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This story originally appeared on Calendar
Here at Calendar, we’re all about time management. Time is so precious and valuable and it only makes sense to take care of it. However, time management is so much more than just a lot of effort. Despite your best intentions, you could be sabotaging your own time management without even realizing it.
This article aims to point out some of the ways you might be approaching time management from the wrong angle as well as offers some suggestions on how to finetune your online calendar. The better you can manage your time, the more you can get out of life. Let’s get started:
1. Overloading Your Schedule
A full schedule is often viewed as an accomplishment. Your online calendar full to the brim might even be a medal of honor that you show off to display your productivity and motivation. However, overloading your schedule can actually be making you less productive than you’re intending.
What happens when your jam-packed schedule is interrupted by an emergency or a delayed meeting? You leave little room for error when there’s no buffer time taken into account in your schedule. Fail to block off enough time for a sales pitch and the remainder of your schedule is put in jeopardy.
Additionally, workplace burnout is very common and can be accelerated by trying to do too much. In fact, a survey by Deloitte shows that 77% of workers have experienced burnout with their current jobs. Make sure you’re including time for proper breaks as needed in your online calendar so you never feel overwhelmed. There is such a thing as working yourself too hard.
2. Getting Distracted Too Easily
What good is a plan if you don’t follow it? You can have a perfectly manicured schedule and waste all that time spent preparing it by getting easily distracted. One distraction can derail your entire day, causing the remainder of your daily schedule to become a mess.
Getting distracted isn’t always your fault, but you can always make an effort to try to avoid and limit any distractions that get in the way of your time management. Social media is a huge culprit, so look for ways to keep your screen time under control. Other distractions might not be as obvious, such as email. Using email might be an important aspect of your business, but if you’re stopping to check your email every 10 minutes you could be derailing your productivity every single time.
3. Not Measuring Your Performance
You might feel comfortable with your current time management system, but how do you know if it’s really working or not? There are likely some ways you can improve your time management instead of settling where you’re at now. Tracking your performance over time will clue you in on how your time management can be improved upon.
Start by figuring out how you want to measure your performance and productivity. There’s so much more to look at than how many meetings you have planned in a day. Here are some examples of key performance indicators that will help you measure your performance:
- Average meeting time
- Tasks completed daily
- Total break time
- Percentage of planned schedule completed
Set goals for each metric you set and check on your goals weekly. If you’re falling short of your time management aspirations, take the time to alter your approach in an attempt to improve and reach them.
4. Neglecting Work-Life Balance
Time management isn’t just for keeping yourself on track while you’re at work. You should also be managing your time and home and everywhere in between. Work-life balance is essential for a happy and fulfilling life.
If you want to take a look at how your work-life balancing is going right now, open up your Calendar Analytics page. Here you can see exactly how your time is being divided. The graphics will give you a better picture of how much time you’re dedicating to family, hobbies, and other extracurricular activities in comparison to the hours you spend at work.
Once you have a better idea of where your work-life balance stands, what are you going to do to improve it? Perhaps consciously planning times in your online calendar to exercise or play with your kids is what you need to do to make time for the other things in life worth pursuing. Find what works for you and use your online calendar to make it a reality.
5. Trying to Multitask
If only it were possible to multitask efficiently enough to tackle multiple projects at once. Unfortunately, multitasking really just divides your attention and damages the quality of your work. You might feel like you’re saving a lot of time by attempting to multitask when you’re really just making work more difficult.
You’re almost always better off scheduling one task at a time. Focusing on a single assignment at a time ensures it’s getting your full attention and effort. This enables you not only to finish a single task more efficiently but to also perform your job to the highest capability.
6. Failing to Prioritize
Prioritization is the unsung hero of proper time management. When you learn to prioritize your task list, you can make better decisions every day about how to use your time.
For example, let’s say you’re in the middle of a project and you get an email requesting a last-second meeting. How does that meeting fall under your prioritization? If this is a high-priority meeting, it will be worth postponing the events in your Calendar. If not, look to see how you can delegate the meeting so you can finish up your important project.
Now that you can spot some of the signs of poor time management, it’s time to reflect the changes you need to make in your online calendar. Just a few adjustments will make a huge impact on your productivity.