Time management is a skill that anyone who wants to achieve success should master. Having said that, it is not an easy skill to learn. I have discussed why time management can be challenging to learn in one of my previous posts.
In this post, I am going to go over THREE of the most common time management mistakes that people make. I will also share tips on how to avoid them to better manage your time.
1. Not Planning Ahead
If you are not planning your days, weeks and months ahead of time, you are going to end up wasting more time. One of the things that have held me back in the past is waking up and not knowing what I will be working on. When you take out time and plan ahead, you know exactly what you will be working on, and that takes out the work to make a decision. Trust me, just planning ahead has helped more than anything else. If you’re someone who wants to make the most out of their time, you have to include planning as an integral part of your schedule.
The best way to utilize the power of planning is by incorporating three essential planning hours in your schedule.
An Hour Every Night
Each day before going to bed, schedule an hour to review your tasks and plan for the next day. By doing this, you take out the anxiety caused by not knowing what you would be doing when you wake up. This would also be the best time to reflect on what you achieved and plan the pending tasks for the next day.
An Hour Every Weekend
Every weekend, schedule an hour to reflect on what you accomplished that week and schedule tasks for the next week. This exercise becomes vital as you don’t miss any critical tasks that you needed to get done in the coming week. This exercise also helps you to take the load off your daily planning and review sessions.
An Hour Every Month End
Scheduling an hour every month end enables you to understand what you achieved in a month. It also helps you figure out where you can improve by knowing what tasks are taking you longer and consuming most of the time in your schedule. Once you are done reviewing, you can plan for the next month, and break down big projects into more manageable weekly and daily tasks.
3. Not Utilising Your Mornings
Not utilizing your morning time is one of the biggest mistakes I made and I have paid for it over the years. If you really, and I mean really want to become super productive, utilizing the time you have in the morning will help you. Most of us usually waste the time we have in the morning by not having a well designed morning ritual. No matter what your goals are, just by having a morning ritual and adding the skill or task that you want to achieve every day to your ritual will help you start your day by achieving something.
There are three things I consider are the most important to include in your morning ritual, Your morning ritual is going to be different than mine, but these three things are something everyone can benefit from.
Work On Your Health
How many of you can’t work on your health goals just because you can’t find time in your schedule? I know I wasn’t able to schedule a time to work on myself and that had made me an overweight person who now regrets that he should have done something when he had the time. But now, I have started to take care of my health more than ever and incorporating a workout in my morning ritual has made all the difference. It’s not like you will notice the difference in a day, but doing something to improve your health is better than doing nothing. Also, taking this time to meditate for half an hour will help you to remain calm throughout the day.
Work On Your Skills
Mornings are the best time of the day to invest in some learning. Whatever you want to learn, scheduling some time every morning to work on it will help you make progress every day. I prefer learning through online platforms and planning an hour session in the morning has helped me polish my existing skills and also learn new ones. I also like to dedicate some time to read a book. Reading books is one of the best personal development activities, especially if you want to read non-fiction books. Just by incorporating learning and reading sessions in my morning routine, I have been able to learn something new, and I hope to continue this habit in 2019.
Complete An Important Task
If you have already planned your tasks the night before, completing an essential task in the morning will give you the head start you need to have a super productive day. Most people wait until they get to work to begin working on their tasks list, but if you complete an important task before you get to work, you can be less stressed and get to work with a feeling of achievement. The simple act of completing an essential task in the morning will help you control how your work makes you feel and even if you are going to have a hectic day at work and don’t get to work on the things that you planned, you would have completed an important task already.
Also Read: Is Being A Night Owl Good Or Bad?
3. Not Having Rules
Not having rules in your life will only let you be out of control and spiral into the self-destructive loop. Defining rules to live by and ensuring that these rules help you control how you work and behave each day will help you avoid getting into Netflix binging sessions that hamper your productivity. When you have set boundaries in your life, you become more productive, and I have experienced this first hand. I was a person who hated rules, and it only made my behavior unpredictable, and hence I found it difficult to plan my actions to achieve my goals.
How I have started to overcome the unpredictability and do things that help me progress towards my goals is by having a few sets of rules that I will share with you today. One thing to note, these rules were designed keeping my behavior in mind, but you can modify and even create your own rules to make your life better.
Rules For Using Devices
The devices we use every day like our phone, laptop, tablet are tools that can help us to be more productive. But these devices are also a black hole of procrastination. If we don’t learn how to use these tools to our benefit and get sucked into the black hole of procrastination, we will be wasting more time than we can imagine. Just like any other tool, if not used with caution and a certain level of skill, these devices will only hamper our productivity. So, it becomes essential to create rules on how you use these devices. It is now easier than ever because the functionalities are now natively built into the operating systems of these devices and if you want more control, there are tons of apps available to help you control how you use these devices.
Rules For Social Media
The rules you set for using devices pretty much will take care of how you use social media, but having a set of rules separately for using social media will help you avoid getting into endless hours of mindless scrolling. Just like your devices are tools that can help you make the most out of your time, social media can also be used as a tool to connect and leverage your connections to promote and share your work. If you are someone who already spends too much time on social media scrolling and consuming content by others, tweaking these websites and apps to prioritize what you see first will help you learn something new every day.
Rules For Following Your Passion
If you have a passion and you aspire to create a business around it, chances are you are just waiting for the right moment to start working. But if you have rules to do something every day for your passion will help you realize your dream faster. I like writing and creating content, and it took me years to figure out that creating content was what I was good at and I enjoyed. Now, to ensure that I do what I love for a living, I have established specific rules, for instance, creating meaningful content every day to help me realize my dream faster. Your passion might be different, and I encourage you to create a rule to work on your passion every day. It won’t happen overnight, you have to put in the hard work every day!
These were the three time management mistakes that you should avoid if want to be super productive and achieve more than anyone else. If you have any other mistakes that you think people should avoid, please share them in the comments below.