What is Time Poverty? 5 Easy Steps to Commit Time to Improve Work-Life Balance

1 minutes

The phrases ‘time poor’ and ‘time poverty’ have become increasingly familiar. But what exactly does it mean? Time poverty refers to the situation where an individual feels they do not have enough time to do all the things they need or want to do. This phenomenon is more than just a busy schedule; it’s about the constant juggling act between work, personal life, hobbies, and rest, often leading to stress and burnout.

So, how can we tackle time poverty and strike a better work-life balance? Here are some strategies that have not only helped us at Guider but also empowered the employees of our enterprise clients to make the most of their time.

1. Prioritise and delegate

Identify what’s truly important in both your work and personal life. Not everything on your to-do list will have the same impact on your goals and well-being. Learn to say no to tasks that don’t align with your priorities and delegate when possible. By focusing on what really matters, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled and less time-poor.

2. Embrace technology

At Guider, we’re all about leveraging technology to make lives easier. Our platform matches employees for peer learning, helping them develop skills more efficiently. Similarly, using technology to automate mundane tasks can free up significant amounts of time. Whether it’s automating your emails or using an AI tool to create a base plan for your project, technology can be a great ally in fighting time poverty.

3. Set boundaries

With the blurring lines between work and home, especially in remote working scenarios, setting clear boundaries is crucial. It’s easier said than done, but try to designate specific work hours and stick to them. Ensure you have a dedicated workspace, and when the workday ends, step away from it. This physical and mental separation helps maintain a healthy balance.

4. Invest in yourself

One of the best ways to combat time poverty is to invest time in yourself. It may sound counterintuitive, but setting aside time for your personal development, whether that’s self-care, learning, and hobbies, can actually make you more productive. Investing in your own skill development, through training, peer learning, or mentoring, to improve your abilities at tasks and, in turn, improve your time-management skills.

5. Reflect and adjust

Mentor testimonial from Guider’s Women in Technology Programme with Reed.
Reduce time poverty long-term by investing time in reflection.

Work environments are so focused on present and future tasks; your upcoming promotion or your next deal, it can sometimes have you thinking years in advance. Not reflecting on your achievements and how far you have come can make you less appreciative and resilient to change. It doesn’t have to take hours, even 5 minutes of your week to look back on how you’re spending your time. Are you achieving the work-life balance you desire? If not, what can you change? Reflection allows you to adjust your strategies, remember past experiences, and make continual improvements.

Time poverty: final thoughts 

When time is a luxury, giving it up for yourself or someone else might seem unproductive. Yet, engaging in peer learning and mentorship can be incredibly rewarding. Sharing knowledge and experiences with others not only contributes to their growth but also enriches your own, offering new perspectives and enhancing your sense of purpose. That’s why 91% of workers who have a mentor are satisfied with their jobs and 87% of mentors have greater confidence in their roles. 

Our peer-learning platform is designed to facilitate this by matching you with mentors or peers who can help you grow, ensuring you’re spending your time on meaningful development, not looking for someone to connect with manually. You can also be assured that both parties have dedicated this time to you, so you can focus on your career progression.

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