The 11 time-management mistakes you're probably making, and how to fix them
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.
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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 reach your goals.
Take all of your tasks and place them into four quadrants:
You don't have to be doing everything — check your ego and delegate.
For example, if you don't have a staff, outsource specific jobs to freelancers: hire a personal assistant to manage your calendar, email, social accounts or blog.
You don't have to wake up early to be productive.
Instead, you have to figure out when you have the most energy and focus during the day and complete your most important tasks then. It's all about working around your peak productivity.
No matter how well planned you are, you will get interrupted. That's why it's crucial that your calendar has some flexibility.
We all strive to deliver quality work, but constantly aiming for perfection is unrealistic.
Often the pressure we put on ourselves to "be perfect" leads us to pressure other people about their issues. It's not worth it.
It's not always easy to determine how long it will take you to finish a task — but usually, it takes longer than you think it will.
Keep a time log for at least a week to see how you spend your time.
It's acceptable to have a little clutter around your workspace. This doesn't mean you have to leave food wrappings on your desk or never putting tools back to their place after using them.
If you don't have the time, then there's no need to stress yourself out about a small mess. Set aside a day per week to organize your space.
Regardless of how much you have on your plate, everyone needs breaks to refocus and recharge.
Your break could be a 10-minute walk between tasks, but try to unplug completely during non-business hours.
Experiment with various time management techniques until you find the system that works best for you.
It will take some trial and error but until effectively manage your time, you'll constantly battle the clock.
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Shifting our focus towards people and projects, rather than the time it takes for us to work on something is referred to as Attention Management.
Productivity is not a virtue, but just a means to an end, and it means nothing if the end is not worthy. Paying attention to your intrinsic motivation, on why you are excited about the project will make you push yourself naturally and achieve the goal.
Many studies show that bad weather days when it is too cold or rainy, keeps the working people glued to their work, being more productive as they are less distracted by the thought of going outside.
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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.
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.
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You are indecisive and often deals with things in the nick of time. But procrastination has a physical and social toll as your body and your coworkers get stressed over it.
You are obsessed with your idea of perfection and end up spending way too much time on a specific task. This leads to feelings of being overwhelmed, missed deadlines and delaying other priorities.
Solution: Make sure you have achievable standards that don’t get in the way. Train yourself to do things that fall short of your idea of perfection until you begin to accept that the “imperfect” but functional is enough for most things.
You often miscalculate how long it will take to do something to the point of missing deadlines and having to reschedule.
Solution: Schedule more time than you expect to take to finish a task, learn how to work faster and to estimate time more accurately. Reviewing past assignments duration will give you good time estimates for future reference.
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