Do Any of the Symptoms of Poor Time Managers Apply to You?

Time management is a challenge for almost every individual. Executives have been found to be complaining more about the scarcity of time.

The advent of 24/7 communications, increasing sophistication, intense rivalry, and financial insecurities have complicated the situation for the executives. Overloaded executives are struggling to allocate sufficient time to focus on strategic priorities and lead new initiatives.

Time management is much more than an individual’s predicament. Its roots can be traced deeply entrenched in organizational structures, values, and beliefs. Leaders who are determined to tackle this issue need to deal with it institutionally.

A 2011 global survey by McKinsey & Company asked 1374 executives (general manager or above level from a broad range of industries) about their time allocation habits. The results revealed a mere 9% of the respondents who were “satisfied” with their time allocation abilities.

Less than 50% of the samples executives were found “somewhat satisfied,” whereas a third were “actively dissatisfied.” However, 50% of the executives acknowledged that they were not adequately focusing on guiding the strategic direction of the business. Poor time managers who are dissatisfied with their time allocation practices can be categorized into 4 groups:

  1. The Online Addict

Let’s take a deep dive into the 4 groups of poor time managers.

The Online Addict

The executives falling under this group are office centered; prefer utilizing most of their time using asynchronous messaging — email, voice mail, phone etc. The “Online Addicts” spend less time meeting, managing, and motivating their direct reports.

The Cheerleader

The executives within the “Cheerleader” group include those who spend more time meeting their direct reports face to face, however, their issue is spending limited time interacting with external customers. They are less likely than other groups to use email or communicate through telephone. Cheerleaders are employee focused, but are less centric towards the customer.

The Networker

The “Networker” comprises executives in the CEO or director positions who spend most of their time outside meeting customers personally or telephonically. The issue with “Networkers” is that they assign limited time deliberating, setting direction or devising strategy, and meeting their subordinates in person.

The Micromanager

The executives within this category utilize most of their time alone. They tend to micromanage things, and most of their spend time is spent dealing with emergencies through email or phone. The Micromanagers are operations centric, but are less oriented towards contemplating, setting direction, and meeting people in person.

The most common symptoms of poor time management in executives are:

  1. Initial Overload

Let’s have a look at the first 2 symptoms of poor time management.

Initial Overload

Abundance of large-scale projects and time constraints result in an initial overload for most executives that can lead to failed initiatives and missed opportunities. Dissatisfied executives — from the “Online Addict” and “Micromanager” groups — fail to dedicate the required time and energy to engage and motivate their teams that propel successful projects. Thus the organizations face “change fatigue” and lack the vigor to execute important engagements.

Lack of Guidance

Typically, there are rare chances of availability of proper time management guidelines for new executives across most organizations. This results in inappropriate allocation of their time on insignificant tasks and discounting strategic priorities. For instance, executives from the “Cheerleader” and “Networker” groups get occupied in tasks that they believe are critical, most of their time — i.e., the Networker is usually busy in meeting external stakeholders, while cheerleaders keep meeting and motivating their subordinates — but they fail to assign adequate time to other important undertakings — such as thinking, planning, and strategizing their long-term objectives.

Interested in gaining more understanding on the types and symptoms of Poor Time Management? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about the Symptoms of Poor Time Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

Do You Find Value in This Framework?

You can download in-depth presentations on this and hundreds of similar business frameworks from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives. Here’s what some have to say:

“My FlevyPro subscription provides me with the most popular frameworks and decks in demand in today’s market. They not only augment my existing consulting and coaching offerings and delivery, but also keep me abreast of the latest trends, inspire new products and service offerings for my practice, and educate me in a fraction of the time and money of other solutions. I strongly recommend FlevyPro to any consultant serious about success.”

– Bill Branson, Founder at Strategic Business Architects

“As a niche strategic consulting firm, Flevy and FlevyPro frameworks and documents are an on-going reference to help us structure our findings and recommendations to our clients as well as improve their clarity, strength, and visual power. For us, it is an invaluable resource to increase our impact and value.”

– David Coloma, Consulting Area Manager at Cynertia Consulting

“As a small business owner, the resource material available from FlevyPro has proven to be invaluable. The ability to search for material on demand based our project events and client requirements was great for me and proved very beneficial to my clients. Importantly, being able to easily edit and tailor the material for specific purposes helped us to make presentations, knowledge sharing, and toolkit development, which formed part of the overall program collateral. While FlevyPro contains resource material that any consultancy, project or delivery firm must have, it is an essential part of a small firm or independent consultant’s toolbox.”

– Michael Duff, Managing Director at Change Strategy (UK)

“FlevyPro has been a brilliant resource for me, as an independent growth consultant, to access a vast knowledge bank of presentations to support my work with clients. In terms of RoI, the value I received from the very first presentation I downloaded paid for my subscription many times over! The quality of the decks available allows me to punch way above my weight — it’s like having the resources of a Big 4 consultancy at your fingertips at a microscopic fraction of the overhead.”

– Roderick Cameron, Founding Partner at SGFE Ltd

“Several times a month, I browse FlevyPro for presentations relevant to the job challenge I have (I am a consultant). When the subject requires it, I explore further and buy from the Flevy Marketplace. On all occasions, I read them, analyze them. I take the most relevant and applicable ideas for my work; and, of course, all this translates to my and my clients’ benefits.”

– Omar Hernán Montes Parra, CEO at Quantum SFE



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Mark Bridges

I blog about various management frameworks, from Strategic Planning to Digital Transformation to Change Management.