Time management weakness: how to improve.

Time is a very special commodity, it is the very essence of existence,time is existence. If we  not treat it with respect, life is blown into the wind like the petals of a dry flower.

Our Lives are made up in unquantifiable little pockets of time, every passing minute, every hour that passes is a step towards the next stage of life. 

I read somewhere, I can not what it was about, but I remember a phrase that read “little tributaries make up a stream”, every passing minute is life moving, every minute is packed with natural processes that are sufficient for that minute.

We never really see at what point we grow gray hair, or when the baby’s first teeth appeared. we never know when these physiological processes occur but we may be assured that they happen, life is in those little moments and we need to guard it carefully.

I think we all need to take time management very seriously as it passes by in these subtle moments. We also need to be mindful that our world is pacing up quickly.

Everything is moving fast, fast modes of transport, fast mediums of communication, easy access to information, everything seems to be out there.

With all that change, there is an ever-increasing demand for things we need to do

and opportunities to pursue. Time management is more crucial now than it has ever been in the history of life.

Before we get any deeper, Here is an outline of what will be discussed in this article 

  1. Identifying time management weaknesses 
    1. What are the signs that you may be struggling with time management 
  2. Common time management weaknesses 
    1. Procrastination and its effects 
    2. Distractions and Multitasking 
    3. Overcommitment 
    4. Lack of goal clarity 
  3. Strategies to Improve Time Management
    1. Prioritize and set clear goals
    2. Plan and organize
    3. Managing distractions 
    4. Self discipline 
    5. Time blocking 
    6. Learn to say no 
    7. Acknowledge imperfections
  4. Other resources to assist you with time management 

Now we can  talk about ‘time management weakness: how to improve’, how  how to improve’, how do we identify what our time management weaknesses are.

Why we struggle with making appointments, why we are always under pressure at work? Why do you always want to get sick notes to reschedule meetings, assignment submissions and due dates.

We will talk about how we can deal with our weaknesses; we will talk about why it is important to overcome them and other tools to empower ourselves.

Identifying Time Management Weaknesses:

Acknowledging our weaknesses when it comes to time management is very important as it is the very first step towards maximizing your time. I mean what easier way is there to become better at something.

Than just figuring out what your weakness is? So, let’s get straight into identifying our time management weaknesses.

General Signs of Time Management Weaknesses:

1.    Missed Deadlines: Bearing in mind that deadlines are a way to keep you on your productive roll, missing deadlines is a sure way of showing you that you may have an issue with time management.

How often do you miss deadlines? In any area of your life, be it school or work or your personal life, reflect on how often you miss the deadlines. This is one way you could use to detect if there is a need to work on your time management.

2.    Poor Organization:  there is a group of people that understand their clutter or what others would deem as clutter. People who do well in an environment that has a bit of chaos, kudos to them.

Most of us, however most of us need a well organized space to be productive, we need to everything in place. Disorganised workspaces, disorganised schedules may also serve as a sign of disorder and mismanagement of time.

3.    Feeling Overwhelmed: I am often complaining about how many things I must get to; I am overwhelmed by my responsibilities and all tasks are a source of great anxiety.

If you are like me, everything you need to do is overwhelming. if you get anxious thinking about responsibilities, then you know that you know that you really need to work on your time management.

2. Common time management weaknesses 

I think it’s very important to discuss at length the variety of forms that may be the manifestation of our weaknesses. So I will share a memorandum of the common manifestations of time management weaknesses and what impact each one has. Let’s begin with Procrastination.

  1. Procrastination

Procrastination is the act of postponing tasks and rearranging schedules for the reason of instant gratification. It may seem unharmful when you do it but soon enough you will have a huge pile of things that you need to do and deadlines closing in on you. Let me break down the effects of procrastination a little more:

1.     diminished productivity – time that has passed can never be recovered, going through yours in lazy idleness will take away from your productivity. if it’s not obvious for you already I am going to say it, your productivity is dwindled by procrastination.

