Time Management Mistakes

Do you have good time management skills?

We all have such busy home and work schedules that good time management is crucial for everyone. But we need to do it right. Many people make the same mistakes when it comes to time management.

Here are seven common time management mistakes and some hints on how to avoid them. Before you know it, you’ll be a more effective and productive worker than you ever thought possible.

7 Helpful Hints on Avoiding Time Management Mistakes

Mistake #1 – Not keeping a to-do list – You might not even realize just how much you have to do, but creating a list will help you to not forget something. Just writing the list isn’t going to be enough, though. You need to be able to put it into effect. The best way to do this is by prioritizing your list. You will need to decide what’s of the utmost importance. Then be sure to the first (most important) things first.

Mistake #2 – Not creating a workable schedule for yourself – Creating a schedule that is right for you will help you handle those distractions, beat procrastination, and help you get into a rhythm to take those important breaks. So schedule yourself carefully, remembering to give yourself extra time to handle distractions and refresh and recharge those batteries.

Even when you run a marathon you have to give yourself time to rest. Working 8-10 hours straight to meet a deadline is not going to make you more effective. So schedule 10-minute breaks for yourself and really use that down time so you can recoup. You will find your work greatly improves if you do this. So don’t forget to include breaks in your schedule.

Mistake #3 – Not being able to say no and overbooking yourself – Part of good scheduling is knowing what to include and what just doesn’t fit or doesn’t belong in your day. You can’t do everything and you certainly can never please everyone around you. Be more willing and able to let things go and pass the work on to someone else.

Mistake #4 – Not setting your priorities – It can be hard to prioritize tasks, especially when emergencies arise. Having to put something on the back burner to put out the flames on something else is difficult to do. But if you have your to-do list set up so that you are getting the most important tasks done first and are then able to delegate something for someone else to complete, then you’ll be much more effective at time management.

Mistake #5 – Procrastinating – This is probably the most obvious time management mistake. You might say, “But I do my best work under pressure.” The problem with procrastination, though, is that it puts undue stress on you. Not to mention that you might not be able to execute things as effectively when you’re under such a time crunch.

To help beat the procrastination problem, one thing you can do is break up a project into smaller chunks. One thing that trips procrastinators up is that need to complete something from start to finish. Break it down into workable chunks, and give yourself deadlines to have each portion done so you will get that feeling of completing a task from start to finish – even if you haven’t completed the entire project.

Mistake #6 – Being unable to put off distractions – We’ve all experienced it. You’ve got the kids coming at you telling you what they need to get done. Your boss is coming at you with tasks. Your email keeps going off and the phone won’t stop ringing. But you can’t just say no, right? All of that stuff is important too. Sometimes, though, you need to just put those distractions off. Turn off the phone and the chat. Tell your family, “I need one hour, then I’m all yours.” Sit down and completely focus and you’ll get so much work done.

Mistake #7 – Multitasking – You might think that you get more done when you do more things at once. But that’s not the case. The human brain is only wired to be able to handle concentrating on one thing at a time. You just don’t give your full attention to any one task if you do more than one at a time and this can cause mistakes and burn-out. So do one thing at a time and give yourself enough time to switch tasks when you move onto something else.

Now that you know what the most common time management mistakes are, are you ready to correct these mistakes and become a more effective worker?

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Norma Esler
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