Psychologist William Knause estimated that a whopping 90% of college students procrastinate. About 25% of them have issues with time management and drop out of school.
In 2018, Rescue Time’s research states that on average, people spend 3 hours and 15 minutes a day (49.4 days per year) using their phones.
We get a lot of time to waste, don’t we? On the bright side, time never runs out. However, our energies do.
Yet, some people are late to realize the obvious fact. They lacked time management. Only when they reach a tough age, they start grieving on the wasted hours.
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What is Time Management?
Time management is a strategy where you suitably allocate time for different activities. It’s targeted on priorities and goals. It is unique to every individual, specially tailored to a person’s routine and lifestyle.
Time management is a continuous process — difficult at first — but when you get the habit, it unleashes your potential.
Successful people exercise their time management skills. They cut off time from gossips. They lessen worthless activities that eat up their time.
Even Mark Zuckerberg, the renowned CEO of Facebook, prefers to wear the same t-shirt design every day. He cuts off excessive decision-making and saves time from choosing his wardrobe. Tell me, how many people do you know reach such an extent for increased productivity?
“My view is I’m in this really lucky position where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than 1 billion people, and I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life, so that way I can dedicate all of my energy towards just building the best products and services and helping us reach our goal and achieve this mission of helping to connect everyone in the world and giving them the ability to stay connected with the people that they love and care about. So, that’s what I care about. Even though it sounds silly that that’s my reason for wearing a grey t-shirt every day, it is true.”-Mark Zuckerberg
Many people don’t do it. And that’s the massive difference between successful people and discontented ones.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the act of postponing activities, events, or actions. Do you start doing your assignments at the night before it’s due? Do you submit late projects, or shop at the last minute? A-huh, then you are a procrastinator.
I, myself, was a procrastinator — good at that. But after years of procrastinating during my college years, I learned a few valuable lessons.
It’s that no one is born a procrastinator. Procrastination is a constant mishandled practice that unfortunately becomes a habit.
I was an A student and always exerted effort at school. For some reasons, which are quite immature I wouldn’t go into details, I neglected my studies on purpose. I started saying “no” to everyone. I dropped my leadership. Truth be told, I was happy for a time. “Freedom!” I told myself.
However, this turning point wasn’t the best direction. The hardest part was loving the procrastination itself. I was so captivated with freedom but neglected a lot of factors such as cooperation and socialization.
I lost the sense of leadership. Soon, my ideas became insubstantial to others. I turned out to be a conformist in group events. I dreaded what I’ve become.
Procrastination is always a choice. Again, no one is born a procrastinator. Another lesson I learned — it can be waved off. But, of course, it takes effort. Consistent and targeted activities can help you overcome procrastination.
If procrastination has truly become a heavy burden, you can take this to the next level. Here’s a 21-Day-Program to Overcoming Procrastination to help you get started. You need to get back on track and start building your desired results.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
I have a long answer and a shorter answer to this one.
Short answer: People procrastinate because they take activities, events, conversations, etc. as a negative feeling. When they don’t want to get involved with negativity, they choose to pause and postpone it from happening.
When I started writing articles, I’ve always procrastinated not because I chose to have fun or watch Netflix. I procrastinated as I think, “Oh goodness, I don’t like to do it.”
I disliked the long research and writing about topics I know little about. The process for me, as a newbie, was exhausting. But I had to do it.
We avoid the negative feeling, thus avoiding the work itself.
Long answer: There are various reasons as to why people feel negative about doing activities.
From time to time, I think being called a “perfectionist” is a compliment. However, perfectionism isn’t always a good trait.
Loving perfection may lead to the fear of failure. You dislike being laughed at. You don’t want to start anything unless you prove it’ll be 100% successful.
However, you can never know the result unless you try. Because of fear, at the end of the day, you do nothing that can help the process.
Do you worry a lot about the future? Worried about getting the job? About being scolded? It may not look like it but, overthinking comes simultaneously with procrastination. You’re in an analysis-paralysis state — too much analysis but got no work done.
Not that you’re the antagonist of the story, but you dislike being told what to do. You carry more sense of pride than a sense of duty.
I’ve seen people who overlook what they’re asked because they dislike being bossed around. On the other hand, it’s funny because after I saw them complaining, they still did the requirement at the last minute.
On no. 4, is being an idealist. *Guilty* Idealism is a key to creativity. However, many people’s ideas don’t reach the surface. The problem with too idealistic people is they stick with the idea and focus less on the execution.
They look straight at the end-result and bypass the process. The growing impatience leads most people to procrastinate on their goals and find an easier route with instant gratification.
Active procrastinators love to take action at the last minute. They get motivated when they work under pressure. However, some overestimate their time or underestimate the difficulty of the task. This often leads to poor and inadequate results.
How Important is Time Management?
“Time management is a misnomer, the challenge is to manage ourselves.” –Stephen Covey
Time ticks whether you jive in or not. Technically, we don’t waste time because we don’t have power over it. But at the end of the day, it’s ourselves that carry the regrets of misusing it.
