Welcome to part two of my series on Joyful Time Management. If you missed part one check it out here: Take the Time Management Challenge. In this post I discussed why I am writing this series as well as gave you some awesome ways to get involved through social media. So be sure to check that out first.
If you have ever felt like you just can’t win with managing your time, there is likely an underlying cause or some sort of pitfall that is hindering you from time management success. So before I get into strategies for helping you manage your time I think it is important to point out some pitfalls so you can more easily find potential problem areas for yourself. This will also help you with making a time management action plan that works for you.
As I said in the first post, I have a tendency to not stick with it especially when it comes to schedules or routines. So pinpointing what might be causing me to essentially fail has played a pivotal role in how I am going about managing my time from here on out.
The following are things that I have identified in my life as areas that have hindered my effective time management. However, most of these are common so I know that you will find some that you identify with.
5 Time Management Pitfalls And Tips to Avoid Them
1. Not Having a Plan
I have mentioned this in other posts but I think it deserves repeating because this has to be the number one time management pitfall. I am sure you have heard it said that if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. This is so true! I mean, how can you expect to get anything done if you have zero plan to get you there?!
If you get up in the morning with no clue about what specific tasks you want to get done, it will be easier for you to waste your precious time. I have been there way more times that I would care to admit and as a result got much less done than I had hoped.
You should at the very least have some specific ideas of things that need to be accomplished each day. It is best if you have some sort of system in place that you know works for you such as a calendar or list.
Tip: Start by writing down at least three things you need to get done each day.
2. Not Setting Specific Goals
Not having specific goals is a hindrance to time management because you will have less direction for what you need to accomplish. When you don’t have specific goals in mind it can also be easy to get off task and distracted so your opening the door for a whole host of time management pitfalls if you fail to set goals for yourself.
I will admit that I am not the best when it comes to goal setting. I want to be better at this but I don’t often sit down and write a list of things I want to accomplish, which I know has a lot to do with why I have not been a successful manager of my time in the past. Maybe I need to make it a goal to actually make goals!
Tip: Start with listing your main priorities and then create goals based on those.
3. Over Multi-Tasking
Multi-tasking is not always bad but in most cases it does not help me with being more productive. Oftentimes, I am trying to do a dozen things all at once. While it might sound like a good idea, it usually means that my brain is trying to think of too many things at the same time. this can easily create chaos and cause me to forget what I am actually trying to accomplish. Therefore I get much less done than if I were to focus on one thing at a time.
For example, I will often open up multiple tabs on my internet browser and switch back and forth between them. Many times I have Facebook, twitter, my blog, other blogs and Pinterest up all at the same time. If I am focusing on one thing this is fine but if I am actually trying to read a bunch of updates while working on a blog post, I will likely get lost on something and not get much done.
Tip: Focus on one specific task at a time and see if it helps you become more productive.
4. Allowing Yourself to Become Easily Distracted
Being easily distracted goes hand in hand with multitasking because what I might call multi-tasking is really more like a distraction. Even when I am trying to focus on one thing I often catch myself letting other things distract me.
This is a big issue when it comes to things like social media and for me especially Pinterest and Facebook. I use both for my blog so sometimes I will go to the site with a specific idea of what I need to do. Maybe I am looking for a recipe on Pinterest so I go there and search for it, then before I know it I have found lots of cute craft projects or interesting articles that I want to read and I completely forgot what I was there for in the first place and I have essentially wasted an hour of time that I could have used to be productive.
Tip: Be on guard for time wasters and recognize when you are getting off task so you can redirect back to what you need to get done.
This is a BIG one for me. I seem to have a tendency to put things off until the last-minute. In college I often had some late nights because I waited until the day before to finish a project. In fact I have even had some late nights working on this blog. Sometimes I think it helps me get things done because of the pressure of the time crunch. But at the same time I am putting a lot of unnecessary stress on myself. I know that when I plan ahead I feel much more relaxed and able to work on the task at hand.
Tip: Plan ahead! Know what you need to get done and how you plan to accomplish it.
These are just some of the potential time management pitfalls that you may face. In fact in my next post I will be giving you some more pitfalls that deal more specifically with joyful time management. I will go more in depth with priorities, goal setting and strategies in my later posts.
Don’t forget! You can still follow along on Facebook and Twitter using the hash-tag #JoyfulTimeMgmt. Also, If you want to pin to my group board, send me a message and I will add to you to the list.
Do you identify with any of these time management pitfalls?
What do you do to get yourself back on track?