Over the last few weeks we have looked at what time management is: the process whereby you organise and plan your time spent on your activities to maximise your efficiency. We also looked at why you should manage your time. Today we are delving into what the results of poor time management are…
“Lost Time is never found again.” ― Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack
If you do not manage your time you may waste hours in a week deciding what to do next, or chatting to your friends. You may fall into the traps of distraction and procrastination as you do not have a clear plan of what to do, or instead of getting an early start you decide to sleep in and start the day late because you mistakenly think you have ‘free time’.
One of the big problems with not managing time is that you are usually unaware of how long it really takes you to complete a task. This is especially true if you are in the habit of multitasking. This means that you are unable to give an accurate idea to your client or supervisor of how long a task will take you. If you are managing your time you would easily be able to assess how long a given task will take to complete – and see where you can fit that in your schedule, thereby giving well thought out, accurate feedback.
In order to be efficient in your workflow you need to plan ahead and stick to goals. This is exceptionally difficult to do if you do not manage your time. You also land up with low productivity as you jump from task to task rather than grouping similar tasks together. By managing your time you can allocate tasks to appropriate windows of time – making use of not only the hour between meetings but the 10 minutes waiting for your children as they are coming out of school.
If you do not manage your time and organise your daily tasks, you are unlikely to prioritise your tasks. This may mean that you are SUPER busy today, from morning to night, BUT what you are doing is unimportant or not actually necessary and could have been done in a week or two, while urgent tasks take a backseat.
If you don’t schedule your next task, or formulate a plan on how to achieve your goals you may feel like you have no control over your life. Your stress levels are higher and your anxiety may be off the charts because you have deadlines that sneak up on you and forgotten meetings. By organising your schedule you take back the control.
While it may not happen every time, trying to complete tasks at the last minute can result in mistakes, typos and generally a poorer quality than if you had given the proper time to the task. By managing your time you ensure that the same high quality of work leaves your desk every time.
If you repeatedly arrive late, forget meetings and deliver substandard work, you will develop a less than stellar reputation amongst your colleagues and clients. They will begin to feel that you are unreliable and that their business would do better somewhere else.
How can you be sure to look after yourself and take necessary breaks if you are running around like a headless chicken from task to task, just scrambling to get on top of things? You are bound to forget to eat or land up sleeping less, rather than allocating time for breaks, relaxing and me-time… try it – you’ll be a different you.
By Debbie Taylor