10 Common Time Management Mistakes
How many times have you forgotten to do something important because you didn’t write it down or set a reminder? Or, how often do you feel overloaded because you said yes to too many people and over-committed yourself?
Many of us can relate to these situations because they are avoidable, common time management mistakes. Mistakes like these can cause stress, lower your productivity, and impact the quality of your work. They can also stop you from reaching your goals. This is why it’s important to identify the time management mistakes you are making and learn strategies to overcome them.
When you don’t write things down, it’s easy to forget what needs doing and when. An effective to-do list will help you to prioritize your commitments.
Personal goal setting is a great way of managing your time effectively. Goals give you something to work toward and show you what you should be focusing your time on.
When you don’t prioritize tasks, you can end up wasting time on things that aren’t critical. Getting your priorities right will also reduce the stress you feel when you have lots of work on.
Identify the things that tend to distract you the most and minimize them. For example, turn off your phone and email alerts when you need to concentrate.
When you procrastinate, you might feel guilty, anxious, or fail to complete your work on time. Try breaking projects down into manageable steps or tell yourself you’ll work on the project in 10-minute blocks. Organizing work like this is often less intimidating and stressful than thinking you have to do it all right now.
You may want to help friends and colleagues whenever you can, but when you overextend yourself, you don’t have the time or energy to do your best work.
Leaving things to the last minute might give you an adrenaline rush, but it can leave you feeling stressed and ultimately makes you less effective. Remember to pace yourself and take a few minutes, when you can, to step back.
Some people believe that multitasking is a good strategy for maximizing time. In reality, it can take 20 to 40 percent longer to accomplish your work when you do more than one task at a time, and quality will likely suffer because you aren’t giving anything your full attention.
No one can work for eight hours straight. Your brain needs time to rest. Schedule breaks every hour or two. Take a walk or get a coffee. You’ll think more clearly and creatively when you come back.
Notice when you do your best work and schedule high-value tasks during those times of day. Slot low-energy work into your quieter times.
If you want to learn more about common time management mistakes and how to avoid them, read the article that accompanies this video.