Are you failing at time management?
No matter where my family went, who we were with, or who we were meeting – we were ALWAYS late. It wasn’t like we were late enough to have an excuse really. Nothing like a flat tire or one of us kids were vomiting just as we left the house. No we were that annoying kind of late where the whole family walks in during the middle of the first verse of worship at church, the opening scene of a movie at the cinema, or right after the kick-off at a high school football game. We didn’t ever miss much of anything we were just late enough where everyone noticed. We were flustered enough to cause a scene as we made our way through the crowd to take our seats.
To be honest, I didn’t think much about it really. So what, we were five minutes late. I’m the youngest of three so realistically I just followed my older brother where ever he went and I didn’t really pay attention to what everyone around me was thinking.
As I made my way into high school and became responsible for getting myself to school I realised that this little habit of mine might caused some issues. Here I was, always late. Always needing a note and always getting talked to about my time management. It’s funny how quickly you learn habits or how family culture is set at such a young age.
I got my first job at fifteen and then it started to matter for real. This wasn’t a “tardy” note from Mom getting me out of trouble. At fifteen this was real life and me being late started cutting into my pay, which prevented me from a raise, and eventually became the main reason I hadn’t moved into a manager position as quickly as I could have. Who would give responsibility to someone who couldn’t even show up on time consistently?
This trend continued and is still something I have to stay on top of daily to make sure I don’t carry on being the one who’s late to everything. After several years of trying to tackle this issue I started to realise eight things that were keeping me from becoming better with time management.
8 Reasons You Might Be Failing At Time Management
1. Introducing Too Much, Too Soon.
When you try to address this issue in your life one big mistake would be if you started to write out a whole new list of things to change and and then trying to implement them all on Monday morning. Don’t do that just start easy. Make it a point to at least get out of bed on time. Once you’ve mastered that then go to the next goal. Before you know it you are creating new habits!
2. Setting Unrealistic Goals
Don’t try to overdue it. If you are used to waking up at 7:30am and getting to work by 8:05 opposed to 8am then waking up at 5:30am might not work straight away. You should make a point to get up at 7:00am and slowly work your way up from there.
3. Unnecessary Changes
Focus on one objective at a time. If you’re goal is to get to work on time then identify what prevents that from happening then address the issue. If you can identify what is necessary to change then you will make it a priority to prevent it. If you make unnecessary changes then they won’t become new habits. If you waste one hour a morning on Facebook and that prevents you arriving to work on time, then change that and check it before bed instead. If it’s a necessary change it has to be prioritised.
4. Wrong Motivation
A few comments from coworkers or fear of kidding a write up might not be the motivation you need. Decide what motivates you and make sure it’s coming from the right place. Let self well being, excelling, and personal development be your motivator. Changes made for someone else won’t last but changes made for yourself and your own well being will likely become a lifestyle change.
5. No Accountability
This is important! We all need some accountability in life. Ask someone to help you, keep you accountable, and call you out. If you’re late be okay with a friend or trusted colleague to mention it to you. Let them know ahead of time what your goal is and arrange what will happen if you don’t quite “hit the mark.”
6. No Grace
Whether you like it or not you aren’t perfect. There will be a time where you mess up but that doesn’t mean all your hard work isn’t paying off. It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. Get up the next day, and be better. Have grace on yourself and understand what that looks like.
7. No Game Plan
If you want to change something already in motion in your life then you need a game plan. You can’t just wake up one day and expect everything to fix itself. Sit down and write out your game plan. I would suggest a timetable that makes you accountable for every one hour (or even 30 minutes) of your day. Plan out your day, stick with it, refer back to it, and review it! By doing this you are helping yourself in really getting those new habits formed throughout your day.
See #7? Take that game plan, wake up tomorrow and do it! Don’t wait for the new year, Monday, or the next milestone in your life to make a change. You can talk all you want about being better but procrastination is not your friend. Start now!
Lea is a bright ambitious young woman. She’s from Paris, Texas but has been in Australia on staff for 5 years. She’s an excellent leader, teacher and story teller. She enjoys coffee, being with good company, and watching documentaries.