zandax online course logo
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

What are the Symptoms of Poor Time Management

From the ZandaX Time Management Blog

Articles to help you get more from every day of your life

Home  >  Blogs Home  >  Development Blog  >  Time Management Articles  > 
What are the Symptoms of Poor Time Management

What are the Symptoms of Poor Time Management

A post from our Time Management blog

      Written by Ashley Andrews
It's a well-known fact that time is both priceless and, unfortunately, irreplaceable. Every minute that you spend is a minute lost forever - you're not going to get it back. Throughout the past few decades, the world has picked up pace and understandably, people are trying to cram as much as they can into a limited amount of time and make the most of their days. Without some time management and organization, however, it's easy for your day to become chaotic and overwhelming.

Needless to say, time management is one of the most important skills you could possess. Whether you're still a university student, a professional, or an entrepreneur, you need to learn how to manage your time efficiently in order to keep up with your commitments and reduce your stress levels.

How time management reduces stress

But how do you know you're managing your time well? What are the most common symptoms of poor time management?

Missed Deadlines

Not being able to complete your tasks on time is one of the most glaring signs of poor time management. Although it's not uncommon for people to occasionally miss deadlines (after all, emergencies and mistakes do happen), if you find that it becomes a regular occurrence, your time management skills definitely need improvement.

Sometimes you may not even realise you're whiling away your time rather than doing the work you're supposed to do. This, as well as procrastinating until the last minute, are also very common signs of poor time management.

Running Late

This is linked to missing deadlines. Instead of not finishing a task by a predetermined time (which is missing deadlines), running late is about not arriving at events on time.

This one can be a symptom of poor time management, but it's not guaranteed to be so, so you'll have to think more deeply about whether you being always late is actually about poorly managing your time.

For example, research has shown that creative people are more inclined to being late than people that are less creative and analytical. That is simply down to their perception of time. Studies found that highly analytical people, when asked to indicate how long they thought a minute took (without access to a clock or watch) often answered sooner than 60 seconds. 57 or 58 seconds was common.

In contrast, creative people often allowed as much as 70-72 seconds to elapse in what they judged to be a minute.

So, maybe you're always late because you're very creative. But maybe not, and it is just a symptom of your poor time management skills.

Want to Manage Your Time Better?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $59 – limited time offer just $12.00

Difficulty Concentrating

When you're swamped with work and have very little time left to do it, you're bound to become distracted. Even though you're in a hurry to get everything done as quickly as possible, you'll inevitably end up wasting your time thinking of how you're going to finish everything on time instead of focusing on the task ahead of you. Unfortunately, this will only make things worse.

However, if you have good time management skills, you won't reach this stage. Since you won't have a backlog of work waiting to be completed, you'll be able to focus and finish your tasks in a timely manner without becoming distracted.

Errors in Your Work

If you do something in a hurry, the quality of your work is likely to suffer and there are bound to be some mistakes. This is another common sign of poor time management.

As a general rule, it's always a good idea to have comfortable breathing room when you're working on something. For example, if you think you can finish a certain task in an hour, it's best to give yourself an hour and a half to do it. This extra time will help you improve the quality of your work and minimise your chances of making mistakes. Not to mention that you'll feel more relaxed and confident because you'll be working at a comfortable pace.

Ticking off tasks

Stress and Anxiety

It's quite common for people to feel helpless and stressed when they're pressed for time.

In situations like this, most people panic and start to feel like they just don't have enough hours in the day to get the work done - which would only add to their stress.

Unfortunately, this is another classic sign of ineffective time management skills. Instead of focusing on how much work you have left to do, always try to focus on the task ahead. This will help you keep the stress at bay and allow you to get things done much more effectively.

Lack of control

Linked to stress and anxiety is the feeling that you're never in control.

Now, while you may feel stressed and anxious, you may not specifically link that to poor time management skills. You may simply feel (like a lot of people do) that modern life is hectic, and that most people are stressed out and anxious. So you don't think of that.

But if it is common that you feel that you're not totally in control of things, that's easier to spot. If you regularly feel like you're not in control, that is almost certainly down to not managing things well.

Working overtime

Working overtime is not a guarantee that you manage your time badly. You may want to work a lot of hours to earn overtime pay, or you may simply have loads to do.

But if you're permanently having to work extra while colleagues with similar roles and functions do not, that may well be because they manage their time well and get things done, but you don't.

So, if you're always thinking, "How come they're all leaving and I'm still here working?", it may be you, not them!

You're permanently being pressurised by others

Nobody operates within a vacuum. Your life, both at home and at work, is likely to overlap with other people. And often, they will be relying on you to get things done.

