Do you also have this feeling of working too much but time is never enough? You feel like you will never finish all of your tasks? The good news is that you are not alone in this. Many employees, managers, directors, entrepreneurs and self-employed are facing this exact issue. We sometimes try different tricks that work from time to time, but we also make it worse, sometimes don’t we?
Below are some time management mistakes you should avoid or advises to implement to save yourself time.
First, you should admit that you have time management issue.
Very often we say to ourselves “If I had more time, I would make this as well” and so. Nevertheless, we cannot have more than 24 hours a day so why spent our energy to complain? Complaining that we cannot make it to the deadline is not working. It will only make us feel better for a while. This habit makes it only more difficult to face the reality and fix our time management issue. Admit it then, and start working on it. Don’t neglect to plan your day ahead.Is very important that you plan your day for full effectiveness. There is no need to plan every single minute of your day, but is good to put everything in a priority. Preparation is everything. Spent some time every night to organize your thoughts, write down your schedule, your thoughts or maybe prepare your meals. Put down a list, it will help.
Don’t neglect to plan your day ahead.
Is very important that you plan your day for full effectiveness. There is no need to plan every single minute of your day, but is good to put everything in a priority. Preparation is everything. Spent some time every night to organize your thoughts, write down your schedule, your thoughts or maybe prepare your meals. Put down a list, it will help.
Never let “urgent” things to overcome the important things.
The correct sorting of urgent tasks from the important tasks is something everybody should teach himself doing. For example, how you can solve a complex corporate matter on your way to an important meeting. You have to learn to use the Eisenhower matrix. The Eisenhower matrix (table below) is great way to prioritize your tasks. Here is how.
Tasks to be done first.
Put here the tasks and jobs that are the most important and have to be done the same day or the next.
Tasks on schedule.
Here go the tasks that are important but not that urgent. Put the in the schedule for the following days.
Tasks to assign.
If you have tasks that are not so important you might consider the possibility of assigning the job to someone you trust. An employee or a partner you have might give a hand and then you might save important time.
Tasks you should leave aside.
So, which are the tasks that are not important or urgent? You can delete them entirely from your list. If you don’t wish to permanently delete them from your list, then I suggest that you put them on your future tasks. Plan them for the next weeks or months and act as soon as you can. No need to push yourself sometimes
Wrong job delegation.
Entrepreneurs are most of the times very proud persons but also selfish. Entrepreneurs feel proud because many times in the early stages of a business the have to become Jacks of all trades. After some time though, this is not necessary but also not practical to be involved in everything that goes around the company. This is a poisonous habit. You can still have an idea o how things are done, or what is going on with the projects but delegate the job to someone else. Having an employee or a partner to delegate some responsibilities is a huge advantage for you since you can focus on other stuff. If you are at the early stages of your company you can hire professionals like a personal assistant, a social media manager, a content creator or so and then spent your time on other important tasks.
Don’t be such a perfectionist.
We all like to deliver perfect work, perfect product or service and have them all perfectly arranged. To focus on delivering perfection every time is almost impossible. Not everything can be perfect. Focus on the important stuff. Putting pressure on ourselves and the rest of the team to deliver perfect results is helping no one. Raise the bar high at the start of a project, but be flexible during the process. Steve Jobs was a classic example of a perfectionist. This made him to create some of the most important products of our times but they needed months and years to develop. This would cost a fortune for small companies. In addition, many stories say that Jobs was pushing his team to edges to deliver, resulting huge tension to the team leading to resignation and nerves. As an entrepreneur you must know that when product is forever under development, you are doomed to fail. Everything has to be sorted out with balance. Good products, in a good timeframe and a happy team to support you.
Bad time calculations.
How many times it happened to miscalculate the time needed to deliver a project. Not only for the customer but also for your own time schedule. Sometimes we expect that something will be finished in two hours and we end up working on it for more that two. In another case the opposite can happen. In any of the case, this scenario can ruin our planned program. Is not always easy to calculate delivery time but one thing is certain, we usually need more time than we expect.A good practice you can follow is to write down the time you use for each usual task so you can plan better for the future. Also remember to give some more time for yourself to work the next time, and let the customer know the deadline.
Organize your working space and office.
It is crucial for our productivity to have a well-organized working space. Our working desk should be tidy and with as less items as possible. This enhances our focus. Also, a very good habit to develop is to make sure everything is at place. Meaning files, office hardware and equipment. Put everything back as soon as you finish with it. Then you will never find yourself looking for a thing around the office. You save time and at the same time you become more effective. This is such a simple habit and if you practice it couple of times per week (spent few minutes to tide everything around) will make your life at work so easy and simple.
To conclude I would say that finding the absolute perfect time management system for yourself is not easy. Everything works different for each person. Try various techniques to yourself and see what is working out. It will take some time most probably but definitely will find some ways to control your eternal battle with time.