The list of things that you could have completed by the end of the week remains the same or you managed to only scratch off 2 items out of 7. Now when the new week begins you have about 7 items for the new week and 5 you didn’t do so you already have 12 important, probably major tasks to complete.

2.     Increased stress – because you are lagging in all your tasks, and to that backlog life keeps adding more, you will get stressed. You will get stressed by the amount of work you must complete and the process of completing it will wear you down.

3.     Disrupted time management – once you delay doing a task for at least a minute (this is not to make you a perfectionist but to help you realize) you will have to complete that task in the minute of the next errand.

For example, your schedule says you must get to work at 08:30, and you get to work at 08:35. You know you must do

your full hours of work, either you take 5 minutes from your lunch or 5 mins from your family time.

Time literally waits for no one, and you do not want to spend your life playing catchup.

4.     Declined quality – whatever it is that you may be working on, once you are under pressure, your work won’t be stellar. its most likely that your work will be an average good, or at worst, its a disaster. All thus Happens because you no longer have enough time to work on the project and give it your very best.

5.      Missing out on opportunities – procrastination is so hectic that you may even find yourself postponing important life changing decisions. You avoid taking that leap until it is too late and you find yourself in the boat of regret.

6.     Negative view of yourself – I am very passionate about this one because I only discovered it recently. A huge part of myself esteem issues is not childhood related, it’s linked to my procrastination habits.

When you procrastinate long enough, hack when you procrastinate at all, you find yourself frantically trying to race against time. The brain does this funny thing of negative self-talk in a moment of panic.

I would share with you what I say to myself, but I think that won’t be necessary because you know what you say to blow your esteem candles out. Soon enough we doubt our capabilities, we question our talents, and we start believing that there is someone better for the job than us.

7.     The guilt – sometimes we do not even get to wnjoy the gratification activity, we are arrested by guilt from the momement we decide to do it later. You will struggle with feelings of blame and shame.

You must be scrolling through this article, and you are asking yourself why we suffer from procrastination? Why are we so lazy? Well, procrastination is more psychological than we think. There are underlying reasons as to why we struggle with completing certain tasks. Allow me to share a short summary with you.

You could be lacking motivation because there is no reward for that task or you are not interested in that thing or you do not understand what needs to be done.

So, you just sit there and think about the task at hand and then you realize it would be more fun to watch the good doctor than to study anatomy.The other reason why you could be struggling with procrastination is that you may fear failing and making a fool of yourself.

I have had this fear for as long as I can remember, I am afraid of failing and I think it’s because for me, failing is the one horrifying way people never forget you.

For me failure is a status, but when I am not anxious, I believe that I am over exaggerating,I make it bigger than it really is. The fear of failure sometimes terrorizes me into  avoiding engaging in certain commitments.

Just like me, when you search yourself, in the quest of finding out why you  procrastinate so much, you may just find out that you fear failure. You may be afraid of failing because you are a perfectionist and any little mistakes send straight to depression.

You may be very particular on how things should be and what they should look like at the end, you live for that precision. You may be struggling with procrastination because you refuse to subject yourself to the possibility of making mistakes.

You may be quite the procrastinator  because you wont leave comparison alone. Every little chance you get, you compare yourself to others and now you are paralyzed by the knowledge that they are seemingly doing better than you.

Comparison is a sure way to cease all efforts and mop over other people’s success. Alright, I think I have already said enough on procrastination, and you know by now that if you do

not deal with it, you will have mental issues.

Your professional/academic life will suffer. Your relationships will also suffer, and your personal goals will sink. All this effort that you have put in managing your time will also be lost.

  1. Distractions and Multitasking:

One of the biggest challenges with time management is all the entertainment distractions we have limitless access to. Almost all the gadgets’ we possess and produce have access to a bottomless pit of fun.

Everyone has access to everyone and everything. We are the generation that must exercise self-control the most, because everything is just a scroll away.

However, we are also the generation that believes we can do this multitasking thing better than anyone. We think we can get away with studying and watching a movie at the same time.

