Advertising
Advertising

Is It Time For a Time Management Upgrade?

Is It Time For a Time Management Upgrade?

    Most of us think of time management skills as something that we happen to have, and others desperately need. It’s easy to do so when we believe that a lifetime of learning can be contained in a single lesson that we happen to have learned. But are we as good at managing our time as we think ourselves to be?

    There are a number of events that happen in our lives that indicate that our current system isn’t working. Some of the indicators may include repeatedly being late to appointments and handing in assignments after their due dates.

    Advertising

    However, there are some that are more subtle, and a few that we tend to mistake. In most cases, they are accompanied by the same “fantastic” thought: “I’d be able to do this if I only had enough time.”

    Subtle Signals

    1. Being overweight — Many of our complaints about carrying too much weight are related to time. We either “don’t have the time” to exercise, or even figure out the right foods to buy. “If I only had more time, I’d be able to lose that weight.”

    2. Having lots of email in our Inbox — We blame the fact that we have lots of messages in our Inbox waiting for us to process on a lack of time. “If I only had more time, I’d be able to go handle all the waiting messages.”

    Advertising

    3. Clutter — Our office is a mess (or maybe our garage, attic, basement, car, closet, yard, etc.) and we sometimes get embarrassed when other people notice. “If I only had more time, I could clean this place up.”

    4. Commitments fall through the cracks — Stuff that we quietly tell ourselves that we need to do, simply doesn’t happen. It gets forgotten, and we only remember after the fact, when it’s too late, that we have broken a promise we made to ourselves. “If only I had more time, nothing would ever be forgotten, or slip through the cracks.”

    5. Others are upset because we don’t stay in touch — We try to spend enough time with family and friends, but can never seem to find the time to give them the personal attention that we believe we should. “If I only had more time, I’d have more quality moments with people I care about.”

    Advertising

    6. We are stressed — We try to take time away from work, but we are “always on” because we don’t want to get in trouble. We take work with us on vacations, weekends, holidays and sick days with the help of my laptop or smartphone. “If I only had more time, I’d be able to take the hours needed to de-stress.”

    False Indicators

    At the same time, there are some false indicators of time management problems. They are sometimes used as “proof” that an issue exists, when in fact it’s not true:

    False Indicator #1 – An accusation: “You are taking too long to respond to email.” The only person who can determine that an email response should have been sent earlier is the recipient. Those who pressure others to reply to their email earlier should use a different method to communicate in urgent circumstances

    Advertising

    False Indicator #2 – Another accusation: “You don’t answer the phone every time it rings.” Answering the phone and interrupting what you’re doing is a past practice that’s not suitable for the smartphone era and its hundreds of daily messages.

    Conclusion

    Times change, and so do the indicators of positive and negative productivity. It’s important that we pay close attention to our personal systems in order to be effective in an age of fast changing technology. When we are aware of signals that indicate poor time management, we can then take measures to correct the situation.

      More by this author

      Francis Wade

      Author, Management Consultant

      How To Manage A Post-College Productivity Dip Why You Need to Understand and Accept Your Productive Type A Tendencies The New Lifehacking #7 – Why You Should Be Open to New Stuff, But Wary About Using It The New LifeHacking #6 – Staying Away from Harmful Gadgets The New Lifehacking #5 – Tricking Yourself into Making the Changes You Need

      Trending in Lifehack

      1 7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes 2 Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How to Tackle Them 3 9 Powerful Questions That Can Improve Your Quality of Life 4 How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them 5 20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on September 15, 2020

      7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

      7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

      Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

      Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

      We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

      We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

      Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

      1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

      We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

      Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

      Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

      Advertising

      2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

      We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

      We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

      Give yourself more credit than that.

      You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

      In the end, you were fine.

      Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

      Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

      3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

      Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

      Advertising

      When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

      Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

      When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

      Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

      4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

      We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

      However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

      Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

      Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

      Advertising

      5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

      If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

      Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

      In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

      If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

      6. Effort Matters, So Use It

      It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

      Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

      Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

      Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

      Advertising

      Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

      And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

      7. Start With Something Manageable

      You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

      Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

      Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

      Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

      You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

      More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

      Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

      Reference

      Read Next