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12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

Reducing your workload

Thanks to Parkinson’s Law, if we have availability in our schedule, then we’re going to fill it up. You may have cranked out your most important tasks for the day, but, now you’re just going to add even more items to your calendar or to-do list so that there aren’t any blank spaces.

Follow the 80/20 productivity rule. Instead of loading up on even more work, use those open slots to meditate, daydream, or add flexibility to your schedule.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

12 Time Management Mistakes That Set You Up for Failure

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/333170

entrepreneur.com

11

Key Ideas

There isn’t enough time

Complaining that you don’t have enough time is not getting to the root problem. It may be that you’re lousy at time management. Admit to yourself that there is enough time -- you just don’t know how to get the most out of it. Now, you can start improving your time management.

A one size fits all solution

Instead of relying on a tool with all the bells and whistles, find out where you’re struggling and what’s essential for you. 

For example, if scheduling is taking you away from product development, then you could use a scheduling tool that uses machine learning to automate most of your scheduling needs. If you’re wasting too much time on email, then consider using a tool to help tame your inbox.

Less anxiety

Time management is only useful when you’re aware of your limitations and don't let the system dictate your entire life. 

In other words, when you don’t tread lightly (especially at first), time management can add more stress to your life.

Time needed for specific tasks

When you set a time limit on certain things that have to be done, this can motivate you to get get them down within that period. However, sometimes it’s just not possible, and you have underestimated the actual time this task takes you to complete.

Track your time for a couple of weeks. Jot down your daily activities and calculate how long each will take and see if you are realistic.

Focusing on time management

... instead of task management.

Task management is more effective than time management because these tasks come with clear limits which make them easier to manage. You know when you’ve started work on a project -- and you know when you’ve completed the job. It’s one limited thing at a time.

Grabbing the low hanging fruit

Just because you get a bunch done doesn’t mean your time was spent or focused where you would be making the best progress.

To be the most effective -- don’t pick the "low-hanging fruit," meaning the easiest. Devote your energy to your most important priorities which work will provide you with the most production.

Having to wake up early

If you get up early -- you can't stay up all night. You have to have a bedtime schedule -- and stick with the routine. 

If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to change. Instead, base your schedule around your specific ultradian rhythms.

Reducing your workload

Thanks to Parkinson’s Law, if we have availability in our schedule, then we’re going to fill it up. You may have cranked out your most important tasks for the day, but, now you’re just going to add even more items to your calendar or to-do list so that there aren’t any blank spaces.

Follow the 80/20 productivity rule. Instead of loading up on even more work, use those open slots to meditate, daydream, or add flexibility to your schedule.

Get everything done

There’s a misconception that if you get as much work done as quickly as possible, you’ll be more effective and productive. This notion that you've done more only works temporarily before you burn yourself out. 

Working through lunch, putting in 60-hour workweeks, and never taking a vacation will only go so far. You need to pace yourself and take breaks to rest and recharge.

Never waste your time

It’s okay to waste time now and then. That doesn’t mean binge-watching Netflix. 

Instead of working all day -- take some time to read, listen to a podcast, exercise, or catch-up with an old friend or colleague. It may sound counterproductive. But, wasting time can be an asset preventing burn out. 

Not taking control

Start saying “no” more often. If you say “yes” to every request of your time, you’re not only spreading yourself too thin -- allowing other people’s priorities to get ahead of your own.

Set boundaries on when it’s time to work and when it’s not. If you already have plans, don’t try to commit to something else in addition to what’s already in your calendar.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Over-scheduling doesn’t work

it leads us to starve for more time to do everything we need to do. As a consequence, we begin to:

  • Hate the things that we used to enjoy.
  • Miss out on quality time with ...
Scheduling fewer tasks
People who schedule fewer tasks get more done. It forces you to prioritize what’s most important.

Also, scheduling back-to-back items in your calendar doesn’t account for the unexpected. Emergencies will always pop up and if your calendar is packed too tightly, you won’t have the flexibility to handle a crisis without completely trashing your calendar for the foreseeable future.

Say “yes” to less

Instead of accepting every invite or request for help, be more selective so that you’re not spreading yourself too thin. 

The easiest way to do this is by only saying “yes” to the things that excite you or that serve a purpose.

3 more ideas

What Time Management Is

Time is our precious resource. It is perishable, it is irreplaceable, and it cannot be saved. It can only be reallocated from activities of lower value to activities of higher value.

...

Eat That Frog!

Your “frog” is your most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.

If you have two important tasks, start your day with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Focus on completing it before you go to the next one.

Failure to execute

We tend to confuse activity with accomplishment: we attend endless meetings and make plans, but at the end of the day, no one does the job and gets the results required.

“Failure to execute” is among the biggest problems in organizations today.

7 more ideas

Ignore your inbox when you wake up

Responding to emails as soon as you receive a notification gives others the impression that you’re at their beck and call. It also prevents you from reflecting on your own priorities for...

