So, you’ve finally started to work on your time management skills, but still feel completely unprepared and overwhelmed? Feel like you haven’t achieved anything? Feel like you haven’t made a dent in your procrastination? You are not alone. From time to time, we all suffer from time management problems.
There are a ton of time management problems that arise when you are just getting started and, they can even pop up when you feel like you’re a master of time management! And that’s okay. Problems are bound to arise in any project – especially such an all encompassing one as your productivity and managing of your time. The real test of strength is how you acknowledge and resolve these problems.
The first step towards fixing any of the problems that pop up is acknowledging what they are. You must see the problem in order to fix it. That’s why we will identify some of the most common time management problems. Sometimes, it’s easier to see what you’re facing when someone else gives you the name for it.
The next step is to understand why you are facing this problem. You have to have the why to know how to fix it. And sometimes, the answer to that question may surprise you.
And finally, coming up with a solution to your problems. Time management problems are usually easily fixed by just sitting down and focusing on what needs to be done. Take the time out of your day to look at what needs to be done. Priorities can be shifted to move forward and fix any of these fatal time management errors.
Let’s work together and figure out what kinds of time management problems you’re having and why. And, come up with an action plan on how to solve them. What’s the point in figuring out what you’re doing wrong without trying to come up with a solution for how to fix it? Time management is such an important aspect of your success that you need to take a good, hard look at your problems and come up with realistic responses.
Let’s examine some of the biggest time management problems that we face, why we face them, and how we can fix these problems.
Suddenly, your desk is full of papers and you can’t see the end of a project. You have too much to do and it feels like it came out of nowhere. You’re unable to get things done because you just have too much to do.
Why? Now that you feel like you’re a time management guru, you might have taken on more responsibilities. Or, maybe it’s just a busier time at work than usual. Or, maybe something happened to a coworker. Whatever the case, there are times when you suddenly have more work. It happens and most of the time, it’s completely out of our control.
How To Fix? Stop. Take some of the work off your load. Now, if you can’t do that (which is more likely of a possibility), take the time to focus on the backlog. Life happens and you have to roll with the punches. This is the top time management problem and can be the hardest to overcome. But, stop and focus on how you’re going to complete all the work.
You don’t want to do it; so you don’t. But procrastination is for dishes and laundry not important projects.
Why? Old habits die hard and you’ve become a pro at browsing blogs, then facebook, then reddit, then back to blogs just to keep your mind off of what you’re supposed to be doing because the fear of failure is eating you alive. That’s what your procrastination is really all about. It’s not that you don’t want to do it; you’re afraid that you can’t, that you won’t be any good at it.
How To Fix? Break your task apart into easy bits that you can measure. The best part is that once completed, each small section gives you an overwhelming euphoria of accomplishment and instant gratification. You’re used to doing the whole task at once because as a procrastinator, you have no choice when you wait until the last possible moment. It doesn’t have to be this way. Start small. You don’t even have plan it all out. Clean off only the table. Create a rough outline for that paper.
Your inbox is constantly full. And, every time you start to see the end of the tunnel, more emails come trickling in and you’re back at the beginning.
Why? You’re a busy person.
Sometimes the pressure can become too much. Sometimes, this ties into procrastination. You worry how things will turn out. Will it be good? Will people like it? Sometimes, it’s about something you don’t want to do. When you don’t want to do it, you keep putting it off and you know it has to get done. So, you become anxious about it.
Why? It happens. Sometimes, the pressure can be too much. There is so much going on in your life. Work days are so long and it must feel strange to wish for more time at work to finish it all in one day. How can someone have those feelings simultaneously? And, even worse, you have such little personal time to yourself. Of course you’re going to feel anxiety about life and all the things that you are required to do in a day.
How to Fix? Take the time to relax. It’s so important to focus on yourself and take breaks. Sometimes, that means you put yourself first. Sometimes, that means to say no or to ask for help. But, you need to take that personal time and rejuvenate. You are not going to be able to work at 100% efficiency if you are so stressed out about all the small stuff.
Why? Sometimes we spend too much time on the small stuff and the big things fall through the cracks. You lived by that calendar/daily planner all through college. It was like your Bible; it kept you on track so you didn’t ruin your life at the small cost of having fun sometimes. And after you graduated you just abandoned the whole principle. You probably don’t even use one for work now.
How to Fix? Start writing down the big things as well. Don’t rely on your memory for those things. You’re always writing down the small things, so why not the big stuff?
These are common problems we all face in our journey to becoming proficient at time management. Don’t get hung up on running into issues – we all do. It is a learning process. It isn’t about the time management problems you face, but how you fix them and move forward.
Time management is a skill and it is a life long skill at that. Some people are really good at it. And some people aren’t. And, even if you’re great, you still might run into a problem every once in a while. Trying to achieve perfection in your time management is impossible. We can’t account for every little thing that will come up. Or a work emergency. Or a family emergency. Things happen. What matters is how we handle these problems and move forward from them.
Even the most time effective person can tell you about a time when they felt completely overwhelmed. It happens and that is completely okay. Just remember to learn from your mistakes. Why did it happen? How did it happen? Look back at the reasons and events that lead to your problems. Making mistakes is okay; it’s only a problem when you make the same mistakes twice.
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