Time management: how emotions ruin our plans

May 1, 2019



We set up our goals and are determined to achieve them. Management often sets up planning goals for their employees and expects those goals to be achieved. However, certain negative factors can come into play and those factors are often beyond management control. If our team underperforms and is unable to complete their tasks, the reasons for this may be external to the working environment. We may be tired, overworked or confronted with some personal or family related problems.   


When a person is stressed, does not see the aim and misses deadlines, the entire company suffers as its reputation gets affected. As a result, the price of the personal unhappiness can be high for the entire company.


When we are full of energy, strength, resources and time, we can easily prioritize our tasks. When, however, we feel down, exhausted, our understanding of priorities gets distorted. We get dissatisfied with the results of our work. Our negative state gets transmitted to the others. We start feeling tensions in the relations with our co-workers, senior managers and even family members and loved ones. This is what can be called an “emotional overheat.” It leads to poor performance, lack of attention and unfinished tasks. Slowly we enter a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction.


If we recognise ourselves in this situation, it is necessary to find some time to assess it and adjust our mindset.


Steps we may need to take when we feel exhausted:



1. It is important to admit and accept the existence of the issue.


When we get in such situations, we often experience strong negative emotions. What is important to realise that the situation would only get worse if we don’t make an effort to solve it. We may react negatively but our negativity would not eliminate our inefficiency. It could be better to replace our negative emotions with other, more productive, ones.


If we are overall confident and feel that we can tackle difficulties, we’ll be more positive about this particular work-related situation. Once we are able to shift our emotions, we are ready to make the next step. Here it is important to remember that seeking help and asking for support is normal for an adult. We shouldn’t feel uncomfortable looking for external resources when we feel our internal strength is weak. We may choose to develop our abilities and skills.



2. Enter the resource state


Now we need to begin assessing the situation: where do we stand, what do we do and which direction we would like to move on? It is important to shift our focus at ourselves. We have to see ourselves, our goals and needs as our main priority. If we put our work or the needs of others first, sooner or later we’ll certainly get into the ‘burn-out’ state. We need to remember small pleasures that bring us joy; find time for ourselves. This is not selfish: only when we can focus on ourselves, can we give something to others.  



3. Sorting out the tasks


Once we have managed to enter the resource state and benefit from it, we can get back to the classical methods of time management and prioritise our tasks (by putting these into one of the following categories: important and urgent; important but not urgent, for instance). The time we have taken earlier for ourselves helps to look at our work tasks from a perspective. We may even find out that some tasks are entirely irrelevant, others require some help and advice. When we understand our own priorities, we become better at finding additional resources, delegating certain tasks and abandoning those, which won’t lead us to the desirable results.



If you would like to better understand your own priorities and map up your global goals, I propose to follow my online course “How your state of mind affects productivity”.


I trust you find this article useful and relevant. Share your thoughts as to how you are managing your priorities in stressful times.


All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players…”

(W. Shakespeare, As You Like It)


We believe that each and every one of us is not only a leading actor but first and foremost a writer of our own destiny. Overwhelmed by life events, we may unintentionally forget that we are the sole playwrights of our own lives. We may even unwittingly drop or lose the thread of our unfolding life story. Then, we start questioning ourselves and let others do the writing for us. Doesn’t this happen to all of us occasionally? The best thing we can do is to resume the leadership as soon as we can: only we should write the play of our life!   

With the renewed confidence and new skills, we design new perspectives. Coaching and training are the best instruments we use to achieve this goal.

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