Signs of Poor Time Management & Major Reasons We Struggle

Time management is an essential skill to practice every day for daily productivity to ultimately achieve a goal. A lot easier said than done, most people find themselves losing track of time and focusing on the wrong things which can lead to failure. Time management is a combination of mastering what to prioritize and the self discipline to get it done.

Here we will talk about the signs of poor time management and the 3 major reasons we struggle with time management. Read on to see if you fall into any of these categories.

What are the signs of Poor Time Management?

Time management is a practice, which means the more you do it, the better you will become. Poor time management will lead you down a negative pattern that will keep you unhappy, unproductive, and lose all your motivation. Here’s how to know if you’re bad at time management:

Poor Work-Life Balance

You find yourself working too much and feeling like you can never get anything done so you work overtime and end up not spending enough time for yourself or your friends and family. Without a work-life balance, you can easily get burnout and all aspects of your life can decline.

Not Completing Tasks

The first part of time management is prioritizing and organizing tasks; the second part (the hardest part) is sticking to it and taking action. If something is on your to-do list, and you don’t get it done, that’s a sign you are not managing your time wisely. Checking things off and making sure you’re on track will increase your motivation and create a sense of accomplishment.

Easily Distracted

Small breaks and distractions are normal, but when 5 minutes turn into 5 hours, that’s a problem. You must train yourself to shift your focus, learn to set a timer or remove the distraction or yourself from the distractive environment. This is a practice, similar to meditation where you learn to shift your focus, so the more you do it the better you will be at it.

Rushing, Waiting Last Minute, Running Late

These are common and obvious results of bad time management when you don’t plan correctly or lose track of time, you end up rushing and running late. Accidents happen now and then, but if it’s a constant struggle in your life, you may need to reevaluate.

Poor Performances

Bad time management can cause stress and burnout, which in turn can lead to poor performance in all aspects of your life. Whether that be showing up for work, showing up for your friends and family, or showing up for yourself.

Missing Deadlines

Good time management means knowing which tasks or projects are most important and scheduling them so they can all be done promptly. Knowing what matters most is important so you can prioritize, work efficiently and productively, and not just stay busy. Missing deadlines not only affects you, but it affects the people you work with, the people waiting on you and counting on you.

Not Planning Goals

Working to stay busy is not the same as working to be productive. Being productive means you are working to get closer to your goal, while the other just means wasting time. Writing plans for your goals with a timeline requires good time management to organize and plan projects to achieve those goals.

Not Time Blocking

Time blocking means you set aside a time slot for your meetings, calls, tasks, etc. Proper time blocking will help you organize your tasks and help give you a better schedule for your day so you know what’s to come. Time blocking will keep you focused because you know you only have a certain amount of time for that particular task.

Taking on too much

I know we all want to be the hero that gets everything done, or we don’t want to disappoint anyone by saying no. However, it’s important to know your limitations and know what you can reasonably take on so your work and your health doesn’t decline by having too much on your plate.

Loss of Purpose and Motivation

Time management helps us reach our goal, it’s a tool to help us stay organize and take action. If we feel lost and don’t know where we’re going, then at some point we might lose our sense of purpose and motivation to keep going. That’s an even harder situation to deal with.

What are the 3 Major Reasons we Struggle with Time Management?

The 3 major reasons for struggling with time management are your why and your goals are not strong and clear, you don’t have a good system, or your emotions are stopping you.

Your Why and Goals

Learning to identify your why and your goals are the biggest driver. They create direction and purpose, so without clear goals and good reasoning, you will lose motivation. Your why is the reason you get out of bed every day, so not having a good why can decline in your everyday work.

Setting clear goals with deadlines will help make sure you are on the right track, and that what you do every day matters. Time management then, with the right reasons and goals will be easier for you to achieve because you care more.

You Don’t Have a Good System

We can all have the same goal, but the difference is how everyone gets there. A goal without a plan is just a dream or a wish, with no action, it’s impossible. A good system requires, writing it down, revisiting it daily, and staying focused, and taking action. A big part of time management is doing what you say you’re going to do.

Your Emotions

This can be a whole article in itself, but to keep it short, if you don’t believe in yourself then you won’t do it. Common reasons people procrastinate are because they are afraid of failing, they are a perfectionist, they stay in the comfort zone, they get easily distracted, and they don’t believe in themselves.


If you fall into any of the categories above, then it’s okay. The important part is that you are aware of your situation, and now you can improve it. Being the best version of yourself is a journey, not a destination. Time management will get easier once you start identifying the problem and fixing it. It will take focus and time, but you will get there. Believe in yourself.

Hong Singer

I'm the creator of Ambition Forward. I keep things simple by focusing on the goal and being consistent in my actions to get the results I want, and I'm here to help you do the same. I encourage you to look for the things that bring you joy and go for it!

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