I like to think I was blessed with decent time management skills although they definitely could have done with some improvement. I tend to take on a lot of tasks and I do truly enjoy doing them all but this just means I really need to use my time wisely to get everything done.
So here I am sharing the mistakes I see people making when managing their time (and I make sometimes too) and the ways I have utilized to help revert these habits and get my time management skills on point!
Trying to do more than one task at a time just leads to 2 half done tasks in double the amount of time. Getting into the habit of only doing one task at a time and fully focusing all of your attention on that singular task will really increase your productivity and help to ensure that task is done to its full potential. Which leads me into my next tip:
Not Utilising Batching Tasks
If you are constantly checking your emails, say maybe 3 times a day, not only does this mean you are probably getting distracted by them but also you are definitely not being as productive as possible. Batching is the idea of doing the same task multiple times in one sitting. This goes hand in hand with time blocking which is a method I talk about in How To Get Sh*t Done.
Getting into the habit of batching will dramatically change how many tasks you can get done within a certain time frame. Hate cooking? Well batching in this task is basically like meal prepping, meaning you are doing all of your cooking for the week in say a few hours on a Sunday and when you come home from work each day you have the whole night free because all of your cooking is already done. Just go to the fridge and grab out dinner!
Batching can help with any task throughout your day to day life especially for the tasks you really hate doing. This also means you will spend less time in total on the given task because its all put into a certain block of time where you are giving 100% focus.
With technology these days there are so so many distractions we can have. Your phone buzzing every 2 seconds from the 30 person group chat you’re in or your mum messaging you telling you to take out the rubbish, whatever it may be it is really taking away your productive time and focus on the task at hand.
I like to put my phone on do not disturb when I’m trying to get some real work done or often i just leave it in another room. This is a great habit to get into as it will mean you aren’t getting distracted by things you can look at later. If your laptop is coming up with a whole bunch of notifications then use an app that will stop them from coming up. Or is there a lot of background noise distracting you? Try to go in a quieter place or put your earphones in and listen to some white noise.
Whatever gets you distracted try to find a way to eliminate them and this will help you to super productive,
Keeping all your thoughts inside your brain
Holding everything your thinking in inside your little poor stressed-out brain can lead to a lot of random little thought tangents when your focus should be on a different area. Getting those thoughts written down on some good old paper means your mind won’t be constantly filled with a million thoughts. A great way to clear your mind of all of these little guys is journalling!
Journalling is a scary concept to many people because the thought of being given a blank page and nothing telling you what to fill it with. I believe journalling should be an exciting concept, not a scary one. Think of it as a way to just dump all your thoughts, do you have a million things you need to get done today? Write that down. You boyfriends birthday is coming up and you have no idea what to buy as a present? Write down a whole bunch of ideas.
Getting these thoughts and idea down on paper means that when it comes to the time to actually focus on another more important task you mind won’t be running at a thousand miles an hour with these thoughts because you have already gotten them out. Instead, it leaves a nice clear mind space to really focus on the task at hand.
BONUS: If you struggle to sleep at night because you can’t stop thinking about things then write them all out just before you go to sleep and this will leave you with a clearer mind to fall asleep with.
Setting up my laptop at my desk which also doubles as makeup storage and the place I get ready means it is often filled with a lot of stuff. So I will be sitting trying to come up with a bangin’ new blog post and all of a sudden I find myself looking at the lipstick that’s sitting next to me and thinking about a makeup look I can slay with it.
Yep, that’s what a messy workspace can to do to you. I have started (started being the keyword here) to make sure I clean my workspace before starting any new work for the day because of the little problem mentioned above. Having a lot of clutter in your workspace can be very distracting and also very difficult if you’re trying to find something you desperately need. Before you sit down to get some work done just take a few minutes to clean your workspace and watch your time management skills improve.
Focusing on only the big goal
Goal setting can be a very tricky process for a lot of us, I included. I always made the mistake of wanting to work towards multiple goals at a time and only ever looking at the over goal without breaking them down into smaller manageable steps.
In order to truly achieve your goals, you need to start with the ultimate goal you want to achieve and write down all of the ways that you can get there and what the steps are going to get you to that end goal. For me the best way I have found to achieve goals is to have monthly focuses so for the whole month you will just focus on that one area which will get you a little closer to your ultimate goal. Breaking it down like this will make those dream big goals actually achievable.
Wasting time on things that don’t matter
This is where you need to get your priorities in check. Look at what you’re doing in your day to day life or whats on your to-do list and does that align with your goals. If not you really need to reassess why you are wasting time on these tasks and if they really serve a purpose or whether you can cut them out.