Why You Suck At Time Management And What You Can Do About It – Part 1

This is the part-1 of the Time-Management Series.

Here, I am going to  tell you the possible reasons  you suck at time management, and in the further parts I am going tell you what you can do to change that and achieve that superhuman time-keeping, time managing superpower.

The possible reasons you suck at managing your time are given below.  

You don’t have clear goals

no clarity in goals

This is the most important reason why people fail when it comes down to managing their time and this is probably the first and foremost reason that’s stopping you too, from becoming the best manager of your own time. Only when you have a clear goal can you even formulate what to do with your time. Having no idea about what you want out of your time is probably the easiest way to waste your time away. Having a clear goal or a set of clear goals for the next week, next month, next year, next 2,5,10 years will take you a long way in achieving a superhuman time management ability.

You don’t have a plan

The days I accomplished a lot were those days when I planned what I would be doing for the rest of the day, hour after hour, immediately upon waking up.

When you don’t have a plan for a particular day, a plan containing what you want to complete and what you want to accomplish, you can easily spend time on unnecessary things that  clearly won’t contribute to what you actually want.

I am sure you’d have probably faced the situation where you started watching a TV Series during exam time telling yourself that it’s just going to be one episode; one thing leads to another, five to six hours would have passed and you’d have studied nothing. This is clearly because you didn’t have a plan.

goals photo

You need to have goals for the foreseeable future – next 2, 5, 10 years and based on those goals, draw out the plan for every single year, every single month and every single week. When you are clear about your goals for the week, the month, the year and for the next few years, you start being clear of what it would take from you to get you there. Based on that knowledge, you need to draw out a plan every single day and stick to that plan.

You haven’t written down your goals and plans

written plans photo

We all have goals and plans that we like to talk about. But, we never even end up trying to work for the same. When you look back at your life that has passed, you probably look back with regret. Writing down your plans is the first step in beginning to accomplish them all. So, if you are having a problem managing your time properly, you probably don’t have anything in writing yet. Writing is a form of commitment and if you aren’t putting things into writing, you aren’t committing completely.

You have your priorities messed up

You know what you want to do but you tend to mess things up and manage time poorly because you haven’t prioritized your works. Without assigning priorities to individual tasks in your plan, it is often hard to know which one to do first and which one to do next. When you don’t prioritize, it is very easy to spend so much time on insignificant things. You have to know what your priorities are. You have to know that the time you invest on something is reaping the benefits that you want, also taking care of where and when you want it. When you put a priority on everything you want to do every single day, and take care of the most important things first, you will find that you manage your time very well.

life in 10 years photo

You have to know what your priorities are. You have to know that the time you invest on something is reaping the benefits that you want, also taking care of where and when you want it. When you put a priority on everything you want to do every single day, and take care of the most important things first, you will find that you manage your time very well.

You are a ‘yes’ man/woman

You have seen that Jim Carrey movie right? If not, go and watch that movie now. In that movie, the protagonist goes to a self-improvement seminar. The self-improvement guru instructs people to say yes to everything and see how their life changes. So, our protagonist ends up says yes to everything he is asked to do, even when he doesn’t want to.

In all probability, you are saying yes to so many things; and these are the things that you don’t really want to do but just can’t avoid doing because you are a slave to your mind. Most of us are like that. We want to study for our exams but then we say ‘yes’ to an episode of Person of Interest and then poof, one hour gone! After the exam is over, the portions we ended up skipping/skimming because we didn’t have time would have cost us some marks and we’d end up regretting the time we spent on the tv-show. I am sure so many people can relate to this. Substitute the tv-show with whatever you are tempted to do when you want to be doing something else and you have got your reason.

We do this out of habit, the habit of listening to our mind and being a slave to it. We say yes for the temporary pleasure that we’ll gain out of it. Every yes we say to the things that are not really important, insignificant things that won’t contribute to our goals is a yes that will cost us our time and probably our goals.

You don’t say ‘NO’ when you have to:

Sometimes, all you need to do to be successful in life is to say a stern ‘NO’ to certain things and certain people, things that won’t give a good return on investment for your time, and people who will only be a waste of your time. You don’t have to say no when someone who can’t do anything for you asks you a help out of a dire need. What goes around comes around, remember that. There are some people who will gossip, talk negatively, and there are people who while away their time endlessly by going out, having ‘fun’, spending a lot of money on temporary pleasures, etc. If you choose to say ‘yes’ to those people, it has to be your choice out of the awareness about what you will end up doing.

For instance, some people won’t really want something so badly, desperately and they will ask you for help. They won’t be fully committed to it. If you choose to help them, there won’t be any return on the investment of your time. They probably won’t use your help to the maximum and they might probably end up wasting your time. You will have to learn to identify who is desperate enough to deserve your help. Coz, someone who is desperate to grow and use what you have to offer, will do anything to make the most of it. Anything less than that, say a NO.

You multitask:

Multitasking is great. It gets you a lot of things done. But, when you multitask, you are more prone to errors. You sometimes forget a lot of things. Ironically, multitasking needs more meticulous planning when compared to unitasking. Also, when you multitask, tasks take longer to complete than when you put in all your focus on something and do it with that single-minded focus in one take.  When you make errors or when you don’t do whatever you do with the complete efficiency, there will be times you will have to do that particular work again, which takes double the time. So, multitasking is not always a close friend to time-management. Little less multitasking and more unitasking with a single-minded focus will make you a better manager of your time.

You can find the part-2 of this article here.

If you loved reading this part and if you found it useful, do share this with all your friends, family, and classmates/colleagues by clicking on the social share buttons given below, just above the comments section.

Photo by JohnONolan
Photo by Celestine Chua
by dumbledad

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