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10 Common Time Management Mistakes: Avoiding Common Pitfalls

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10 Common Time Management Mistakes: Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Avoiding Common Pitfalls How well do you manage your time? If you're like many people, your answer may not be completely positive! Perhaps you feel overloaded, and you often have to work late to hit your deadlines. Or maybe your days seem to go from one crisis to another, and this is stressful and demoralizing.

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Failing to Keep a To-Do List

The trick with using To-Do Lists effectively lies in prioritizing the tasks on your list. Many people use an A – F coding system (A for high priority items, F for very low priorities). 

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Not Setting Personal Goals

Goals give you a destination and a vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what's ...

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Not Prioritizing

It's essential to learn how to prioritize tasks effectively if you want to manage your time better.

Determine if a task is high-yield and high-priority, or low-value, "fill in" work. Y...

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Failing to Manage Distractions

Whether they come from emails, colleagues in a crisis, or phone calls from clients, distractions prevent us from achieving flow, which is the satisfying and seemingly effortless work that ...

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Procrastination

Procrastinators feel that they have to complete a task from start to finish, and this high expectation makes them feel overwhelmed and anxious. 

Instead, focus on d...

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Taking on Too Much

Taking on too much is a poor use of your time, and it can get you a reputation for producing rushed sloppy work.

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Thriving on "Busy"

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.

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Multitasking

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. 

Forget about multitasking...

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Not Taking Breaks

Don't dismiss breaks as "wasting time." They provide valuable down-time, which will enable you to think creatively and work effectively.

Try to take a five-minute break ever...

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Ineffectively Scheduling Tasks

All of us have different times of day when we feel most productive and energetic.

You can make the best use of your time by scheduling high-value work during your peak time,...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Not Editing Your Work

Not Editing Your Work

Spelling, tone and grammatical mistakes can make you look careless.

  • Don't rely on spell-checkers.
  • Proofread your work.
  • Use a dictionary to look up any words that y...

Delivering Bad News by Email

Written communication channels don't allow you to soften difficult messages with nonverbal cues.

Delivering a message in person makes it easier to pick up on signs that people have misunderstood parts of your message.

Avoiding Difficult Conversations

It's tempting to try to avoid difficult conversations, but this can cause further problems.

  • Preparation is key to handling difficult conversations.
  • Use tools such as the Situation – Behavior – Impact technique to encourage your people to reflect on their behavior.
  • Role-play your conversation first.

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Prerequisites for Effective Time Management

Trying to apply time management tools without having prerequisite time management skills is unlikely to work effectively. The prerequisites are:

  • Awareness about time being a limited reso...

Steps To Improve Time Management

The way to improve your Time Management skills requires us to figure out where to focus. This can be done by:

  • Getting an objective self-assessment done by your peers or boss, or establishing a baseline behavior to measure your performance against.
  • Understanding that it is your skills, not your personality or preferences that can be developed to provide the best results.
  • Identifying the key skill(s) that you need to prioritize, and avoiding spreading yourself too thin.

    Developing Awareness Skills

    The key factor to consider when developing awareness skills is that effectiveness (doing things well) is as important as efficiency (doing things fast).

    • Find which time of the day is your 'peak performance time.
    • Treat time as money, a limited resource, and create a 'time budget' for your to-do list.
    • Measure and evaluate the projected time vs the actual time taken.
    • Consider which of the tasks create follow-up tasks that take up your time later.
    • Take into consideration the 'opportunity cost' of spending time in an activity.

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      The Difference Between Managers And Leaders

      Leadership involves creating a compelling vision of the future, communicating that vision, and helping people understand and commit to it.

      Managers, on the other ...

      The Importance Of Delegation

      There's only so much that you can achieve working on your own, that's why it's important to delegate effectively. To successfully delegate:

      • Explain what your team's role and goals are. Or even formalize it in a team charter, which can also be useful for keeping the team on track.
      • Think about the skills, experience and competencies within your team, and start matching people to tasks. 

      Motivating Your Team

      Whatever approach you prefer to adopt, you also need to bear in mind that different people have different needs when it comes to motivation. 

      One size does not fit all. Some individuals are highly self-motivated, while others will under-perform without managerial input, and you need to be able to handle both. 

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