Time Management Mistakes You’re Making
By Ann Connor
There are not enough hours in a day; I wish the day had 25 hours; I’m running out of time. How many times have you caught yourself stating these phrases? This feeling of not being able to manage time inevitably causes stress, which results in even more time loss. So here’s a list of commonly mistakes that probably can save you lots of headaches.
Make yourself a task list. Most often, people go through their day jumping from thing to the next with no structure. When your head is cluttered with all the things you need to do, chances are, there will be chores, errands, and responsibilities at work that you will forget. Grab a notepad or a notebook, or even your smart phone, and create that list. As you accomplish one of your to-dos, cross it off. Having a tangible list where you can visually see each of your tasks, and then see them diminish as you accomplish them, pushes you to continue thru and not procrastinate.
Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. So now you have your task list, but what to start with? As you begin to plan your task list, for the day, week, month or even the year, begin by asking yourself what are the most important tasks. While its much more attractive to do the inconsequential tasks, the small ones that take a whole five minutes, ask yourself what you must work on, rather than what you want to work on. Begin with the task that requires your undivided attention and focus. Also, many people implement a coding system for themselves, such as A-Z system, where A is for high priority items, and Z for low. With a coding system, if you add items to your to-do list, you can code it quickly and move the tasks’ priority up or down depending on your changes.
Time Management. Didn’t think the project would take several days to complete and only allotted yourself a few hours? Well now you’re in big trouble. Time management is crucial and for overachievers, it’s usually their pit fall. When writing your task list, make sure to jot down the amount of time each task will take you. To give yourself even more cushion, double the time you think it will take, so you never fall behind.
Distraction and Procrastination. In today’s corporate world of constant emails, text messaging and even social media, it’s quite easy to get caught up, interrupted, and distracted. To keep yourself in line, establish a “do not disturb” time during the day. Turn off your phone, step away from your emails and get your tasks done. Set specific time, or even times, during the day when you simply answer emails or messages on social media. Constantly checking your email and messages, stopping your task mid way thru to reply, is not only extremely time consuming, but distracting to your focus, and causes you to procrastinate and not complete the task.