Lately, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Like you’re constantly playing catch-up, always several steps behind in your work. You’re suffering from poor time management skills.
The first step to overcoming that problem lies in understanding where you’re falling short. Once you do that, you can start more effectively planning and scheduling your day. Let’s talk about that.
Not Starting Your Day Immediately
You’ve doubtless heard that all the most important, successful executives and CEOs start their day early. They’re up before the sun rises, getting their most important tasks done while other people are still asleep. You might be tempted to emulate them – many people are, and end up getting discouraged when they’re not capable of doing so.
Thing is, not everyone is a morning person. Some people work best in the afternoon. Others work best late at night. The important thing isn’t that you get up super early – it’s that you get to work right away when you wake up, without wasting too much time on frivolities.
Letting Yourself Get Distracted
There are distractions all around us, both within the workplace and without. Our smartphones are perhaps the most frequent source. From push notifications to text messages to emails, the device of someone who’s even moderately busy is likely to be ringing off the hook.
The best advice we can give you here is to focus on prioritization. When you’re working on a task that you’ve determined is high priority, turn off all but the most critical notifications on your smartphone. Don’t take breaks to look at Facebook and don’t check your email.
Focus on the task at hand. You can deal with your notifications at set times during the day – take a break every forty minutes or so.
Putting Things Off
We all procrastinate from time to time. But if you’re putting things off constantly – to the point that you can’t seem to ever get anything done on time? That’s when it starts to become a problem.
Your first step is to understand why you’re procrastinating. Is it because you feel overwhelmed? Is it because you’re not certain where or how to start on a particular project? Is it simply because you can’t find the motivation to do anything?
In order to take the first step towards overcoming procrastination, try tackling simple, low-priority tasks first. That can potentially give you the necessary steam to forge ahead and take on some more complex challenges.
Biting Off More Than You Can Chew
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get more done. And there’s nothing wrong with being busy. However, don’t make the mistake of confusing business with productivity.
You need to work smart – taking on too much at a time is a surefire way to leave yourself exhausted, and ultimately burnt out, and the quality of all your work will suffer as a result.
Trying To Multitask
You may think you’re a skilled multitasker. You aren’t. Nobody is.
As noted in research published by the American Psychological Association, doing more than one task at a time, especially if both are complex tasks, is not only mentally exhausting, but destroys our focus. The only surefire way to be productive is to only ever focus on a single task. If you’re dividing your attention, you’re not managing your time properly.
Manage Your Time Better
If it seems like there aren’t enough hours to do the things you want to do, that’s likely a failure of time management. Either you’re taking on too much, not prioritizing properly, or simply working in such a way that you’re woefully inefficient. Now that you understand some of the things you might be doing wrong, you can take action to correct them.