Why do I need to manage my time effectively anyway? We all know people that seem to drift through life, never worried about anything, and never seem to accomplish anything. At some point, a friend or relative swoops in and takes up their slack. Or they simply roll with the punches, do no more than they have to do to get by and let everything else take care of itself.
Is that the way you want to be? If so, stop reading and take a nap.
There is only one good reason to take control of your time and manage it to the best advantage: you want to get things done and make life better for yourself.
Is that a selfish thing? You bet it is! But just think of all the benefits that come out of this type of selfish behavior. Because you proactively manage your time, you benefit from creating more spare time to spend doing the things you love. If you have family or close friends, that means more time to be around people who make you laugh and who care about you. It can also mean you acquire a reputation for being an efficient employee who gets the job done. As a result, you have a better chance of getting a raise, a promotion, or an offer for a better job with more benefits.
So go ahead and be a little selfish about the way you manage your time. You benefit, your loved ones benefit, and your employer benefits. That means there is not much of a downside for anyone. Let’s be honest here, most of the following may be to the extreme, you probably know someone like that.
What Happens When We Don’t Manage Our Time Effectively?
When we make a choice, either consciously or by default, to not take hold of our time and use it to best advantage, life can get pretty rough. You will most certainly miss out on a lot of good things, many of which will never come your way again. Even everyday tasks will become overwhelming and seemingly impossible to keep up with.
It doesn’t matter whether we are talking about things around the house, your friends, or conditions at work. If you don’t manage your time well, you will lose a lot.
Here are some examples of how failing to manage your time properly can have a negative impact on your home:
There’s no food in the kitchen. Because you never got around to going to the supermarket, you are now down to a couple of boxes of salt, half a loaf of stale bread, and a mostly empty tub of butter. Fixing a quick lunch is not going to be a pleasant activity today.
Of course, you can just call for delivery. That is, you could if you had ever gotten around to making a payment on your credit card. However, since your payment is now several days late, your credit card provider has suspended your charging privileges. So much for ordering pizza today.
There is the option of paying cash or writing a check. Unfortunately, your last paycheck is setting on the dresser, right next to your car keys, never cashed or deposited into your checking account. You’ve not gotten around to depositing it in the bank yet, so if you write a check, it is likely to bounce, and all the money you have left in the house is that big glass jar full of pennies that is under the kitchen sink. Try paying for pizza with that.
Things would be a little less dire if you had signed up for direct deposit at work. Unfortunately, you still have the authorization form on your desk and haven’t got around to turning it into the payroll department.
Get the picture? Home goes to seed because you never get around to doing the little things that keep a household running. Before too long, things begin to fall apart, creating a lot of stress and inconvenience that could have been avoided if you had simply managed your time a little better.
Home is not the only place that bad time management can rear its ugly head. Consider these examples from the workplace:
You’re ten minutes late to work again. That’s because you didn’t get around to setting the alarm clock last night and overslept. If that wasn’t bad enough, you can’t even slip in undetected. The boss has already been looking for you this morning.
There is a reason your boss wants to see you. Your weekly report is already two days overdue. What your boss doesn’t know is that you are only halfway through the task, since you seem to get sidetracked by something else every time you attempt to finish up the report. Things look pretty bleak as far as getting it done today, since you are already behind with today’s tasks, thanks to being late once again.
Poor performance and a growing reputation for tardiness are not winning you any fans at work. Some of your coworkers used to take pity on you and would pitch in to help when you got buried under a pile of assignments. These days, they just shake their heads and walk away. Some of them are starting to wonder why you aren’t let go, so someone who will take the job seriously can step in and straighten out your mess.
Want a raise or a promotion? Forget it. Your boss is not about to recommend you for a raise when you are habitually late to work and can’t handle your present assignments. In fact, you’ve just been given your second disciplinary warning in a month. With the next one, you’ll be suspended for a few days. If that doesn’t help, you will soon be looking for another job.
People sometimes think that the process of time management focuses on tasks that are somewhat complicated and have a series of steps that must be completed. While there is no doubt that time management principles apply to detail and labor-intensive tasks, they also apply to the everyday mundane tasks as well. This is where many people trip up and get themselves into a lot of trouble.
If you don’t get anything else from these examples, take away this one simple fact. Poor time management creates a snowball effect that eventually causes you and others around you a lot of grief. Life is a lot easier when you master the little things and keep the boat on an even keel.