Want to know what are the top time management mistakes? Then you’re in the right place.
Even while using time management techniques, you can make mistakes with how you utilize the skill. For some the mere task of time management itself can cause a person to micro-manage their schedules leaving them less time than they would normally have if they just relaxed their schedules a small amount.
I will spend this an article covering some of the common mistakes and things to look out for.
Common Time Management Mistakes
Most people cannot concentrate on one task for more than fifty minutes at one time. The mistake here is not scheduling enough quality breaks into our work routine. A trip to the coffee pot for yet another cup of caffeine does not count as a quality break.
While every person has a different attention span, you will need to determine your own patterns and account for them in your daily schedule.
Once you know your own habits, you can then focus on determining what works as an acceptable form of break for you.
A break should mean changing what you are doing for at least five minutes, stretching muscles that have not been moved in the last hour, changing your mental thought processes to something unrelated to work, and possibly dealing with any physical needs that you may have.
In other words, take care of your body so your mind can recharge and you will be able to refocus for the next block of time.
We also fail to schedule in inevitable disasters that are sure to happen sooner or later. Everything from power outages to physical health issues can create a crisis when your schedule is overbooked.
You have to schedule in “free time” or “buffer time” to allow for the unexpected events and mishaps that life has a tendency to throw at us.
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We never want to think about the worst case scenario however you should factor in a not so perfect scenario of what your day may look like. Always allow a little extra time for the unexpected.
The person that micro-manages their schedule to the point of filling up every single minute is inviting a disaster with domino affects when one little event happens that throws the entire days schedule off track.
While there are many fancy time management tools available, you must resist the temptation of spending long hours researching every method available. Not only will this distract you from the task (1) at hand, it could end up costing you excessive amounts of money trying to find the perfect tool.
There are simple to use and free to download apps for your smart phone, tablet, and computer and numerous day planners and calendar options available at office supply stores and other places, but that doesn’t mean you should spend days and weeks trying them all out.
Ask around for suggestions from colleagues and associates or talk to a sales person at a good office supply store about what you think you need and they can help you narrow down your choices to the most suitable selections.
Using this method, most people find that they can locate a good time management suite of tools within the first three things they try out.
Obviously if you try a method and it doesn’t work for you, do not continue using it thinking it will get better over time because it most likely won’t improve. Instead, move on to the next idea on your list.
Once you find a system that works for you, stick to it and use it daily, without fail, to ensure the best results.
It’s easy to get caught in the perfectionism trap. You will never be perfect all of the time and if you try you will have a hard time completing your projects on time.
Accept the fact that no one can be perfect all of the time and do not waste your time ruminating on past mistakes and you will have more time to focus on moving forward with your next project.
While it’s appropriate to learn from your mistakes, it’s never wise to get stuck in a pattern of reliving them, especially if it stops you from moving forward towards your long term goals.
If you know you need help, go and get help! Too often people think that it is a sign of failure if they cannot complete tasks on their own. The truth is, it’s more of a failure to not admit you need help and seek it out.
When you can, delegate or outsource work that would be better handled by someone else so you can remain focused on the overall success of the bigger project. Know your own limitations, accept them, and work with them so that your projects will progress much more smoothly and with less stress.
Another common mistake is that people forget to review their time management systems to see if they are still working for them.
Sometimes we get so caught up in always doing the same things we have always done, that we fail to realize that there may be new ways to do it better.
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So a review of your time management system should be completed every couple of months to make sure that everything is still working the way that is most beneficial to you.
Ask yourself if your projects are still being completed on time, are you still heading towards your short term and long term goals (2), are you still using the same system or have you modified it to fit your life style and are you happy with your system or do you feel it needs to be updated?
You should probably put this in your schedule for review when you first start using a time management method.
If you’re working with a team, don’t forget to ask for input from your team members. You may need to add a piece or remove something from your system after a period of time if you find it takes too much time to use your system.
People get complacent over time. Just because you have been using the same system for a while, you may feel like it’s cumbersome and not as necessary as it was in the beginning. That would be a sure sign that it’s time to review your overall time management system.
Perhaps you have reached a goal that has changed your work style or even your career and the former time management tools are either no longer available for your usage or do not fit your new work environment.
Again it would be time to look at the tools available to you and select something that works for you personally.
There are other mistakes people make, and you will probably make a few of your own too. The biggest mistake would be to not use any form of system and then later complain that you don’t understand why you struggle to get things done on time.
Any system to manage your time is better than no system at all.
Thank you for reading this article about top time management mistakes and I really hope that you take action my advice.
I wish you good luck and I hope its contents have been a good help to you.