Time management is something most of us want to master. Why? To be and feel more productive. As a Time Management Coach and Productivity Specialist I hear complaints such as: “I have too much to do.””My to-do lists are never ending.””I hate structure.””I don’t have enough time.” If any of these sound familiar then it’s time to look at what the problem is. Once you identify the problem(s) you can begin to work on the solutions.
Time management – 5 Reasons why your time management isn’t working
- Unrealistic expectations
- No time management system
- Lack of consistency using a system
- Unclear, unspecific goals
- Wrong time management tools
Time management isn’t working, you have unrealistic expectations
Are you expecting too much in too short a time or with too little resources? Are you lacking a plan, in other words, trying to “wing it”? Time management relies upon having information and realistic expectations. Time management may be compromised if you do not have the information, skills, time and experience to get it done. In this case you might be more productive by delegating or outsourcing the task.
Realistic expectations are helpful in another way. After considering what the task involves and whether you are the right person to get it done you might choose to decline the project or postpone it. Setting boundaries based upon realistic expectations will help you to maintain your credibility with others and minimize stress. These are the benefits of effective time management.
Time management isn’t working, you have no system
A time management system includes structure and routines to help you navigate tasks from beginning to end. Think about everyday examples of systems that work for you such as exercise personal training programs, nutritional regimens, bookkeeping systems, lists and templates for packing, grocery shopping and buying gifts.
A time management system needs to be customized for your personal and career demands. It will keep you on track, help you to meet deadlines, allow for unexpected circumstances, and help you to balance core activities in your life. Time management is NOT about being busy every waking minute. It is about productivity and having time for both the important and satisfying aspects of your life.
Time management isn’t working, you lack consistency with your system
Time management is a habit, a set of learned behaviors. We all get off track and risk slipping back into old ways. Using a time management system as consistently as possible is the key to success. When you have a “bad” day, focus on how well your system worked when you used it and start again. It is easier to get back on track when your system is in place. The tendency to quit and engage in self blame won’t help you. Be kind to yourself and allow for imperfection. The value of practicing behaviors with consistency is in the results.
Time management isn’t working, your goals are not specific and measurable
Time management includes goals such as being on time. The only way to know if you are meeting your goals is to be able to quantify specific results. If your goal is to lose weight you want to specify how much and by when. If your goal is to publish a book you need to be able to break down each step of the process from doing research, writing a draft, to editing, revising, etc. Specific and measurable goals factor in quantity, time, and quality of outcomes. Meeting those aspects throughout the process is rewarding and motivating.
Time management isn’t working, you are using the “wrong tools”
Time management tools that you use need to match your learning and lifestyle. If you are visual you might prefer a paper calendar or color coded digital calendar. If you are auditory a digital calendar with alerts or notifications is very helpful. If you are kinesthetic then writing in a paper calendar will likely aid memory. Most of us are multi-sensory learners and can benefit from a combination of tools.
If you are very mobile a bulky paper calendar may not suit your needs. If you are uncomfortable reading digital screens, don’t like glare, and need to be able to see a weekly view of your calendar then a phone screen may be problematic. There are numerous apps that help with time management, reminders and lists. Consider how long the learning curve is and how redundant the app(s) may be with the features on your technology. Keep it simple is my recommendation.
January 24, 2018Be productive! Be productive? I am your San Diego Professional Organizer and Time Management Coach and I hear this goal from people all of the time. Here are my 7 ways to be more productive. Arrive early Have something to read on hand Sleep more Streamline tasks Delegate Leave early Be succinct Be productive – arrive early Get into the habit of stopping what you ... Read more
January 8, 2018Organizing your garage Organizing your garage can be 1 of the most challenging organizing projects. There are several reasons why this may be true. First, it is generally a large space and sometimes large spaces attract more clutter. Second, it is sometimes a shared and multipurpose space. When a space is used by more than 1 ... Read more
January 4, 2018Time Management, Productivity Tips Time management, productivity tips are intended to make the road to efficiency smooth and easy to navigate. Most people are productive but feel as if they should be getting even more done. In this article I suggest 5 things that you can stop doing because they either waste time or disrupt your ... Read more
January 3, 2018Organizing projects – 5 Signs that you have a challenging organizing project Your organizing project will take more than 3 hours to complete. You need to recruit help to complete your organizing project. You have difficulty knowing when and how to start the organizing project. You’ve started the organizing project and can’t seem to get it done. You find it ... Read more
January 1, 2018Productivity Tips: 7 ways to be more productive Productivity means getting the important things done. Import things are those that are helpful, pleasurable and may also be income producing. Productivity is not the same as being busy. It’s about how we choose to use our time. Here are your Professional Organizer‘s 7 ways to be more ... Read more
November 6, 2017Organizing habits Organizing habits was the topic of my previous post 11/2/17). If you missed it I referred to Drexel’s 15 easy habits for a better life (2017). I also listed some of my organizing habits with organizing tips and time management tips for creating them. Here are more organizing habits to consider: Replace computer and tv ... Read more
November 2, 2017Organizing habits Organizing habits can improve well being, health and safety, time management and productivity. In C. Drexel’s, “Habits: Easy Habits For a Better Life” 2017, Drexel lists 15 habits for a better life. They include: Exercise regularly Eat healthy Sleep well Meditate Smile Maintain a journal Reduce tv/laptop time Have simple expectations Lead a simple life Learn to keep an open mind Write down your goals Nurture ... Read more
October 20, 2017Productivity, what does it mean to you? “I would be able get everything, or mostly everything done.” The key words are “everything” and “mostly”. Is either getting everything or mostly everything realistic on a consistent basis? If not, reassess what is on your to do list, if there is too much and then determine what needs ... Read more
October 6, 2017Clutter be gone Clutter be gone means getting rid of clutter once and for all! Once you have a handle on the clutter you can get organized and maintain order in your home and office. What is clutter? (You can click on the the link to read my blog post.) You want to be clear about ... Read more
October 5, 2017Being organized | Why Being organized is a way of thinking, doing and feeling. We all know that change is inevitable and routines help us to feel more organized and productive. Why organize if change is inevitable then? One of the major benefits of being organized is that having structure and systems in place enables us ... Read more