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The 11 time-management mistakes you're probably making, and how to fix them

Improper delegation

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. 

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The 11 time-management mistakes you're probably making, and how to fix them

The 11 time-management mistakes you're probably making, and how to fix them

https://www.businessinsider.com/the-11-time-management-mistakes-youre-probably-making-2019-7

businessinsider.com

11

Key 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 reach your goals.

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. 

Improper delegation

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. 

Waking up early

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.

Being inflexible

No matter how well planned you are, you will get interrupted. That's why it's crucial that your calendar has some flexibility. 

Being “perfect”

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.

Over-and-under committing time

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.

Cleaning your workspace daily

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.

Working non-stop

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.

Time management systems

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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There isn’t enough time
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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.

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The Wild Procrastinator

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.

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The Perfectionist

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.

The Underestimator

You often miscalculate how long it will take to do something to the point of missing deadlines and having to reschedule.

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  • Knowledge management. This is embodied in systems like productivity educa...
What's on your plate

Prioritizing tasks at work involves getting all your tasks and commitments in one place.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to get done. Questions to help you:

  • Do you have commitments to others like your boss, partner, kids, or clients?
  • Do you have anything you need to submit? 
  • Do you have any financial tasks that need to get done? 
  • Do you have any planning that needs to get done? 
  • Do you have any administrative tasks? Legal, insurance, staffing, or training?
  • Do you have any professional development tasks that need to get done? Training, areas to research, skills to develop, books to read or study, or classes to take?
Brainstorm your goals

Find your goals. Without them, it is impossible to prioritize your tasks. Try to set 90-day goals, which is long enough to make meaningful progress. Questions to prompt goals:

  • What’s the one thing you could do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?
  • If you were giving advice to someone else in your position, what 1-3 things would you tell them to focus on?
  • What do you want to have accomplished over the next five years?

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