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Niki Jacob - Advertising Art & Design Instructor

Is time management a recurring goal or resolution that you make year after year? Well, you’re not alone. But, unfortunately, it’s been found that a staggering 82% of people don’t have a time management system. And, in my opinion, that can only lead to chaos. In this list, you’ll see the 2 time management errors that people fall into every day.

1. Falling into the time management trap.

“Time management promises us that if we become more efficient, we can make space to accommodate all of our to-dos comfortably,” writes Dane Jensen for HBR. “And yet, time management is like digging a hole at the beach: the bigger the hole, the more water that rushes in to fill it.” After all, with so many demands, blocking out an hour for downtime in your calendar “is akin to setting off a signal flare announcing your capacity.” As a result, you tackle a new project, assist someone else with their priorities, or commit to unnecessary things.

“This is not to say that time management has no value,” adds Jensen. “Productivity is important. But in a world where burnout is running rampant, we also need strategies for eliminating volume instead of simply accommodating it.” So, how can we avoid the time management trap? Give the following three strategies a test drive.

Reduce the volume of tasks.

Obvious? Sure. But, a lot of us struggle with this nonetheless. It’s recommended that you merge your calendar and to-do list to have a complete view of your commitments. Then, if you’re already booked, either decline time requests, delegate or outsource them, or reschedule them when you have availability.

Replace decisions with principles.

Too many decisions can lead to cognitive overload. As a result, you’ll feel overwhelmed and more likely to make errors. To prevent this, establish principles like “No Homework Wednesdays” or wearing the same outfit daily ala Steve Jobs. lol

Use structure, not willpower, to minimize distractions.

We waste a lot of time on distractions like email or social media. Use structure to your advantage rather than draining your energy fighting against these distractions. For example, blocking certain apps and websites when you need to focus on your most important task. Or, check your inbox and social accounts at determined intervals, such as first thing in the morning, after lunch, and before the end of the workday.

2. Not setting personal goals.

Personal goal setting is essential to managing your time well. Why? Because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward. When you know where you want to go, you can manage your priorities, time, and resources to get there. Goals also help you decide what’s worth spending your time on and what’s just a distraction. That’s all well and good. But, how can you actually achieve your goals?

  • Take action right now. Don’t wait until the New Year, or the perfect time, for that matter, to get the ball moving. It won’t be easy, but you’ll never achieve your goals if you fail to take action.
  • Consider your skills and adjust your plan accordingly. Then, for larger goals, break them down into more manageable chunks. From there think about what it’s going to take to accomplish each one of those tasks. This includes looking inwardly and considering your talents and expertise as well as admitting your weaknesses.
  • Delegate tasks. Behind every successful individual is a team that complimented their skillsets and gave support when needed.
  • Write down a plan of action. An action plan is a basic roadmap that you can follow that will get you to your goal. This is extremely important as it will ensure you won’t miss any major steps along the way.
  • Make sure that everything is measurable. Not only will this keep you accountable, but it will also help you track your progress.
  • Create accountability and hold yourself to it. At the get-go, you need to define your responsibilities and make them crystal clear so that you’ll follow through.

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