21 Signs That You Are Failing At Time Management


I often hear people say, “I don’t need time management.

Yet, they are a mess.

They are disorganized. Their workplace is a mess.

They are frantically running from one place to another.

Does this sound familiar?

Signs That You Need Better Time Management

When we fail to manage our time, we fail to manage our lives.

Things get hectic. Stress builds.

And there is a feeling of being overwhelmed.

Time management sometimes gets a dismissive attitude.

Yet, it is by managing our time that we make the most of it.

And are able to enjoy the time we have.

Do you need better time management in your life?

Here are 21 Signs That You Might Be Failing at Time Management…

  1. You are constantly rushing. From one urgent matter to another…
  2. You miss appointments. Sometimes not even knowing they are happening…
  3. You are late. And people expect you to be so…
  4. Your reputation precedes you. Important tasks are given to others…
  5. You forget tasks. Until it is too late…
  6. You miss deadlines. And often ask for extensions…
  7. You don’t keep your word. You make a lot of promises with very little follow-through…
  8. Your workplace is messy. You don’t even know what color the surface of your desk truly is…
  9. You spend all your time on last-minute fire drills. And don’t get to the important tasks…
  10. You don’t get enough sleep. You stay up late on activities that hinder your productivity…
  11. Your organization system consists of piles. And you know “just” where you put that piece of paper…
  12. Your notes are scattered across multiple systems. And even that napkin from lunch…
  13. You pay penalties and late fees. Because you don’t get things done on time…
  14. You miss opportunities. Doors of opportunity close on you before you act….
  15. The inside of your car is a mess. This is a great first indicator of your organization…
  16. You don’t have that important phone number. Business cards litter your drawers…
  17. You can’t find that important document. It’s here somewhere… (see #11)
  18. Your email inbox is overflowing. It’s piling up faster than you can empty it…
  19. Your “system” consists of gadgets and software that you don’t use. But, you’re going to learn them someday…
  20. You work during meetings. Because it is the only time you have to get work done…
  21. You work long hours. Yet, there is always too much to do…

Better Manage Your Time

We all need a little bit of time management in our lives.

It keeps us organized and on task. It reduces our stress, while making us more effective at the same time.

Better manage the time you have, so that you can enjoy the time that you have.

Question: Where do you need better time management in your life?

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Well Craig, I think I could check 7 of those. Getting more time with my family would be great! I commit to 2 hours with them every work day and that has helped significantly for this work-aholic

    • Sounds like a good boundary to put on your time.

      As Brian Tracy says, when it comes to your family there is no such thing as “quality time,” it’s all about “quantity time.” 🙂

  • Damayanthi

    Hi Craig,
    I could say I am in work in progress. I have got most of these points you have mentioned checked. Still working on my filing system and I must confess there are a ton of productivity tools/software I have downloaded and never used. As you say it is filed to learn ‘someone’ day…

    • I can relate to this. 🙂 I like to try new tools and software.

      However, I try to stick with a “current set” of tools.

  • An excellent list 🙂

    What I usually suggest to people who already know they are wasting time, but just don’t know where, is to track their time for three days, simply writing down everything they do, whether it’s reviewing a paper for 20 minutes, or reading the latest reviews on rottentomatoes for 5 minutes.

    At the end of three days, you need to total up your time – people are usually amazed at the amount of time they spend on inconsequential stuff 🙂

    • Agreed!

      Taking an inventory of where you are actually spending your time can be very telling…

  • Daniel

    The car… guilty

  • Rush rush rush

    Glad to hear how terrible I manage my time. How about some solutions?

  • Hrm. Well – honestly, I think you’ve confused two different concepts here. “Time management” (which is really a misnomer – we don’t manage time, we manage our choices) is not the same as “organization.” Both may have optimal levels we “should” aspire to, but there’s really only one correlation here that might be at work, and that’s between the time-unaware and their resulting time shortage for essential clean-up tasks. But that’s not the only cause of disorganization or chaotic surroundings, not by a long shot. You can become organized and *still* be making bad choices about what to do with your time. You can also be *excellent* at managing your tasks and choices and still be surrounded by what looks like chaos.

  • Any one of the 21 items in the article, if habitual, is an
    indicator of our ability to manage our lives. I suspect if we are guilty of
    one, we’ll discover we’re guilty of several. I attended a seminar in the early
    80’s presented by Charles R Hobbs. I came to understand that time management
    was not a method or tool or religion or even a skill. It is a lifestyle to
    those who are masters. LOL 30 years later, I’m still an apprentice. Time will
    march on, with or without our attention, but if not attended to, we are victims
    of chance rather than skillful craftsmen.

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  • Where do I need better time management in my life?
    Simple. EVERYWHERE.

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  • daniel

    can i know what is your company’name? can reply me ASAP, thank you for your co-opration

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