At home, it can be children needing lifts to school or sport. Or a partner wanting to leave on time in order to get to friends for a dinner party on time. At work, it may be colleagues that need your report so that they can make a decision. In both cases, if your work is continually late, or completed right on the deadline, those around you are going to be pushing you to speed up and get going.

The constant nagging and demanding behaviour from them is likely to irritate you, but it's a problem of your own making. If you were not causing them to worry about being late, they would not have to pressurise you.

Obviously, anybody can run late occasionally, but if being pressurised by others is a common thing in your life, it shows that your time management issues is even affecting other people negatively.


If you find yourself relating to any of the points mentioned above, it might be time to take a step back and reassess how you're spending your time. We have plenty of resources to help you overcome poor time management skills that we hope you will find useful.

Want to Manage Your Time Better?

We have online courses with full 12-months' access.
RRP from $59 – limited time offer just $12.00

Back to the Time Management blog

Click the button for more Time Management articles.

The ZandaX Personal Development blog

Click a panel for great articles on personal development

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2022
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Learn About:
Personal Development
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Project
Microsoft Visio

[NOTE: Mouse over the titles above,
then to visit the website pages you want,
click on the links in the right hand panel]
Our courses
We have everything covered: learn all applications at all levels!
Microsoft Excel courses
Microsoft Excel 2021 / 365
Introduction to Advanced (*NEW*)
Microsoft Excel VBA
Introduction & Intermediate
Microsoft Excel 2013 / 2016
Introduction to Professional
Microsoft Powerpoint courses
Microsoft PowerPoint 365 (2021)
Ultimate all-in-one (*NEW*)
Microsoft PowerPoint 2019
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013/2016
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Word courses
Microsoft Word 365 (2019)
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft PowerPoint 2013/2016
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Access courses
Microsoft Access 365 (2019)
Introduction & Advanced
Microsoft Access 2013/2016
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft Outlook courses
Microsoft Outlook 365 (2019)
Ultimate all-in-one (*NEW*)
Microsoft Outlook 365 (2019)
Introduction to Advanced
Microsoft Outlook 2013/2016
Microsoft Project
Enhance your project management with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Project courses.
Microsoft Project courses
Microsoft Project Introduction
Get a solid foundation in Project software to create solid, resilient project plans.
You don't need prior experience with Project: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Project Advanced
The Advanced course takes you to a level that will put you in complete control of your projects.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Microsoft Visio
Become a Visio master with our two intensive but very easy-to-follow CPD certified Microsoft Visio courses.
Microsoft Visio courses
Microsoft Visio Introduction
Get a solid base for using Visio to create high quality, impressive diagrams.
You don't need prior experience with Visio: just be able to use a PC with Microsoft Windows.
Microsoft Visio Advanced
This course will enable you to use Visio to design graphics at the highest level.
You should, of course, be fully conversant with the skills and concepts taught in the Introduction course.
Take a look at our new Marketing section which we begin with two great books on Copywriting
... there will be more to follow, so stay tuned!
Copywriting books
Copywriting for Results
A two-book set that will give you all you need to write great copy every time.
Get the first book to learn the process, then the second to see how to apply it to all media types.
  • Copywriting for Results: Your Complete Guide
  • Copywriting for Results: Putting It Into Action
Watch This Space
We have more in the pipeline so be sure to check back soon to see what's new!
More marketing books
Take a look at our new Leadership & Management section which we begin with a superb course on Managing Teams
... there's lots more to follow, so keep in touch!
Team Leadership courses
Team Leadership & Line Management
For practical advice on managing teams for results.
Make your team successful and more positive with tons of real-world techniques that work.
  • Team Management for Line Managers & Supervisors
  • Building High Performing Teams (in production)
Watch Out For More!
We have more courses in the pipeline so check back soon to see what's new!
More team leader courses
Great, easy-to-follow courses on how to succeed in sales and presentations
Drive Your Sales to New Levels
Selling Skills course
Learn how to sell more, to more people
Deliver Presentations that Get Results
Presentation Skills course
Build and deliver great presentations
Your Keys to Success are here!
Sales Management course
Manage your team for great results
Great, easy-to-follow CPD certified courses on skills that will change your life!
Learn How to Stop Wasting Time!
Time Management course
Get more out of every day of your life ...
Boost Your Self Esteem: Be Assertive
Assertiveness course
Learn how to deal with bad behavior
Great Communications = A Happy Life!
Communication Skills course
Supercharge your communications
Improve Your Relationships
Building Relationships course
Learn how to be more likeable!
Get a Plan to Beat Your Stress
Stress Management course
Learn how to reduce & manage your stress
It's the Behavior, Not the Anger!
Anger Management course
Control anger in yourself and other people
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this