How well can you manage your time?
Most of us know that we could be handling our time better; but it could be difficult to recognize the mistakes that we’re making, and to know how we could improve.
Whenever we do take care of our time well, we’re exceedingly productive at the job, and our stress levels drop. We can devote time to the interesting, high-reward projects that can make a real difference to a career. In a nutshell, we’re happier!
In this article, you will find out the 10 of the most frequent time management miscalculations. As well as some strategies and tips which you can use to avoid these pitfalls.
Most Common Time Management Miscalculations are:
#1 Failing woefully to Keep a To-Do List
Do you have that nagging sense that you’ve forgotten to do an important piece of work? If so, you probably don’t use a To-Do List to keep on top of things. (Or, if you do, you might not be using it effectively!)
The secret with using To-Do Lists effectively is based on prioritizing the jobs on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high concern items, F for very low priorities). Additionally, you can simplify by using A through D, or by using numbers.
When you have large jobs on your list, then, unless you’re careful, the entries for these can be hazy and ineffective. So ensure that you break large duties or projects into specific, actionable steps – then you will not forget about something important.
#2 Not Setting up Personal Goals
Have you any idea where you would like to be in half a year?
What about this time around next time, or even a decade from now?
If not, it is time to arranged some personal goals!
Personal goal setting techniques are vital to managing your time and effort well. As goals offer you a destination and perspective to work toward. When you understand where you want to move, you can deal with your priorities, time, and resources to make it happen.
Goals also help you select what’s worthwhile spending your time and effort on, and what’s simply a distraction.
#3 Not Prioritizing
Sometimes, it’s hard to learn how to prioritize, in particular when you’re facing a overflow of seemingly-urgent jobs.
However, it’s necessary to understand how to prioritize duties effectively if you need to manage your time and effort better.
One tool that may help you prioritize effectively is the Action Concern Matrix, which can only help you determine whether an activity is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, “complete” work. You’ll deal with your time a lot better throughout the day if you understand the difference.
#4 Failing Woefully to Manage Distractions
Have you any idea that some people can lose up to two hours per day to interruptions? Think how much you can get done if you’d that time back again!
Whether that’s the result of e-mails, IM chats, acquaintances in an emergency, or calls from clients, interruptions prevent us from reaching flow. Which is the satisfying and seemingly effortless work that we do when we’re 100 percent engaged in a task.
If you wish to gain control of your entire day and do your very best work, it’s essential to learn how to reduce distractions and manage interruptions effectively.
For example, switch off your IM talk if you want to target, and let people know if they are distracting you all too often. It’s also advisable to learn how to boost your concentration, even though you’re confronted with distractions.
Procrastination occurs when you defer tasks that you ought to be concentrating on right now. Often, procrastinators believe that they need to complete an activity from commence to finish. Which creates high expectation making them feel overwhelmed and stressed.
You could also find it beneficial to use Action Plans. These help you break large assignments down into workable steps. Doing this may stop you from sensing overwhelmed in the beginning of a fresh project.
For more strategies to use to overcome procrastination read this article.
#6 Taking on Too Much
Is it true that you are someone who experiences difficulties saying “no” to individuals?
If so, you probably have far too many projects and commitments on your plate. This can lead to poor performance, stress, and low morale.
Or then again, you may be a micromanager: somebody who demands controlling or doing the majority of the work themselves. (This can be an issue for everybody – not simply directors!)
Either way, taking on too much is a poor use of your time, and it can get you a reputation for producing rushed, sloppy work.
To stop this, learn the subtle art of saying “yes” to the person, but “no” to the task . This skill helps you assert yourself, while still maintaining good feelings within the group.
#7 Thriving on “Busy”
Some people get a rush from being busy. The narrowly-met deadlines, the endless emails, the piles of files needing attention on the desk, the frantic race to the meeting… What an adrenaline buzz!
The problem is that an “addiction to busyness” rarely means that you’re effective, and it can lead to stress.
Instead, try to slow down, and learn to manage your time better.
To get on top of his workload, Dave regularly tries to multitask. However, while Dave thinks that this is a good use of his time, the truth is that it can take 20-40 percent more time to finish a list of jobs when you multitask, compared with completing the same list of tasks in sequence.
So, the best thing is to forget about multitasking, and, instead, focus on one task at a time. That way, you’ll produce higher quality work.
#9 Not Taking Breaks
It’s nice to think that you can work for 8-10 hours straight. But it’s impossible for anyone to focus and produce really high-quality work without giving their brains some time to rest and recharge.
So, don’t dismiss breaks as “wasting time.” They provide valuable down-time, which will enable you to think creatively and work effectively.
If it’s hard for you to stop working, then schedule breaks for yourself, or set an alarm as a reminder.
Try to take a five-minute break every hour or two. And make sure that you give yourself ample time for lunch – you won’t produce top quality work if you’re hungry!
#10 Ineffectively Scheduling Tasks
All of us have different rhythms, that is, different times of day when we feel most productive and energetic. Are you a morning person? Or does your energy picking up once the sun sets in the evening?
You can make best use of your time by scheduling high-value work during your peak time, and low-energy work (like returning phone calls and checking email), during your “down” time.
Tip: Identify where your strengths and weaknesses lie by taking this Time Management Quiz.
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