4 Results in of Poor Time Management

Table of Contents

A Harvard Organization Evaluation summary of the literature on time management describes 3 elements of the great time manager:

  • Awareness: moderately estimating how very long a little something will acquire
  • Arrangement: listing, prioritizing, and tracking goals and particular duties
  • Adaptation: altering to interruptions and modifying priorities

Among the my consumers, I’ve found a fourth part of time management: respect. The shopper cares for the individuals who will be influenced by their time management.

I’ll describe just about every of the four components in a bit more element and present recommendations for improvement.

Supply: VectorTunes/Wikimedia Commons/CC 4.


Some of my purchasers drop observe of time. They question in which the minutes, the hours, even the days go. They’ve been aided by playing two “games.” Both equally use a timer, whether or not the 1 on your cellphone, the stopwatch on your check out, or a kitchen area timer.

The Shorter-Time Guessing Activity: Set the timer for two minutes. Look at it when you imagine it is been 30 seconds and once again at 90 seconds. Repeat that right until you can often get reasonably close.

The Lengthier-Time Guessing Game: For your next several actions, create your estimate of how lengthy you believe every single undertaking will get. For illustration:

  • Drive to operate: 45 minutes
  • Get completely ready to begin the 1st job: 15 minutes
  • Solution electronic mail: 20 minutes
  • Compose the 1st draft of the report: 90 minutes

Now, log how prolonged the jobs essentially took. Retain enjoying that guessing game until your estimates are typically within 10 to 20 percent.


Some of my shoppers have adopted my technique for holding track of to-dos. My time-sensitive to-dos (for example, customer appointments) go in my 7 days-at-a-look calendar. Everything I want to do in the next working day or two but needn’t be performed at a particular time goes on a 3×3 memo dice. The two sit on my desk, and I look at them typically in the course of the day.

If I didn’t get the job done at property, I’d use my phone’s Google Calendar for the time-delimited to-dos and Apple Notes for my not-time-delimited to-dos. Of class, you have to get in the behavior of both writing all your to-dos and checking that checklist during the day.


Normally, we come to be mindful of a endeavor that’s a bigger priority than the activity we’re performing. As well frequently, we reflexively decide to defer the increased-precedence endeavor simply because we want closure on the undertaking we’re operating on. Or we defer the a lot more important process simply because the existing one particular is much more pleasurable.

Or we get distracted by a thought or by an individual. That can tempt us to choose a minute to indulge the distraction. Alas, way too usually, the distraction lasts much more time than we notice.

My consumers come across it useful to stay vigilant to a minute of real truth: the moment you become informed of a higher-precedence activity or of a distraction. The intention is to consciously, not reflexively, determine no matter if it is wise to entire your recent activity prior to turning to the better-priority one, and whether or not to allow for the distraction, and, if so, how lengthy to permit it distract you.


Some of my clients’ time-management problems derive from inadequate regard for the victims of their bad time management. For example, there is the individual who’s ready for your reply to their electronic mail. Or someone who’s waiting around for you when you’re both late or a no-exhibit.

Most of my clients do not deliberately disrespect their victims. Normally, my customers just have not published it on their to-do record or do not check the record normally sufficient. Or they appreciate making an attempt to cram in so considerably in advance of their appointments that they are late.

What has helped is for my clientele to place themselves in their victims’ sneakers: How would that make the shopper come to feel? Some clientele have explained to me that their victims frequently say, “It’s Okay, do not get worried about being late.” But privately, they may perhaps experience at the very least a tiny demeaned if you don’t answer to their email or you’re late.

From a pragmatic perspective, it could also assist to recall that disrespect may well just take a toll on one’s occupation and own lifetime.

So, do you want to consider any of these tools for improving on any of the 4 parts of time management—awareness, arrangement, adaptation, or regard?

I read through this aloud on YouTube.