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Time management is self management

It is our responsibility to determine how we spend our time. Stress related to time pressure is a symptom of poor self management.

How you spend your day is a matter of setting priorities, planning and discipline in sticking  to your planned schedule.  If some unanticipated event arises during the course of the day the first step should always be to assess the impact on current priorities and re prioritise, if necessary.

The following are common examples of poor time management. Ask yourself honestly which apply to you and start making some changes to improve your ‘self management’.

1. Failure to set priorities/absence of a thought out plan of action.

2. Failure to follow your own plans/priorities.

3. Micro managing others, wasting both their time and yours.

4. Related to 3 – failure to delegate.

5. Abuse of ‘open door policy‘/easily distracted. Allowing or encouraging too many interruptions ( people/telephone calls/emails).

6. Procrastination – all talk and no action.

7. Not completing easy (quick) tasks to create space to focus on more important work.

8. Giving priority to doing what you like over what is important.

9. Failure to be organised/standardise or have a system e.g. prioritised daily ‘to do’ list.

10. Failure to divide tasks into manageable chunks.

11. Poor meeting management e.g. not sticking to agenda or not finishing on time.

12. Being a perfectionist/spending unwarranted time on individual tasks.

13. Trying to do it all /not asking for help.

14. Cluttered desk/poor filing system.

15. Inability to say ‘No’ to others requests/people pleasing tendency.

The above are just examples. The key message is that time pressure is not ultimately something that is done to you, it is something that you do to yourself or allow. Therefore it is an issue that you can address.


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