Can you answer “How well do you manage your time” with a straight face? Like most people, you probably find it challenging to answer that question. It’s better to think about your time as an asset, not as a burdensome thing that you have to figure out how to use.
By taking some time to understand how you spend your time, you can begin to make significant steps toward better time management.
That does not mean it’s a walk in the park. On the contrary, it’s hard work, demanding a lot of dedication. However, once you start to see the benefits of your improved time management, it will increase the motivation to keep at it.
Consider these time management mistakes you might be making:
Procrastination. This pattern is one of the biggest timewasters of all. Procrastination ruins the day. If you’re constantly waiting for things to happen, you’re always behind schedule. You literally can’t get things done on time because you never get started.
- Being on time is tremendously essential to time management. Procrastination kills productivity. You become irritated and frustrated. Time seems to fly by when you’re always behind. And your blood pressure rises.
- You also expend a lot of energy trying to keep up. And it feels impossible to do anything right. To work on your procrastination, categorize your to-do list.
- Write down everything you have to do, and then prioritize them by dividing them into three categories; what’s urgent, what’s not critical, and what’s optional. Do what’s urgent first. Then, do what’s not vital, and finally, do what’s optional.
A lack of personal goals. Where would you like to be in the next year, five or ten years? A person who lacks personal goals will go through life doing whatever they want. That can lead to procrastination because you’re not working on things that are truly dear to your heart.
- A lack of personal goals affects your time management because you don’t have a target to reach. You end up putting in minimal effort because there’s no reason to push yourself.
Dealing with distractions poorly. Distractions are bound to happen, and if you’re not good at dealing with them, then procrastination will overtake you. All the time you’re getting distracted, you’re preventing yourself from achieving your goals.
- When you can’t focus on what you want to achieve, you will limit your productivity.
- Spending time on social media is one of the worst distractions. You’re no longer focusing on the task at hand because you’re distracted by what everyone else is doing. And let’s face it, some of those lives on social media aren’t even real.
Failing to plan your day. You can’t accomplish anything without a plan. If you’re spending 10 minutes writing out what you want to achieve that day, then you’ll be able to stay focused in the workplace and at home.
- A plan doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you know what you should be doing, you can accomplish those tasks. Also, you don’t need to plan your day down to every minute of the day.
- You don’t have to list every activity you’re going to do. But simply incorporating a few important tasks into your day is better than randomly going through your day.
Not delegating. If you’re trying to take care of everything by yourself, you’re not going to have time for everything. If you try to do everything by yourself, you’re going to feel overworked. And when you have too much on your plate, you’re going to be stressed out.
- At work, delegate tasks to other employees, and you’ll be able to clear your schedule.
- At home, delegate household tasks such as laundry and cooking.
Time management is just a matter of adopting a time management system and then developing time management skills and disciplines. And the more you practice, the better your time management will be and the more you can accomplish in less time. This will leave you more time to spend on the things you really enjoy!