Time is something we all have the same amount of but we all don’t use it in the same way. Those that are eternal optimists among us are the ones that always look on the bright side therefore:

  • Think they have more hours in the day
  • Believe they can achieve more than most
  • Under estimate the amount of time something takes.
  • Have difficulty saying no particularly to something challenging.



Therefore, they do achieve but usually under pressure and become accustomed to this cycle.


The key principle of time management is to understand yourself and the habits you have developed over time.  This can be done through some self- assessment and/or diagnostics to identify the areas you need to improve.


Two books I would recommend:

  • Eat that frog – Brian Tracy
  • Detox your desk – Theo Theobald & Cary Cooper




During a development programme that I was designing and delivering for a high performing sales team.  Throughout this development it came to light that the Sales Director had a problem with time management.   This person was amazingly organized with a colour coded electronic diary identifying work and personal sections.  However, his team felt he was a bad time manger but as an eternal optimist he couldn’t see it.  In reality his nature of wanting to please and give attention to people invariably meant he ran over in meetings which had a knock on effect so was always late for everything and his staff didn’t feel he valued them.

With this feedback he realized that his over optimism meant he overran which he was not aware was a problem until his involvement in the development programme.  He now makes every effort to be early or on time for any meetings, although it isn’t easy!


The critical thing in time management is to understand the deeper reasons why you have developed these habits.


Top 5 Tips

  1. Understand how you manage time and take the opportunity to get feedback from family and friends
  2. Plan short and long term and especially every day in advance
  3. Do the most important and biggest task first
  4. Apply the 80/20 rule to everything says: 20% of your activities will account for 80% of your results
  5. Clear your working area so that your mind is not cluttered by other things.


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One thought on “Why are eternal optimists usually challenged with managing time?

  1. I recognise so MUCH of this – I also LOVE the way I am rubbish at managing my time. The thought of being so planned doesn’t horrify me but it’s no where near as exciting as the chaotic and opportunistic manner in which I exist. However this is where I will reflect and look at some new habits that take on more of this good thinking and my own choices, preferences and modus operandi. Thanks for the chance to think about this based on yesterday’s experiences…!

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