Although busy event professionals regularly check their email and update their to-do lists, it often feels like the day races by and ends with tasks left undone. Fastcompany.com has identified what it considers to be the top five time management mistakes. How many of them are you guilty of committing?
1. Failure to prioritize. Creating a to-do list can organize your thoughts about what you might want to accomplish in a given day, however it is more important to prioritize the tasks. Instead of focusing on all that could possibly be addressed, or what you would prefer to do most, narrow the list down to the most crucial task(s). Even though they are the most important, oftentimes they are the tasks we procrastinate upon.
2. Overestimating how fast a task can be completed. This is particularly troublesome for overachievers. They believe something will take just a few minutes, but it winds up taking a half hour or more of their precious time. To overcome this common time management sin, realistically calculate how much time you believe a task will take. If it totals a half hour or more, block it out on your calendar. Each morning, schedule the upcoming day in half-hour blocks, leaving some room for the unexpected.
3. Getting distracted. Top distractions include email and paper clutter. Experts recommend disabling email notifications when you are working on an important project. Schedule notifications to pop up every hour or two, rather than instantly, and address email when you can give it your undivided attention. Paper clutter also distracts you because it makes you focus on all you have not done. Clear your desk at the conclusion of each workday, so each day you can start fresh.
More Time Management Mistakes to Avoid
4. Not tracking time. The process can be very illuminating. Whether you physically use a pen and paper to write down what you do over the course of a day or digitally track it with an app like Toggl, you will gain insight into your own personal time management mistakes. When you analyze exactly how many minutes you are interrupted by phone calls or spent handling employee crises, you can get more strategic with your time.
5. Multitasking. Experts today believe it can’t be done effectively because the brain can only successfully manage one thing at a time. Multitasking is another word for task shifting, which is inefficient.