There are a lot of advantages of time management. Most successful people dwell on this skill to achieve long-term goals and fulfillment.
If you think about it, scrolling on Instagram isn’t your lifetime dream. Watching all Netflix movies isn’t either. Our dreams are bigger but why do we often choose actions that won’t benefit us?
Unfortunately, the lack of discipline, absence of time management, and improper mindset hinder people from reaching those goals.
Is time management important? Yes, more than ever. We can’t expect good results if we don’t use our time correctly. The right allocation of time, set priorities, and consistency could impact anyone’s life for the greater good.
Do I Really Need to Have a Structured Schedule?
Yes, because time management means having a plan.
Let’s set my own example.
Before, whenever I aim for a goal, I tried to make a structured work week for it. I often plan my schedule from Mondays to Saturdays, 8 am to 6 pm. I start the list from waking up to doing my job, until the sleep.
Does a structured and routine week work? Well… No. Lol. At least, not for me. I honestly can’t commit to such a strict schedule. My list was probably unrealistic, too. However, many people are on the same page as me.
Some people can manage discipline to the extremes. On the other hand, there are people who get burned out from this idea.
Then, how do you create a structure to follow for time management? As for me, I choose to have a more flexible strategy that lessened my procrastination:
- Showing up to what matters
- Consistency in the process
- Not quitting on the goal
Whenever I aim for something, I try hard to show up for it. It doesn’t have to be a deadly routine. Whether it’s a job, a family gathering, or my goals, I show up and do them consistently. Slow, but steady.
It doesn’t have to be every day, but at least you’re not stopping and quitting on what you’re aiming for.
7 Best Books for Improved Time Management Skills
I commend you for your willingness to read such topics. Books have been a great contributor to my life. They open our eyes to new perspectives. It stays with us long-term. Once you’ve read and understood the knowledge, it makes you wiser and stronger.
Here are the 7 Best Books on Time Management that can improve your life and help you overcome procrastination:
1. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” by Stephen R. Covey
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change” is still an authority book. Covey magnifies holistic key concepts such as self-awareness, communication, decision-making which enormously affect our lives.
Time management is a skill, yes. But in this book, Covey strikes to the core and mentions the real problem. He refrained from mentioning quick-fixes. Rather, he presented principles on why “this” works and why “that” won’t. The implications of his book is timeless and still valuable up to this day.
“The 4-Hour Workweek” is timely and relevant to Millenials and Gen Zs. Of course, it would also benefit older generations.
As you read through, you will realize his concepts’ implications in today’s digital age. This book isn’t about “work hard now, enjoy later.” Nope. It doesn’t mention a good retirement plan.
The key concepts discussed in Timothy’s book allow you to efficiently manage your time and finances while enjoying freedom and flexibility. It highlights concepts where you up the game and work smarter.
3. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy
“Eat That Frog!” is actually a great metaphor. If you eat the frog in the morning — which many people won’t — then it means you’re already done with the worst part of the day.
People often do first what’s the easiest, thus leaving less time and a fatigued mind to do the hardest challenge. Tracy effectively discusses his techniques on how doing the most difficult part first saves more time and increases productivity.
4. “Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life” by Dr. Jason Selk and Tom Bartow
“Organize Tomorrow Today” is a pack of actionable strategies to become productive by doing less. It’s a gold mine for highlightable anecdotes and concepts. Each chapter you turn impacts you to implement it.
How should you allocate your time? What’s your priority? How do you maximize time? Dr. Selk and Tom Bartow walk the talk and magnify such concepts in adaptable and easy-to-understand ideas.
Many time management books focus on how to maximize your time. Meanwhile, David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” focused on the mental state of the person. His key concept is “Relaxation”.
David Allen discusses increased effectivity by letting go of the distractions. He describes the importance of a laser-like focus to finish a task. Decluttered and stress-free minds provide more productivity.
“168 Hours ” focuses on having a richer life rather than a busy life. What if we count our productivity based on the hour and minute, not on the days and weeks? Wouldn’t people be more cautious about how they should live their lives? It’s indeed a great and research-backed time management book.
7. MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND STOICISM: Stop Overthinking and Know Secrets for Self Discipline. Develop Your Resilience Mindset Like a Spartan, Eliminate Anxiety, Understand the art of stoic and Stop Worrying
This is probably one of the most impactful books I’ve read when I was in the middle of frustration. “MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND STOICISM ” bases its concept on how Spartans became the best soldiers of their era. In the heart of every Spartan was a soldier. How did they reach such mastery in a skill?
This book discusses key concepts such as minimalism and focus. “MENTAL TOUGHNESS AND STOICISM” breaks down the building blocks of having a strong mentality and disciplined life.
Mastering time management leads to obvious positive results. It’s the not-so-secret secret of the successful people — their drive to find time for what they need and desire.
There are different aspects to look into, I mean, a lot. There is no one easy way to reach your goals. You always have to live and love the process. It’s a trial and error, continuous, and consistent effort to learn time management. But even the littlest way of implementing could gravely change one’s outlook and course of life.
Final takeaway? Manage your time, by then, you will manage your life.
Thanks for reading!