Time Management and Mismanagement

“He has no plan.” “He’s all talk and no action.” “He struggles to get anything done.” Do these comments sound familiar?

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine, who is a sous chef, he was complaining about one of his employees. So I became curious and began asking questions. This is what I was told; his employee is a young man who dropped-out high school, who was raised in a dysfunctional home and who is now trying to make his way in the adult working world with no skills or social graces. He works at a snail’s pace and has an excuse for everything. He behaves as if every day is his first day at work. He doesn’t seem to have any routine and struggles to get going. My friend feels frustrated and out of patience with this young man.

Obviously this young man is struggling with more than one set back. He probably has several habits or traits which are hindering his professional development. For the sake of space I will only address one issue: time management. Experience has taught me that most of the people who do well in the work force have excellent time management skills. The king and foundation of time management is “routine”. In saying that they do well I mean they are above average employees, who earn above average wages and are building a career at an above average pace.  Whether they realize it or not, they go through a mental and physical routine in their work place and therefore they get their work done in an orderly fashion with dispatch.  Establishing a routine is the essential in order to have time management skills. Without a “routine” developing time management skills will be very difficult.

We learn routines or at least we should learn them in the home. Our parents are the primary teachers of this skill. As a small child one should have been put on a regular routine with respect to bed time, waking up time, meal times, homework, etc. A child who goes to bed when he wishes does not have a routine.

Time management also involves recognizing priorities, understanding the goal of the work environment, respecting authority and adhering to rules. When a child is raised in an environment that lacks structure the road to developing time management skills becomes difficult. Our work force is highly competitive and with the weak economy, that we are presently experiencing, the competition for most jobs is very high. A person can’t just be good at their job, they must also be productive. If we do not learn these things in the home than our only hope is that we figure it out. Yes it is possible that perhaps some good soul will take time and teach us, but the truth is, our parents have the greatest influence in our lives be it good or bad.

This young man’s training days will expire soon. If he doesn’t grasp the purpose of his job and become more productive his tenure at his present job will end. My friend will hire someone else and start over.

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