5 of the worst time management mistakes

By johannatime On May 10, 2015 Under Productivity vs Procrastination

Do you think you manage your time well? Are you in relaxed control of your work flow? Are you a productive professional getting things done? You’d be surprised how many time management tricks can be done better!

#1 Scheduling to do’s in your calendar

In an ultimate attempt to not forget what to do, we tend to schedule their to do’s in their calendars. We do this, because we will always have to look at our calendar for scheduled meetings, so shoving our to do’s in our face along with them may help us remind them. Reality is that those tasks will be ignored anyway, because you know they can be done later, too. And just like you feel let down when someone forgets their appointment with you, you’ll feel dissapointed with yourself for not sticking to the schedule.

So: Only schedule date and time specific meetings or stick with everything on your schedule as if.

#2 Only pick up a piece of paper once

When dealing with paperwork, the advice is to deal with the matter immediately. That may be the way to go for two minute actions, it is not wise for stuff like taxes, magazines, forms and love letters. These will lead you down rabbit trails and you’ll get lost.

Better: Add a project or action to your lists and do them sometime soon, when it suits you best.

#3 Project planning by serial scheduling actions

Ever sat down brainstorming to do’s for a project you had on your plate? Has that ever been useful to you beyond the third action or so? Projects don’t follow a linear path.

The way to go: Don’t plan too far ahead. Do articulate your desired outcome loud and clear, and include a specific command to yourself what to do first to meet that result. When you have completed that action, do the same and continue until the project is done.

#4 Strictly separating private and professional

The idea is great, doing work during work hours and leave the rest for at home. No one will catch you doing other stuff at work so they’ll believe you’re a loyal worker. Real life, however, is not that simple, besides, you are one person, not, like superman, an alter ego of yourself. A sincere professional has a real private life and looking after it properly actually makes you a more reliable professional.

Ergo: it is better to call your doctor/dentist/physiotherapist and even visiting them during work hours than putting it off at the cost of your wellbeing.

#5 Have your inbox to remind you of what to do

Is your e-mail inbox in a way your task list? Do you keep e-mails sitting around to make sure you don’t forget to follow up on them? Will you mark them as ‘unread’ sometimes? Tasks get bogged that way.

Instead: Process your inbox to zero daily and add to do’s to your task list.

Are any of the above familiar to you? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below:

Johanna Jansen

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