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Six signs that your time management is ineffective


Are you taking on too much? Ben Richardson looks at the warning signs of bad time management.

I’d be willing to bet that in virtually every office across the UK, there are a number of staff members who are consistently late for whatever they’re meant to be doing throughout the day. We’ve all sat awkwardly in boardrooms, shuffling papers and making polite conversation whilst waiting for them to turn up.  We fully expect deadlines not to be met and then await the email pleading for more time.  And more often than not, we’ll glimpse that despairing look on their face as they slowly disappear amidst increasing piles of post, paperwork, filing and pointless reminder notes.

But what if you’re the one who can’t seem to organise your day productively?  Have you considered how your lack of skills in time management could be impacting your colleagues or even your company? If you can identify with most of the statements given below, it’s time to learn how to manage your time more effectively.

You’re always late and often have to break commitments

You always seem to arrive late for work and are last to leave. You turn up ten minutes after meetings start and are never able to meet deadlines. This lack of punctuality will eventually damage your working relationships and your personal relationships at home, particularly if you regularly have to cancel arrangements at the last minute. 

Your life feels out of control

From the moment you get up until the minute you fall into bed, you’ve crammed as much as you can into the day. You’re exhausted – and yet you don’t seem to have achieved anything. Sound familiar? If your brain is constantly adding to its to-do lists rather than ticking items off and your desk is sinking under the weight of randomly scattered papers, it’s time to take stock. 

You can’t seem to say 'no'

Whether you’re a people pleaser or are trying to get ahead, you constantly take on far too much. This means that you’re often unable to complete your own tasks to the best of your ability, or even complete them at all. Beware – by trying to be a superhero, you could in fact cause others to question your capability.

You’re constantly rushing

Constantly rushing around gives out the clear message that you’re not in control of your time or your workload. This appearance will not give others confidence in your ability to get the job done properly and on time.

You’re a perfectionist

Everyone wants to produce the best work they can, but striving for perfection each and every time is a pointless exercise. Over-planning at the beginning of a project or failure to arrive at a timely conclusion can result in costly delays.

You give in to 'time vampires'

Social media can often prove to be one of the biggest drains of your time, should you let yourself be dragged into irrelevant conversations and articles. If using social media is part of your role at work, you need to be focused and self-disciplined enough to complete your objectives without becoming distracted.

Ben Richardson is director of Acuity Training, specialising in management and professional development courses

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Ben Richardson


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