In part two of the series I mentioned five pitfalls to successful time management; not having a plan, over multi-tasking, allowing yourself to become too easily distracted and procrastination. For part three I will address five more pitfalls as it specifically relates to finding joy with your time management.
5 More Time Management Pitfalls And Tips to Avoid Them
1. Putting too much expectation on yourself
I am all for planning out your days, setting goals and all those things but if you put too much expectation on yourself to ‘do it all’ you will probably either feel like a failure or just quit. I can’t tell you how many times I have come up with some great plans and tried to stick with it for a couple of weeks then I just couldn’t handle it so I quit.
Having trouble with what to keep in your schedule? A good place to start is by praying about it. It is easy to fill your days with unimportant tasks or even things you think are important and become frustrated and overwhelmed at trying to get it all done. If this is you, take some time to seek God’s will for direction in your life. If something in your schedule does not line up with this than it might be time to let it go.
But remember, sometimes you may be just too down right tired and worn out to do anything, and you know what? That is okay. For more about this check out my new post on Young Wife’s Guide called How to Find Hope When you Feel Like a Failure.
Tip: Try to make sure you get the most important things done first but remember that some days will be better than others and that is okay.
2. Comparing Your Schedule to Someone Else’s
Let’s face it is is easy to get caught up in the comparison game and think that we all have to be super women, but can I tell you something? That just isn’t happening! You can never be perfect. Just because your neighbor seems to have it all together does not mean that she is perfect.
Comparison truly is the ultimate killjoy. The moment you start comparing is the moment you lose contentment and emptiness sets in. Since we are putting some focus on joy with this series I have to mention that if you are losing joy in your daily activities or how you find yourself spending your time, start trying to pinpoint if comparison might be the culprit.
Check out this passage from Galatians in the Message translation:
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Galatians 6:4-5 MSG
In the NIV it says, ”for each one should carry their own load”
You are unique and in a unique situation. None of us are going to have the exact same priorities or responsibilities and that is just fine. For example, I have lots of friends with young kids so they have to put a lot more time in caring for their children. I might use more of my time for other things like keeping my house clean. Neither is bad, it’s just how it works out for our different situations.
Tip: If you find yourself getting upset because you don’t measure up to someone else, take a moment to redirect your thoughts and ask God to change your perspective.
3. Not Having any Sort of Accountability
Lack of accountability is often a reason that many people don’t stick with their plans. For instance it is much easier to skip your morning workout if you are doing it alone. On the other hand if you know you are meeting a friend you will be more likely to get up and get moving.
This is also true with time management. Now I know you can’t have someone constantly bugging you about how you are using your time and quite frankly that might get a bit annoying. However, having a friend, relative or spouse who knows what your goals and priorities are can be very helpful. This allows them to offer encouragement and advice. You are also more likely to stick with it if you have someone who can keep up with how you are doing. This is why I created a way for you to share about your time management on Facebook and Twitter during this series.
Tip: Find someone who can be your accountability partner. Tell each other your priorities and goals. Then check in at least once a week to let each other know how you are doing.
4. Not Starting Your Day With Some Quiet Time
I have found that if I don’t start my day with at least a few minutes of quiet time in prayer, reading my bible or listening to some worship music I will more than likely to get stressed and feel less joyful. Starting the day off on the right foot is so crucial to a successful day for me because it helps me focus on what is most important. This really is the key to joyful time management.
I know that it is not always easy to do this especially if you have young kids, but I urge you to at least take a few moments in the morning to pray for your day. Another thing that would help is to find some ways to post bible verses in places you will see throughout your day like I wrote about in my post, how to fill your daily life with more of God’s word.
Tip: Find at least a few moments everyday to pray and thank God for something. Oftentimes you will find that thankfulness leads to more joy which will in turn allow you to live with less stress.
5. Not Being Flexible
Lastly, I find it important to mention that you can have all the best intentions with your schedule but if you try to plan every single minute of your day you will easily get burnt out and quickly frustrated when things don’t go as planned. There will always be interruptions or things that will come up that need to be taken care of. Which is why it is important to expect some delays and allow for good distractions. I am not saying that you should avoid your responsibilities but realize that it’s okay to not always get everything done.
Think of it this way, if you are too focused on your tasks you are likely to miss out on simple joys in your life like nature or being with your kids. What’s more important, writing yet another email or enjoying time to laugh with your kids or take in the beauty of God’s creation? The emails, dishes and laundry will still be there tomorrow. Take time today for things that truly matter.
Tip: Don’t be so tied down to your schedule that you can’t take a few moments to play with your kids or have some time to yourself to read a good book or enjoy the outdoors.
Do you identify with any of these time management pitfalls?
What do you do to get yourself back on track?