4 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Time Management

Broken Time

This is a guest post by Kirstin O’Donovan. Kirstin is a Productivity coach and founder of TopResultsCoaching.  She specializes in helping individuals master their time, to be more productive and organized. You may connect with her via Twitter.

Everyone agrees that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything we want.

“I just don’t have the time…I will get around to it when I can…I never have time for myself,” are common comments we hear almost every day. Suppose we did have a few more hours in the day, how much would that change things?

Even if the elusive dream of more hours in the day came true, I am doubtful that it would dramatically change the way most people manage time. Here is why…

When you think about improving your time management skills, you probably think about to-do lists, prioritizing and setting up systems to support this change, etc. You will most likely look for all the things you can do extrinsically and overlook the fact that time management relates to intrinsic factors as well. I am not saying that you don’t need to brush up on your skills, but that you also need to look at how you might be standing in your own way.

Here are 4 Ways You Might Be Sabotaging Your Own Time Management:

1. Excuses
What excuses do you have for being disorganized, overwhelmed or stressed? It is a natural and subconscious tendency to create and believe all the excuses why you don’t have enough time. The problem with excuses though, is that they leave you feeling dis-empowered and out of control of the situation.

You will only start to transform your results, when you take responsibility for them. It is the difference between living on the cause or effect side of life. Challenge your excuses. Are they real or could they simply be a bad habit that is holding you back?

2. Limited Thinking
It all starts with the way you think. Instead of thinking, “I am so stressed, how will I ever manage to do everything,” say to yourself, “Ok, I have a lot to do, so what can I do to manage all my tasks and get everything done effectively?”

When you ask yourself questions, your mind will automatically search for an answer. Instead of focusing on all the reasons why you can’t do something, search for ways to be able to do it. Ask yourself questions, believe there is a way and focus on the how to’s, not the can’t do’s.

3. Flawed Beliefs
Ever heard somebody say “I was born disorganized” or “I have always been this way, it is just the way I am”? When you believe that you can’t change or that you will never be able to get organized and be more productive, you are telling yourself that there is no hope and that is that.

Nothing can be further than the truth. No one is born with a “disorganized gene,” it doesn’t exist. You cannot change who you are, but you can change who you are being, and time management is about who you are being. You don’t need to implement strict regimes to manage your time effectively; you simply need to find a system that works for you.

4. Subjective Opinion of Time
There is real time and then there is our own perception of time. Have you felt that time just flew by when you were having fun, or perhaps, that it dragged by when you were bored? This is because we have a different sense of time to reality and this is why you might find that you underestimate how long activities take, plan ineffectively, and most commonly, procrastinate.

Become aware of how often you bounce from an objective to subjective sense of time and how that might be influencing you now.

Everyone has 24 hours in the day and some people are able to achieve more in months than many do in years. Why? They have a productive mindset that supports the tools and techniques they employ. Dealing with your mindset now is a lot easier than trying to change it later on in life. Remember, the only limits in life are those you set yourself!

Question: Where could you be limiting yourself? What really needs to change for you to see different results with your time? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Invest just 10 minutes a day toward the right ideas, behaviors and strategies to finally be more productive at work…so you can spend less time there! 31 Days, 31 Ways: Daily Tips for Time Management Mastery is my time management course, containing 31 powerful daily lessons and 31 actionable exercises designed to help you take action, reduce stress, and reclaim your time. Click here to learn more.

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

  • Amisha Ekaant

    Time management is an ongoing process of planning, preparation and readjustment of time+, there will never be a time when we get it perfect. Over time we will find our self getting better and stronger at time management, and it will seem like less effort is needed to keep everything balanced.

    For time managament, I use Replicon’s time recording software ( http://www.replicon.com/olp/online-time-recording-software.aspx ). I have personally used it at work and found it’s nothing short of an amazing application that helps in time and cost management.

    • Kirstin Odonovan

      Hi Amisha,

      Thanks for sharing, that application sounds great, I will check it out

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  • Ryan Smith

    Do you find that it’s a problem of time management because you don’t know what you’re supposed to get done in a day or because you don’t have the right tool to manage it?