It’s quite beautiful to see that we believe in our brains that much, but we all know that the brain can only excel in one of those tasks. Multitasking may also come in “productive forms”.

Trying to complete two tasks at once, maybe you are studying and also doing your week’s meal prep. If not at  least one of those projects is not being done correctly, then both are not  being done right.

Essentially, we are the generation with so many distractions and we go out of our way to be distracted. Our focus on each task is compromised and the quality of our results will also be compromised.

In that time of trying to multitask a distraction and an important project we make a lot of mistakes on the project and because our focus is split, our imagination is also dwindled. We will most certainly struggle with absorbing new information.

  1. Overcommitment 

Hello to the overachievers out there, hi there to the people who never say no, this one, is for you. Good time management requires us to know when we cannot afford to add more on the to do list.

The world Is moving fast, and opportunities are looming everywhere. Everything seems doable and we are tempted to say yes to everything and see where the wind will take us.

That hurricane will destroy all your efforts in time management. Learn to say no when you do need to do it, let it go to other people. Do not try to commit yourself to everything.

Here is why overcommitment is going to be your downfall, slicing yourself too thin means every project you do only gets a small fraction of your efforts.

Once you put minimal effort, chances are, you will reap minimum results. The quality of your work suffers. You know it, more work while you already have work is very stressful.

Just the thought of trying to balance everything out will frustrate you. You may even get to a point of burning out because things never stop piling up and deadlines seem to be after your blood.

You may even miss opportunities meant for you and your goals, you say yes to everything. Some things have nothing to do

would have benefited you, you show up for things that mean
nothing and add no value to you.

You may find that your relationships also suffer because you are always busy with projects and tasks. You are never available for any quality time activities, you are just a busy body.

Why are you struggling with saying no and setting up boundaries? Well, i do not know but maybe this will help. I have a list of what maybe pushing you into that corner

  •   Being a people pleaser – I am a people pleaser for days; I don’t want to disappoint anyone and for the longest time I would try to everything I would be asked to do. I mean
    I grew up in a space where saying no was a crime, so naturally I didn’t know when my plate was full. I think it doesn’t matter why and how you became a people pleaser. What matters is that you are and that’s alright, you just need to learn how to manage it. You just need to learn how to balance things, whether you feel obligated to help or feel like you do
    not want to disappoint anyone. Always take a moment to think about your current responsibilities and decide from them, whether you have space to do
  •  FOMO(Fear of missing out)- sometimes we jump into commitments because the experience is a buzz and everybody is doing it or every opportunity feels like a once in a lifetime and you need to grab them all.
  •   Lack of boundaries – it is very important to draw a line between your professional life and personal life. Have demarcations for every part of your life, that way you may protect your time and the different spaces you exist in.
  • Underestimating tasks – you may be part of the group of people that has very poor judgment when it comes to ascertaining the time needed for any project. You constantly underestimate the amount that is needed.
  1. Lack of Goal Clarity:

 Setting clear goals is very important in the journey of learning how to manage time well. When you set goals, it helps you create a vision and gives you something to work towards.

Once you know what you are working towards you will be able to schedule things that are relevant for your dreams and goals.  Here is why clear goals are helpful:

Role of Clear Goals in Time Management:

a. To give you directionit gives you a clear projection of where and what you need to work on. They work as milestones.

b. To give you focus because you know what you are working on, it helps you narrow down your attention to specific goals.

c. To help Prioritize: Well-defined goals help us prioritize tasks, making it easier to allocate time and resources to activities that align with our objectives.

d. To get you Motivated: when you know what you are working towards you are easily motivated by the mere thought of the results.

e. To measure progress: because goals are milestones, they give us a way to measure our progress.

When setting goals, it is important that you set realistic goals, goals that can be attained and the process of attaining them will not wear you out. Sometimes because of aiming too high or setting ambiguous goals you will be indecisive in your approach to actioning your goals.

