Skip to main content

Do you manage your time well?

Time management is a crucial skill for everyone to do well. It helps you in both your personal and professional lives and can make you feel less stressed, more productive, fulfilled, and happier in general. 

So how do you recognise poor time management? Well, there are a few common signs and symptoms to watch out for. 

1. You're always late

Of course, several different things can be to blame here. Things could go wrong, your car could break down, etc., or you may suffer from time-blindness, where you simply cannot follow the flow of time as well as other people. 

However, it is also a common sign of poor time management. You're late to turn up to meetings, turn in for deadlines, etc. etc. Perhaps you are overburdening yourself? Failing to look ahead? Not taking into account possible delays?  

Next time, try adding in buffers between your meetings or deadlines to ensure you have a contingency in case things do go wrong. Give yourself that little bit of extra peace of mind. 

2. You're breaking commitments

This is closely related to deadlines – it's simply a broader term encompassing things you said you would do but never got around to, for whatever reason (poor time management). This is almost a sure sign you are overburdened and therefore forgetting or simply not having enough time to do other things. 

Next time, try delegating some of your tasks. Or simply communicating to your boss or colleague in advance that you may be struggling. What are their priorities? Or even, consider not taking on the commitments in the first place if you are not 100% sure you can meet them. 

3. Your workspace is a mess

Well, perhaps you are just a messy person. Or maybe not. Is your desk cluttered with your coffee mugs from throughout the day? Notes you made and never organised or threw away? Do you have a system for organising your things? This sounds as if tidiness is not a priority, or you have fallen prey to procrastination. However, this might just be making things worse for you – it can easily become a distraction or even a stressor. 

Take your time to organise your workspace and keep it tidy at regular intervals. Creating a filing system that works for your needs and way of working. Throw away your rubbish. 

4. Your performance is falling

This is the big one. You may think your performance is failing because you have no time, but time management is actually a crucial skill in and of itself. Losing efficiency and effectiveness is just a symptom of you poorly applying your time management and planning skills in the first place. 

Don't let yourself multitask. Make sure you can focus on one thing at a time and you have clear priorities on what you should be completing. Commit to that. Eliminate all the disruptions in your workspace and around you. Knock your tasks off one by one. 

So, are you suffering from any of these issues?