops, we administer our proprietary Productivity Style Assessment, a tool designed to identify your unique work style, teach strategies and techniques to enhance attention, energy, task and project execution, as well as, improve email management.
All training programs have their advantages, as well as, disadvantages.
Disadvantages of Time Management Training
The primary disadvantage of time management training programs is their singular focus on teaching a process entirely on how to plan and exercise control over the amount of time you spend on a specific task or activity.
The drawback to this approach is that it is one-dimensional. It assumes that poor allocation of time is the sole driver of lack-luster performance. And that if you focus on increasing your perception of control of time and increase the time available to pursue activities you will achieve your goals. However, this one-dimensional approach does not account for the reality of work today, which is multifaceted, fast-paced, and constantly changing.
In our work with clients, we’ve found that a one-dimensional, one-size-fits-all approach frequently does not enable our clients to achieve their performance goals. And, it often leads to more frustration because they have invested time and money in a solution that only solves a fraction of their performance challenges.
Disadvantages of Productivity Training
Since productivity training focuses on multiple areas that impact your performance – time, attention, execution and email management – for some participants this can be overwhelming. If you are already feeling out of control and disheartened by your performance, too many solutions and strategies at one may not be the right approach for you.
Time Management Training vs. Productivity Training
Time management training focuses on strategies and tools that enable you to more thoughtfully and effectively distribute your time. Productivity training provides a wholistic appraisal of how you generate and complete your work and includes strategies and tools designed to optimize your output.
So, which one is right for you?
Time management training is the ideal solution for you if you
- Know that ineffective time management is the reason you are not achieving your goals
- Want to take a phased approach to improving your performance
- Want to focus first on your time management
Productivity training is the ideal solution for you if you want to accomplish the following:
- Assess and understand the pros and cons of how you currently complete your work
- Learn a variety of strategies, techniques and tools across all domains of your work – time, attention, energy, execution and email – to optimize your performance
Carson Tate is the founder and managing partner of Working Simply, Inc., a business consulting firm that partners with organizations, business leaders and employees to enhance workplace productivity, foster employee engagement, and build personal and professional legacies.
She is the author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style, and just released, Own It. Love It. Make It Work.: How To Make Any Job Your Dream Job. Order your copy HERE! For more information, please visit www.carsontate.com.