When you aim too high you are throwing yourself under the bus and soon enough, they will begin to choke you. You could also under dream, and waste the precious time and opportunities that life has thrown at you.

Strategies to Improve Time Management:
 Encouraging Self-Assessment:  steps towards fixing it.

If you feel like you have been diagnosed with poor time management, I would encourage you to continue reading because we are now diving into the good stuff. 

The next steps listed here are recommendations that I have put in place for you so you could know where to start moving forward.

  1.  Track Your Time: get and keep a journal, in this journal you are not writing your to-do, you are writing what you have done or what you are doing. You want to keep track of your working and productivity patterns. This way, you can pick up where and how time slips out of your hands, and you will also know what you are doing right.  
  2.  Reflect on Goals: get and keep a journal where you can write your goals and dreams. You can start by journaling your goals for the year, then goals for each month and then goals for each day. After all this journaling you will be clear on what it is that you want. Once you have laid all your dreams in view you can reflect on them. You can do
    it an hour before work or studying and just reflect to see whether you are still on top of your game. Ask yourself if you are still smashing those goals, is the rate of achievement still the same?

Awesome now that you have reflected on your everyday behaviors, you know yourself and most importantly you have identified your weaknesses. Now you are ready to work on solutions and how to tackle the issues standing before you.

Here is what we can do to improve our timme management:

  1. Prioritizing and Setting Clear Goals

Setting clear goals helps us have direction, focus and also gives us motivation.Guidance on Setting Short-Term and Long-Term Goals: remember to break your goals down.

Setting goals involves understanding that for you to become an architect you must study your physics today. You have to break your goals into little chunks that enable you to take small but steady steps towards achieving your dreams.

Long term goals as defined by me, would be the ultimate dream, the larger aspiration almost like a destination of sorts. You must be able to tell long term goals from short term goals, so that you may be able to place deadlines on the short-term goals.

  1. Plan and Organize:

For you to figure out what your goals are, there must be thought, and time taken to come up with that. That process is called planning and you must plan beyond the goals, you must plan your year, your month, your week, and your day. Planning is very crucial to time management; it is a way of empowering you with regards to your expenditure of time. It gives order to your days and helps you move with purpose throughout the day. Below are a few points that could assist you with planning and organizing your life, tasks and environment.

Techniques for Effective Planning and Organization:

 Write out a to-do list- listen, to-do lists give me anxiety for days, but what I have found most rewarding is writing out the everyday things that keep life moving forward, as part of the things that make up my to do.

Then to that I add to about 3 important tasks that need to be completed. If it’s not possible to do all 3. I just add one more thing to that regular everyday list and then make sure that i start my day with that.

What these lists have also done for me, is that even if I do not get to do everything in that list, they provide a point of reference for the next day, they provide some sort of memorandum to my days.

Prioritization: when planning it is important to write out things in order of importance, this way you know what you should get to first when your energies are still high and mighty.

Specificity: be clear! Write “wash dishes” instead of “cleaning the house”, “pack sandwich” instead of “make food”. Make it clear, so that you know the action that must yield a direct result.

Regular reviews and updates – it’s important also to take time, from time to time to review your to-do list.

You need to take time to see if writing a list every day is feasible for you or would you rather do it on a weekly basis. Just work around it and see if you can find new ways to make the writing of the list serve you

Also go through the questions of whether you are completing your tasks, if not what is holding you back? Do you need help? From whom will the help come? Take some time to think of your life.

Also update that list, for as long as you live, there is no end to the things that you need to do, so likewise keep updating that list and adding new milestones to be hit.

Calendars and Scheduling: use your calendars, use the hardcopy ones, use the digital ones, it matters which one you choose but the bottom line is use those, Calendars. Record appointments, deadlines, and test dates.

  1. Conquering distractions and multitasking 

With all the distractions mentioned in this article, it would be unfair of me to not share with you how to minimize the distractions.

