Workplace time management secrets students learn at MBA university

July 02, 2018

Find out how to master time management

A man looking at his watch
Time management skills are a critical professional asset.

A 2016 study conducted by Wonderlic found that 93 percent of employers described ‘soft skills’ as “essential” or “very important” when hiring new talent. Among these skills, time management helps candidates stand out, signalling their readiness for high-paced and demanding professional environments. In business, time management skills help professionals ensure the effectiveness of their work – affording them an important edge for professional success.

While time management skills may be continually refined throughout one’s career, they are often grounded in a positive MBA experience. Top business programs simulate the pressures of the workforce, teaching students to manage expectations, resources and – above all – their time. From strategic planning to careful delegation, time management strategies are a crucial asset for career growth.

Are you curious to know how an MBA student can develop time management expertise? Read on to find out!

MBA students are expert planners

The most effective students and professionals calibrate their efforts to the relative importance of each task. In a worldwide McKinsey & Company survey of 1,500 executives, only 9 percent said they were “very satisfied” with their time allocation. While time allocation is often influenced by outside factors, it is largely a matter of personal development. Greater time management is often possible through critical thinking – an evaluative view of one’s tasks and their importance. Top professionals budget time blocks in proportion to task priority and difficulty.

Someone is writing into a calendar
Budgeting time helps students learn how they work best. Photo © CC0 Licence

MBA students thrive by honing these evaluative skills. Leading schools attract students from around the world, training them with the latest methods and encouraging them to contemplate world business in real time. Rising to the challenge, students learn to evaluate and prioritize tasks – and balance academic life with extracurricular commitments. When old-fashioned planners are not sufficient, MBA students turn to apps like Clear, Clara and Wunderlust, which help organize the day’s hours and improve time allocation.  

MBA university enhances resourcefulness and adaptability

As MBA students know, even the most careful plans can misapprehend the duration and difficulty of tasks. While a good plan is worth sticking by, the most effective students and professionals learn to spot when a time budget is askew. Rather than sticking to the original plan and devoting less time to a task than it truly requires, top businesspeople will work to the fullest, finding time elsewhere to complete outstanding work. Thus, a complete set of time management skills will include the ability to adapt and recalibrate expectations mid-task. 

Immersed in a heightened learning environment, students of leading MBA programs are constantly adapting their skills and efforts to accomplish new assignments. A Masters in Business Administration encourages students to question personal assumptions and work beyond their perceived limitations. Students are faced with new challenges that strengthen their resolve and adaptability – key features of long-term professional growth. When faced with obstacles, MBA students learn to recalibrate their time and efforts, ensuring assignments are given the utmost possible attention.

MBA group work teaches professionals to delegate

Since most business professionals work in collaborative environments, delegating among colleagues is a crucial feature of effective time management. For delegating purposes, business experts point to the Eisenhower matrix, so-named after the American president. The Eisenhower matrix places tasks on two axes – importance and urgency. This yields four task categories from high to low priority: ‘important and urgent’, ‘important and less urgent’, ‘less important but urgent’ and ‘less important and less urgent’. While one should focus first on the ‘important and urgent’ tasks, other tasks are often best delegated to team members, each with their own categories of importance and urgency.

A woman showing something on a whiteboard
Effective group work can enhance professional satisfaction.

Are you looking to develop business skills for a career in strategic marketing?

Contact WU Executive Academy to learn more about our Executive Master of Business Administration degree!

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