Do you often find that your day feels as if it has run away from you? The moment you sit down at your computer, to the hour that you switch off appears to be a blur and you’re not quite sure just what you have achieved. Are you finding that your productivity levels just aren’t what you want them to be and you just don’t know how to turn it around and make the most of every minute of your working day? If you can relate to this then we have just the information you need, as today we are focusing on the magnificence that time management can be, if you get it right!
Some common mistakes that you might relate to are listed below that could really be having an impact on your productivity:-
All too often we procrastinate because we are putting off performing a task. It may be that we feel overwhelmed by what we need to achieve and therefore we fail to even make a start. The key is to break down into bite size chunks the task as a whole, and then focus on completing each chunk. It reduces overwhelm, gets you started and heading towards your finish line (or deadline in most cases). Procrastination can be a big problem if you don’t know how to overcome it. There’s a great book available called The Procrastination Equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting stuff done by Dr Piers Steel that would be great for all of you out there that like to read.
• Taking on too much
When we take on too much it can often lead to that “I don’t know where to start” feeling! You need to know how to manage your time and what you can do and when. It’s great to be busy and take on work for new and existing clients but when you have too much to manage, are you really providing the service that your reputation relies upon? Ensure that you schedule your work load, and before you commit to take on more work, that you have the time to complete it to your highest standard and meet the requested deadlines. Use a calendar and block out time to perform certain tasks. It’s a great way for you to see your productivity and know what you should be doing and at what time.
• Not getting away from your desk
So many people are guilty of not taking enough time away from their work space. Many are of the mindset that if we just keep going we’ll get it done. However, this is counter productive. Sometimes we just need to move away from the task in hand, even if it is just for five minutes, to enable us to come back to what remains with a fresh approach. Try it now after reading this post. Go and grab yourself a glass of water or a coffee before you tackle your next task. You will notice the difference.
Focus on one thing at a time. This cannot be emphasised enough! When you don’t focus entirely on the task in hand distractions get the better of you. Dedicate your concentration on what you need to achieve and you’ll be amazed how quickly you will get items checked off of your ‘to-do’ list. This leads me nicely onto…
• The lack of a ‘to-do’ list
This mistake also relates to taking on too much. Without a ‘to-do’ list how can we know what needs to be achieved. How can we feel that sense of achievement when we tick off those tasks and move onto the next? A ‘to-do’ list helps you prioritise and manage your time. You can see visually what you need to achieve that day and it also eliminates the potential to forget to do something. There are many useful and free tools out there that can assist you with creating and effective ‘to-do’ list, or if you like the old fashioned paper and pen, that will more than suffice. Just get your list visual and feel the accomplishment when you can cross of what you’ve completed.
• Not recognising the importance of goals
Having goals gives you the drive to move forward. Seeing what you want to achieve keeps you motivated, encouraged, provides you with job satisfaction and reminds you of why you are doing what you do. As I mentioned before with the ‘to-do’ list, having something visual can be stimulating, so keep your goals in your line of vision. Create a vision board to keep close by so that when you feel those moments of overwhelm and procrastination, you can regain the focus. Maybe have the words TIME MANAGEMENT on there, to remind you that without this element for your business and using it constructively, you may not achieve those goals.
I’m sure most people, if not everyone can relate to at least one of these mistakes, which is why structure is such a vital element in the running of any business, and within that structure time management is top of the list. After all, time is money, so what better way to use it than to make every second count.
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