  • Have set working times, treat it with respect, bring no distractions into that space. Actively create a quiet space with little or no room for distractions. Try to do this prior to the actual time, when the working time starts, this is not the time to be organizing your work environment, this is the time to be working. Make sure to keep your phone silent, or on flight mode, be sure to keep the outside world outside.
  • Social media – in taking breaks, make sure that you reply to your emails and any other messages and texts. Do not do it during working time.
  1. Develop Self-Discipline:

Most geniuses of the world did not come about because they were always motivated in their trade, they became so amazing because they were disciplined enough to keep pushing. They pushed even when they felt like there could be more fun things to do, they pushed even when they were tired, they kept moving. Discipline is the currency of success, respect your trade and show up for it.

Discipline will give you consistency, will help you achieve the most prioritized goals, it will help you overcome procrastination. If you are disciplined, you are almost guaranteed that you will achieve your long-term goals. 

Techniques for Building Self-Discipline:

 Have Clear Habits: in the process of learning about your bad habits that flush the time away, I also encourage you to pay attention to what you do right and make sure you keep doing it.

Small Changes: I would advise that you do not attempt to change your whole life at once, start by making small changes. Work on your getting up routine, focus on that until you master it. remember to also keep that change very simple and manageable.

gradual Progress:  do not stop, take it slow but never stop working on yourself discipline. When you feel ready adjust the routine or upgrade the routine and take it a notch higher. Do not rush it, do it gradually.

Practice Time Blocking: we will talk about it at length soon, assign times for your tasks, practice the pomodoro technique and be consistent.

be accountable: accountability is an awesome tool for discipline, if there is someone or people looking forward to seeing you work hard, people expecting to see changes in you. That expectation creates a healthy pressure. So go ahead, share your goals with friends and family, and let them hold you accountable.

Reward yourself:  remember to honor your efforts, have a system in place of how, when, and why you celebrate your progress and appreciate your efforts. Give yourself a pat on the back, it encourages you to continue in hard work.

Visualize: it’s very good to be able to visualize what life would be like if you were more disciplined, visualize yourself reaping those benefits, smashing those deadlines, early nights, promotions, and the list never ends. You are amazed just how much motivation desire can yield.

live in the moment: practice presence, live in the moment, be present in the space you are in, be mindful and make a decision for your goals each passing moment.

Discipline is not something we are born with, it’s almost forced into us from birth by our parents, teachers, and guardians. Most of us still do not get the concept.

When we are young we are disciplined because they are higher authorities but when we become adults and the authority has been given to us, we must start from the beginning and learn discipline again.

 I want you to know you are not alone and very few people mastered it from the very beginning. Therefore, be patient with yourself, forgive your shortcomings, take your sweet time and never stop trying.

  1.  Practice Time-Blocking:

Time blocking is essentially the act of allocating specific time for specific activities. So instead of just writing a list of things to do and then starting your day from the first written activity, you schedule things in.

For example, you decide from 08:00-10:00 to clean 12:00 -14:00 studying. Specific tasks for Specific times. Time blocking helps with increasing your focus on tasks, because you know when a task should start and end.

You tend to be more productive as well, you have made the effort to schedule enough hours required per task. You will work efficiently, when all things have been allocated a certain amount of time, it helps you avoid investing too much in one project.

You can move to the next thing and get it done. I once watched a youtube video talking about time management and he mentioned something that I found very intriguing, “for any given task you ought to do, completing that task will take the entire time you have allocated to it, to complete.

What it means is, if you don’t set up a time limit for tasks, they will consume the entire open space.

Use the Pomodoro Technique: this is a technique that involves you focusing for a short period of time and then taking an even shorter break in between, like 30 minutes of work and 8 minutes of rest and then you resume to the task at hand. This technique keeps you focused and keeps your energy on the high and it enhances your productivity.

  1. Learn to Say No:

We have already identified the problem, now let’s find ways to overcome it. just a quick reminder of why it is important to say no, it reduces your stress significantly as you will avoid over commitment, you will be maximizing on things that matter to you. Here is how you could vocalize your no:

When saying no, remember to show your gratitude, let them know you are grateful for the opportunity and for believing in you, also continue and explain that you already have a lot under your care.

