[Career Promotion Myth #12] If I fix my time management problem, I'll get promoted

Recently, I was discussing the topic of time management with a senior professional woman I highly respect. More precisely, she mentioned that time management was a challenge at work due to all the activities related to some high-profile projects in which she was involved. She was stressed and tired due to all the work and home demands.

She shared the list of all the professional activities on her plate for the incoming days. As for her personal time during those days? 15 min of exercise.

She revealed that among other things, she’s also the care provider for some family members and was in charge of the household chores.

The to-do list of activities to deliver during her personal time was actually more overwhelming that the to-list for work!

Was it really her inability to manage her time to fit all the problem?

She told me that our conversation was making her aware of all the things on her plate at home. She shared that she was so used to performing them that didn’t think of them as tasks anymore. However, they do take time and effort...

Does that resonate with you? It does with me. I’ve done the same. And it’s not a “natural” skill I have.

I learned it from the women in my family. I’ve seen my mother, grandmother, aunts, and mother-in-law be the first to wake up and the last to go to bed because “things needed to be done”. Less sleep and also less fun: Staying at home when others went to parties, bars, and football matches to “recharge”.

That prompted me to remember all the times that I felt it was a problem with my “time management” skills when actually I was trying to “bend time”: Working extremely hard and still ticking all items on my to-do list at home.

Basically, hoping that some magic wand called “to-do list”, “planner”, or “time management workshop” could compress a growing list of activities into a tidy manageable, sustainable, and enjoyable work and personal life.

The result of my “poor” time management skills? Unsurprisingly, exhaustion.

From that experience, I learned a key skill. In addition to a to-do list, I learned to remember to build other lists for both work and personal time:

- Won’t do list

- Postpone list

- Delegate list

I wish I was better at following up on my won’t/postpone/delegate list. Still, it’s so valuable from time to time to be able to cross one item on those lists!

And what to do with that extra time? Schedule in the calendar one activity to recharge me. That can be a walk, listening to a podcast, or reading a book.


Getting to the next level in your career is very demanding,

-> This week, what is one activity that you routinely perform at home that you either don’t do, postpone, or delegate to others and instead “do” recharge time?

Let me know in the comments.