Below are some mistakes people make.
Failing to keep a to-do list
Do you get the nagging feeling that you have forgotten to do an important thing? You most likely don’t have a To-Do-List to help you keep on top of things. (Or if you have one, you aren’t using it well)
The trick to using it effectively is to prioritize the tasks on the list. Most choose to use the A-F coding system (A is used for the highest priority and F for the lowest ones). You can make this simpler by using A-D or numbers. Try Tracktime24 to make time tracking easy.
If the list has a large project, then, unless you pay close attention, the entries can end up vague and infective. You can write down something like “Start on a budget proposal”, but what does that entail? You might end up procrastinating because you lack specifics. It is also easy to miss key steps. You need to break down the large projects or tasks into specific and actionable steps – which will make sure nothing important has been overlooked.
Action Programs can help you manage the work when you have large projects happening at the same time.
Not Setting Personal Goals
Where do you want to be in six months? What about a year from today? Or even 10 years? You need to set your personal goals if you have not done them already.
It is important to set personal goals because it will help in managing your time well because they give you a vision to work toward and a destination. You can easily manage priorities when you know where you want to go. It is also going to help in managing your resources and time in order to reach your goals. Goals will also help you know where you need to put your resources and what is a distraction.
You should learn more about setting SMART and effective goals because it is going to help you. You will know more about setting clearly defined goals that keep you motivated.
You need to read more about setting long-term goals so you can be in a good position to set and achieve them.
Imagine your assistant has come in with a crisis that needs your attention as soon as possible, but you are talking with your client brainstorming ideas. You feel like you are almost coming up with a great idea for your client’s marketing campaign, but now you are at risk of losing the thread because of the “emergency”.
It can be hard to prioritize when you have a lot to focus on and all of them seem urgent. But it is important to know how to prioritize tasks because you will be good at managing time.
A good tool that you can use when prioritizing your task is the Action Priority Matrix. This is a good tool that is going to help in determining which tasks are high yield and high-priority and which are low-value work that can be done later. When you know the difference between the tasks, it becomes easier to manage your time during the day.
There are many approaches to use when it comes to prioritizing, choose one that works for you.
Failing to Manage Distractions
Do you know people lose up to two hours a day to distractions? Imagine the number of things you can do if you were to get that time back.
Whether they come from IM chats, emails, or phone calls from clients, or colleagues in crisis, distractions are going to make it hard for you to achieve flow, which is the effortless and satisfying work done when engaged in a task 100 percent.
If you are looking to take control of your day and be productive, then you need to manage interruptions and minimize distractions. When you need to focus, you can turn off your IM chat and let people know when they are distracting you too often. You also have to improve your concentration even if there are many distractions around you.
You also need to be careful with emails because they can easily take up a lot of time without realizing it. Gain control of your email to avoid distraction and time-wasting.
This happens when you keep putting off tasks that you need to focus on at the moment. When procrastinating, you usually start feeling guilty that you have not started; you dread doing the tasks, and then you end up not completing your work on time.
You need a closer look at yourself and see if you have a problem with procrastination. If you have this problem, then try out strategies that help people deal with procrastination.
A good strategy you can use is telling yourself that you are only going to do the project for just 10 minutes. Most procrastinators usually feel like they have to do the task from start to end, and this expectation can make them feel anxious and overwhelmed. You should devote a small amount of time to starting the task. That’s it.
Action Plans can help you with this problem. They help in breaking down large projects into smaller and manageable steps, which makes it easy to see everything that needs to be done, and you can easily complete each of them at a time. When you do this, you are not going to feel overwhelmed to get started with a given task because it doesn’t seem big.