Be genuine and honest in your decline, give a basic outline about your struggles. Most importantly be firm, even after a ‘pretty please’, stand your ground. I did not say raise your voice, or sound rude, do

it politely.

In your responses remember to refer to you not point at the person, more of ‘I’s and less ‘you’(s). Remember to be consistent and do not waver, inconsistency makes it take longer to learn and respect your boundaries.  

  1. Acknowledge Imperfections:

Today we are talking about weaknesses, for that reason I will talk about our shortcomings. No one is perfect and no one expects you to be, be graceful in your approach. It’s okay to be here, it’s normal to relapse to old habits, focus on trying again and again.

Always keep an open mind, there is always space for growth and development, look out for them. Focus on your personal growth journey, and refrain from comparing yourself with other people.

Their progress will never magically rub on to you through comparison, it will continually discourage you and feed on your confidence. Be kind to yourself, be polite and speak with respect.

Push it a step further and cheer for yourself acknowledging imperfections is an essential step in the journey of improving time management skills. It’s important to recognize that everyone, regardless of their abilities, has areas where they can grow and develop.

By embracing the idea that setbacks and challenges are a natural part of the process, individuals can approach their time management weaknesses with a constructive mindset.

Where can you get Help and more information?

If you feel you need more information, more help and more empowerment, I have shortlisted for you resources that you may find helpful.

Let’s start with books, here are a number of books that come highly recommended by me,

1. Getting Things Done by David Allen

2. Eat that frog! By Brain Tracy

3. Atomic habits by James Clear

4. 7 habits of highly effective people by Stephen Covey

5. Deep work by Cal Newport

If you are into organized learning here are some time management courses you could try out Online Courses:

  • Mindvalley masterclass – time management
  • Udemy – online time management classes
  • Coursera – time management
  •  Learnfast – time management
  •  Linkedin learning – time management fundamentals. 

Here are Apps and Tools you could download and subscribe to:

If you are part of the working class of people, this is for anyone who is no longer in a school like situation, even when you are a stay at home, some of these apps may help you:

  • Todoist – works for your to do lists
  •  Monday.com – works for the whole team at work and for you individually.
  • Clocking in made easy – work for team and individuals.
  • TMetric  
  •  Trello

Here is a list for students:

Pomode app – helps you enforce the pomodoro technique

  •   Trello
  •  TMetric
  • Click up
  •  Evernote
  •  Myhomework student planner

 If you would like to tune into something, I got you with these podcasts:

  • Check out the productivity show by Asian Efficiency
  • The Tim Ferris Show by Tim Ferris
  • The 5am miracle by Jeff Sanders 

Blogs and Websites:

  • Lifehacker: Offers a variety of productivity tips and time management strategies.
  • Zen Habits: Focuses on simplicity and mindfulness in daily life, including time management.
  • Harvard Business Review: Features articles on productivity and time management in a professional context.

Coaching and Workshops:

This one is a must do, check out the programs and services offered by the expect below:

  • Tony Robins
  • Brain Tracy
  •  Brendon Burchard Affiliate
  • Robin Sharma
  • Jay Shetty

Time Management Planners:

Here are other resources that you could use, planners and calendars and here is a plug:

1.Amazon – amazon offers a wide range of planners and calendars that you can choose from.

2.    FranklinPlanner – check out franklin planner, they have notebooks, planners, and other organization items.

3.    Erin Condren- they have customisable planners and stationery.

4.    Passion Planner- they offer goal centered planners.

5.    Day Designer- they have very stylish products if you are into glamor.

6.    PlannerPads – they offer a different style in their planners.

7.    Clever Fox Planner –they have awesome things as well

8.Barnes & Noble: – they offer very cool planners.

9.    Etsy –   they offer handmade and customized planners. 

10. The Happy Planner: they have customizable planners.

I hope that you found this article very useful, you are more than welcome to check out the recommended sites. Empower yourself, and do better!

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