Are you aware that there are certain time management mistakes to avoid especially as a business owner? This holds true for business owners and leaders who need to manage their time and be as productive as possible.
So If you want to start improving your time management skills then you have to be aware of the common mistakes that tend to slow you down and avoid them.
Some of the time management mistakes you should avoid as much as possible are the following:
Not Having A To-do List
If you don’t want to end up forgetting to accomplish an important work-related task then it is time to make a to-do list and use it wisely.
Your to-do list will remind you of the things you ought to do at every point. It also serves as a good source of motivation, especially once you start seeing tasks being ticked off.
One key to using your to-do list is to prioritize your tasks. Some people utilize a coding system ranking their tasks based on priority.
In some cases, they use A for items with the highest priority and F for those that are the least of their priorities. You can modify this system to suit you by using numbers.
For large projects, be extra cautious when writing tasks on your to-do list. You need to be extra careful to prevent the entries from getting too vague. For example, you can’t just put ‘start a budget proposal’ in your to-do list without figuring out what it entails exactly.
Be specific about what you have to do. Note that lacking specifics might lead to procrastination. It might also cause you to miss important steps and incur a time management mistake that could have been avoided.
Not Waking Up Early
Another of the most common time management mistakes to avoid is not starting your day as early as possible.
Keep in mind that a lot of successful people, especially in the business industry, are early risers. Waking up early and doing your tasks right away is an effective solution to time management problems.
Avoid starting your day late as this might only cause you to feel rushed, thereby losing your sense of balance. It is because, trying to accomplish your daily tasks late might result in skipping some vital parts of your day, like eating breakfast.
You might also come to work without being fully prepared, which will only lead to stress. If you usually struggle to get up early then you might find these tricks helpful:
Wake Up A Minute Earlier Everyday
Do you find yourself snoozing your alarm each time it rings? If you answered yes then it is probably because your body requires more time to adjust. In this case, you might want to set your alarm clock a minute or two earlier than what you planned each day.
This means that if you have a goal of waking up at 5 a.m. then consider setting up your alarm earlier than your usual waking hours, probably a minute or so. Continue doing that until you accomplished your target waking schedule.
Manipulate Your Environment
Your goal here is to create an environment, which can encourage you to be an early riser. Note that you have a higher chance of sticking with a habit by cultivating your present environment.
For instance, if you plan to exercise then you might be able to do it by preparing your gym clothes the night before and putting them in a visible spot upon waking up.
Another tip to manipulate your environment in a way that it can encourage you to rise early is to place your alarm clock far from your bed. It should require you to get up so you can turn it off. Also, another thing that you can do is to set a timer for your morning coffee.
Your goal here is to make sure that it is already ready when it is time for you to wake up. Your robe should also be visible and within easy reach, giving you easy access to it upon getting up in the morning.
Find Out What It Is That Causes You To Wake Up Late
You need to know the exact cause of your poor morning wake-up routine so you will have an idea how to overcome it. Determine the actions that cause you to stick to your unwanted habit. Assess the strategies you have already tried to rise earlier than usual.
Also, try to figure out the exact reasons for failing to stick to the habit. Identify the things that you could have done in a different way.
Assess those things and be honest when figuring out why you failed. That way, you can find a solution to time management problems that revolve around your inability to wake up on time.
By doing these things, you can cultivate the good habit of waking up early and improve your productivity through proper time management as well as avoid the mistakes that accompany them. You can be among the early risers who are now part of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world.
Multitasking is another mistake that might cause problems with time management if not avoided. You may think that you are doing yourself a great favor and that you are being productive by multitasking but you are actually wrong.
In fact, if you do multiple tasks at a time, there is a great chance that you will not be successful in accomplishing any of them based on your desired quality.
Instead of multitasking, one way of managing time effectively is to remove tasks from your to-do list one at a time. You should try to accomplish them based on deadline and priority.
By doing that, you can produce your desired results without feeling too much stress and pressure. In addition, this can help you create better output.
Giving In To Distractions
Failing to handle the distractions around you might cause serious problems in managing time effectively.
If you want to gain control of your time and be as productive as possible then you have to research for ways to lessen your distractions and handle certain interruptions.
You have to develop the habit of focused work. Improve your focus and concentration so you will not end up succumbing to distractions. A wise tip is to turn off your gadgets once you start working.
It could be your phone or any other device that might distract you. Also, try to stop yourself from opening your email or social media accounts unless necessary.
Remember that you can lose at least two hours of productivity if you let distractions get in the way of your work. Whether the distractions come in the form of IM chats, emails, phone calls, etc., these can prevent you from attaining the flow that you are aiming for at work.
By staying away from distractions, you can produce quality work with the least amount of effort. It also feels more satisfying if you are a hundred percent engaged in a particular task. It is time to prevent distractions from eating up too much of your time.
Taking More Tasks Than You Can Handle
If you are one of those people who have a difficult time saying no then there is a great chance that you now have too many commitments and projects that you find hard to accomplish.
While it is great to take on a lot of tasks, it is actually a bad idea to take more than what you can realistically handle.
Note that taking on too much might only lead to excessive stress, low morale, and poor work performance.
This also holds true for micromanagers who tend to control or do all tasks by themselves just because they can’t seem to trust others to do these things correctly.
