16 Effects of Poor Time Management (Backed by Science)


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This article discusses the effects of poor time management on your mental health, relationships, work performance, and more.

Without further ado, let's get started.

Decreased Productivity

Time management is a crucial measurement of productivity. The demand for increased productivity has led to the implementation of various techniques such as the Pomodoro, Kanban, Lean Management, Kaizen, Six Sigma, or Total Quality Management (TQM). These techniques are based on the principle that if employees use their time efficiently, they can produce more work in a shorter period.

Disappointing Performance

Since time is a limited resource, its management has a pivotal role in shaping your performance. Various studies have shown that people who spend their time wisely are more productive and successful than those who don't.[1]Macan, T. H. (1996). Time-management training: Effects on time behaviors, attitudes, and job performance. The Journal of psychology, 130(3), 229-236. … Continue reading[2]Macan, T. H., Shahani, C., Dipboye, R. L., & Phillips, A. P. (1990). College students' time management: Correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of educational … Continue reading[3]Barling, J., Cheung, D., & Kelloway, E. K. (1996). Time management and achievement striving interact to predict car sales performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81(6), 821. People that have poor time management tend to slack off on their responsibilities and refuse to take care of themselves, affecting their work and business performance. If you want to improve your work performance, you need to manage your time well and prioritize tasks based on their importance.

Missing Deadlines

Nothing surprising here - Poor time management can lead to a series of problems with deadlines. For starters, you may have trouble remembering what deadlines you have coming up or when they are due. Not knowing what to prioritize may also lead to missed deadlines. This is not uncommon when time management is not done well and leads to an environment where stress and anxiety reign supreme.

Problematic Relationship and Social Life

How you manage your time affects your social interactions.[4]Guan, J., Tregonning, S., & Keenan, L. (2008). Social interaction and participation: formative evaluation of online CME modules. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health … Continue reading When we are on a busy schedule, it is easy to lose sight of our relationships with others around us. In other words, when we let the day-to-day tasks of life take over our time and energy. Many people spend little time with their loved ones because they are too busy trying to keep up with everything on their to-do list. Or even worse, they do because of their poor ability to manage their time effectively.

life Dissatisfaction

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Personal life is greatly affected by poor time management. We feel like we can never get anything done, and there is never enough time in the day. Effective panning our time is essential to ensure we get the most out of it and spend enough time with our family and friends without feeling too tired or stressed. If we don't plan our time wisely, we may end up spending less time with our loved ones and feel like we're missing out on important moments in their lives.

Mental health Problems


Poor time management skills can have a detrimental effect on a person's mental health. Research found that students with poor time management skills, for example, are more likely to have mental health problems.[5]Macan, T. H., Shahani, C., Dipboye, R. L., & Phillips, A. P. (1990). College students' time management: Correlations with academic performance and stress. Journal of Educational Psychology, … Continue reading In this way, they are less able to cope with life's challenges and demands, and their physical and psychological well-being are at risk.

Stress and Anxiety

There are many causes of stress and anxiety. Some of them include mental health disorders and others due to lack of sleep or change in their environment. Whatever the reasons are, they may affect your ability to manage your time effectively. However, the effect is evident when you experience poor time management. It causes stress and anxiety without fail.

Sleep Deprivation

The average adult needs about 7-9 hours of sleep a night. However, many people get less than that, and sometimes far less. Poor time management is the main contributor to this problem.[6]Wang, P., & Wang, X. (2018). Effect of Time Management Training on Anxiety, Depression, and Sleep Quality. Iranian journal of public health, 47(12), 1822–1831. … Continue reading It's so hard to get enough sleep when there are so many distractions in the environment and so much on your plate.

Physical Health Issues

Time management plays an essential role in our physical health. Research found that people who manage their time well tend to be more active.[7]Tekin, H. K., & Akil, M. (2020). Effect of Social Problem Solving Skill and Time Management on Physical Activity Level. International Journal of Applied Exercise Physiology, 9(6), 19-25. To live a healthy life, we should learn to balance the time we spend on different activities. And this begins with proper use of time.

Negative Financial Effect

Time is money. If you spend time on money-generating activities, you tend to make more money. Simple as that. Although it may not always be easy to identify those activities, people with good time management behaviors tend to experience positive financial effects.[8]Macan, T. H. (1994). Time management: Test of a process model. Journal of applied psychology, 79(3), 381.

Lack of Self-improvement 

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'Time management is an important self-improvement skill that we can't improve ourselves by waiting for time to pass us by. Instead, we need to invest our time and make the most of it by using it in a way that helps us reach our goals. Research is clear that a person who has an unbalanced time mode cannot manage lifelong learning and development.[9]Ekaterine, G., & Natalia, K. (2017). Impact of Time Management on Personal Development of Master's Degree Students. European Journal of Social Science Education and Research, 4(6), … Continue reading

Inadequate Time for Creativity and Innovation

Creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of any business. Most people understand that creative minds need time to rest, think, daydream, and come up with ideas.[10]Cai, D. J., Mednick, S. A., Harrison, E. M., Kanady, J. C., & Mednick, S. C. (2009). REM, not incubation, improves creativity by priming associative networks. Proceedings of the National … Continue reading But poor time management tends often causes us to have little time for those activities — a day full of actions, little for creativity and innovation.


Procrastination is a term used for the act of delaying tasks. Many factors can cause it, but one major factor is poor time management.[11]Lay, C. H., & Schouwenburg, H. C. (1993). Trait procrastination, time management. Journal of Social Behavior and personality, 8(4), 647-662. Poor time management leads to unstructured and unplanned work schedules that cause people to not spend time as productively as they should in their important work areas.

Poor Self-discipline

The correlation between self-discipline and time management is clear.[12]Garcia, M. G., & Subia, G. (2019). High school athletes: Their motivation, study habits, self-discipline and academic performance. International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and … Continue reading Poor time management is one of the most common reasons for people to make excuses. For example, they will just order take-out if they come home after a hard day at work and have no energy to cook dinner. Another example is if they don't have enough time to exercise or clean the house, they will say that it's too late already.

Self-discipline is an essential aspect of our life because it helps us control ourselves and our behavior. But with lousy time management, people are less likely to have self-discipline because they are always running short on time.

Constant Work-life Imbalance

Time management is a critical skill that can help modern professionals to achieve a work-life balance. Your ability to manage your time well will allow you to organize your time, prioritize tasks, and plan future work. Poor time management will negatively affect your ability to balance work and life appropriately.

Failure in Career and Business

Poor work quality, failure to deliver, lack of creativity and innovation, and other adverse effects we have discussed of poor time management in this guide all have an enormous impact on your success (or failure) in your career and business.

Poor time management has many negative effects on one's career and business success. Some of these are missing deadlines, procrastination, and stress.

That's it. 

Now over to you:

Which do you resonate most? What other effects can you think of?


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About the author, Y Samphy

Samphy is a facilitator, blogger, consultant, personal productivity coach, and lifelong learner. His writing and ideas here focus around productivity and self-improvement.

  • Lack of sleep is very important. This greatly affects productivity. Self-discipline is also very important. I am planning tasks for the week and it works very well for me. I also recommend writing down tasks. If I write down tasks, I always complete them.

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