Empty your inbox daily
  • Do. If the email is actionable and takes under two minutes, then do the task ASAP.
  • Delegate. Forward the right tasks to the right people.
  • Defer. Reply to the message at a better time.
  • Delete emails that are not important or that you can delegate. 
  • File. Add messages that contain information you will need to your archives.
Stop CC’ing everyone

To avoid filling the email box of staff members, only CC the relevant parties. Ask your team to respond to you individually instead of using the reply-to-all button.

5 more ideas

Don't waste valuable energy
Don't waste valuable energy

We can't waste valuable energy on mindless activities while putting off what matters most for later.

In business, wasting energy means working on low-value tasks, and thinking b...

Cut out the optional

Being overwhelmed may be the new normal, but taking on too many responsibilities may be watering down our overall impact.

Bring back your focus to what matters most. Work on the projects that are the real game-changers. Delegate the discretionary work and eliminate unnecessary meetings.

Design an action plan

Running a thriving business means understanding how to organize your work by importance and knowing when to delegate.

  • Find your sweet spot. When you consider taking on a project, see if it aligns with your purpose and the organization's broader goals. Ask yourself if you're the right person with the right skillset.
  • Automate. As your company grows, use automation tools for low-level work. It also allows your employees to make more meaningful contributions.
  • Set boundaries. Learn to say no to low-level tasks. Set your own limits about what you'll take on.

one more idea

Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy
Work Around Your Energy Levels

Productivity is directly related to your energy level.

Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.

You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.

21 more ideas

Denying you have a problem

Stop saying that you don't have enough time to complete your commitments.

Admit that you need to get better at managing your time and start searching and trying techniques that will help you ...

Not planning your day

It's important to have an idea of what your daily priorities are and tasks you need to complete, preferably the night before. 

Also, make sure you prepare in the evening the outfit you're going to wear and the meals for the following day. Doing this will save time in the morning, and reduce decision fatigue.

"Urgent" vs "Important"

Take all of your tasks and place them into four quadrants:

  • To do first: the most important responsibilities that need to be done today or tomorrow.
  • Schedule: important tasks that are not urgent.
  • Delegate: essential items that are not important.
  • Don't do: tasks that aren't important or urgent. 

8 more ideas

Start right away

We get so caught up in researching and thinking about a project that the anxiety to create something great can build up. 

Start immediately. You can even make small amounts of progress e...

Focus

If you have a few projects at a time, focus on one. Work with intense focus. Do not allow distractions.

When you feel your motivation slows down, switch to another project.

Prioritize
If we are just ticking things off our to-do list without any order, the important tasks may not get completed.

Determine the urgency of your tasks to figure out which requires priority. 

2 more ideas

Email and productivity
Email is an extremely useful communication tool.  But when used inappropriately, email can hinder productivity.

More than one-quarter of a worker's day on average is spent answ...

Set aside time

... to read and respond to email. Don’t leave your email program open all day long. Alerts from incoming messages can interrupt your work flow. Instead, schedule specific blocks of time throughout the day for checking your email. 

You might even try marking your calendar and setting your availability to “busy.” If necessary, turn off your cellphone and shut your office door to prevent interruptions.

Take action immediately
  • browse the inbox for emails that can be immediately deleted (spam or promotional emails). Then select messages that don’t require a response and delete or archive them. 
  • Don’t let important emails sit in your inbox for days. Unless you’re on vacation, respond within 48 hours. Reply to the sender as soon as you’ve read his or her message.
  • If you’re unable to respond immediately, communicate to the sender that you received the message and will be in touch shortly. Set a deadline and follow up.

2 more ideas

Urgent Vs Important

A lot of people make the mistake of turning down important work due to urgent work that comes up suddenly.

A task requiring immediate attention is an urgent task, whereas important tasks are ...

Time-Wasting Tasks

Some tasks are neither urgent nor important, but as these time-wasting tasks are in front of us, we end up consuming our time with them. These include:

  • Browsing social media
  • Reading junk articles and posts
  • Playing distracting games.
Avoiding Urgent Tasks

Urgent tasks are the ones that are not adding any value but come up to be done at that moment. The right approach is to avoid the urgent and focus on the important.

Example: Answering a phone call can seem urgent, due to its ringing, but it may not be that important.

2 more ideas

Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any give...
Build good habits in two minutes

The “two-minute rule”  has two parts.

First, if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. Next, start building new habits for two minutes at a time. The rule for this is: When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do. The idea is to make your habits as easy to start as possible. 

Think of these “two-minute habits” as gateway habits that will lead to your overarching goal.

Complete tasks in batches

It takes time to get into a rhythm to work on a task. Instead of constantly starting and stopping that process, it’s better to keep your rhythm going by bundling similar tasks together.

By doing this, you avoid interruptions and prevents himself from procrastinating.

3 more ideas