Regardless of which one between the two are you, taking on excessive work is one of the time management mistakes that you should avoid committing.
Accepting task especially when you can no longer handle them might only lead to the poor use and management of your time. It can further result in a sloppy and rushed output.
Before accepting projects and tasks, assess yourself and find out if you can still fit them into your schedule. You have to assert yourself.
In addition, you have to learn how to delegate and ask for help. That way, you won’t end up getting too stressed out because of the many things on your plate.
Procrastination, the thief of time, is another time management mistake to avoid. It happens if you delay doing a task even if you can focus on it immediately. It involves putting off important tasks, leading to stress and guilt once your workload piles up.
The problem with procrastinating is that it tends to catch up with you, causing you to cram at the last minute.
This can further result in a poor quality of work and dissatisfaction. If you are a procrastinator, you definitely will have serious problems with time management. But don’t worry because you can beat that with the right strategy.
One thing that you can do is to devote a specific time each day to start. You can also use action plans to help you in breaking down huge projects into small and manageable steps.
With carefully laid out action plans, seeing all the things you need to do will be easy. It also lets you complete small tasks one at a time. By completing the tasks that you can do today, you can prevent the overwhelming feeling of having to start a huge and complex project.
Here are also some tips on handling procrastination and improving your time management skills along the process:
Commit To Your Task
Your goal should be to focus on doing and completing a task instead of avoiding it. The best way to handle this is to put your tasks into writing with each one having their own deadline. This is helpful when attempting to tackle it in a proactive manner.
Take Advantage Of Peer Pressure
Peer pressure can also be an advantage for those who procrastinate. You can use peer pressure to your advantage by asking one of your team members to monitor your progress.
In case no one is available to keep track of your progress, you can use online time management tools, so you can monitor yourself.
Tackle Tasks Right Away
Each time a task arises, act on it immediately. Do not let it build up; otherwise, you will end up getting too stressed out.
Get Rid Of Distractions
Remove anything that might distract you from doing your job on time. These include your phone or your access to social media and email. Work in an area, which is far from the TV, too.
Accomplish The Most Difficult Tasks During Your Peak Period
This period refers to the time of day when you feel like you can perform at your best. For instance, if you feel like you can perform better in the afternoon then make sure to put your most difficult tasks in that period.
Your goal here is to determine the time when you are effective so you can schedule your most difficult tasks there.
Use Time Management Tools And Apps
You can actually prevent yourself from procrastinating with the help of task and time management apps. These tools and apps can help improve your organization and time management skills. Some great examples of these apps are Toggl and Trello.
If you tend to delay projects and tasks because you easily get overwhelmed, consider breaking them down to small and manageable chunks. Focus on starting each small task immediately and working your way to finishing the project by taking small steps.
Not Keeping Track Of Your Time
Poor time management skills are also often caused by one’s inability to monitor or keep track of their time. You can avoid this time management mistake by simply learning to keep track of your time.
Aside from understanding how valuable time is, it is also necessary to know exactly where your time is leading you to. In this case, you can use customizable and easy to use apps that can track your time.
By keeping track of your time, you will have an easier time gaining a full understanding of your workflow. The most obvious reason why you have to track or monitor your time is to ensure that you get paid for your work.
Apart from that, you can also enjoy the added advantage of seeing exactly the specific areas where you are losing a lot of your time.
It can help you determine which parts of your day you are most unproductive. Keeping track of your time is also the key to prioritizing your tasks in the future. It is because doing this can provide you with a more precise estimate of task duration.
Excessive Or Inadequate Planning
Effective time management also requires you to do careful planning to avoid mistakes. You should restrict yourself from excessive planning or planning inadequately.
Planning is important in completing every task because it allows you to shape your output as soon as possible. However, you should also avoid over-planning. This is because you can’t expect all your plans to be foolproof.
In fact, there are times when eventualities arise, thereby forcing you to make some changes to your plan or adapt to the circumstance. When creating your plan, avoid pressuring yourself too much on trying to make it perfect.
Sometimes, it is already enough to have a plan that will give you an idea about where you are at present, where you plan to be in the future and the things you have to do to get there.
While you need to avoid too much planning, you also have to make sure that your plan is not inadequate.
Develop a plan for the things that you have to do every day. If possible, you should create multiple plans so you will have some sort of fallback in case the other one fails.
Lack Of Organizational Skills
If you want to manage your time wisely then you also need to do something to improve your organizational skills. This is another crucial time management mistake to avoid.
Succumbing to clutter and clutter itself, is your ultimate enemy when planning to boost your productivity. Your lack of organizational skills might cause you to deal with clutter every day.
The problem with this is that it can also cause you to lose some of your valuable time finding those things that you have misplaced.
That said, you need to organize everything. Your car keys, financial documents, and other personal stuff should stay in their proper places. Also, include de-cluttering in your regular schedule. Trust me, this can save you from a lot of stress in the future.
By knowing some of the common time management mistakes to avoid, you will be on your way towards making use of your time wisely. Keep in mind that how you manage and use your time also reflects how you manage your business or lead your team.
That said, make it a point to identify your time management mistakes or struggles and avoid or overcome them. This will allow you and your team to enjoy numerous sustainable and immediate benefits.
Where you able to identify those time management mistakes you need to avoid? Leave us your thoughts!