As a recent college graduate, I thought that I have mostly mastered the art of time management. However, every now and then I slip up…and end up wasting time that is part of a deadline instead of what is truly on my priority list…Much to my dismay, it does not include Googling photos of puppies, and clicking through all 500 profile pictures of my best friend since high school. An article on MindTools describes the 10 Common Time Management Mistakes, all of which, I have been guilty of believing.
1: Failing to keep a To-Do list
The key to keeping a to-do list is to prioritize your tasks. Keep in mind that you also do not have to finish large tasks all at once! Instead split the large task up into smaller ones.
2: Not Setting Personal Goals
I appreciated how the article described the importance of keeping goals:
“…Because goals give you a destination and vision to work toward. “
3: Not Prioritizing
This one goes with mistake #1, the main point to be taken away from this tip specifically, is to decide if the task at hand us truly “urgent”.
4:Failing to Manage Distractions
In college, there was a particular library on campus that served more as a social chat room than a place to post up with gallons of coffee, highlighters and paper-cuts from flashcard making. The concept of listening to surrounding student’s conversations would not normally appeal to me…but when I had a daunting school task at had, forget about it. I learned pretty quickly that I needed to find another place to get my work done.
Yet another studying flaw that I was most definitely guilty of in college. The cure: divide your tasks up, and release the pressure involved in trying to swallow a huge project in one gulp.
6: Taking on too Much
Taking on too much can easily lead to sloppy end results. Its best to truly focus on one task at a time to produce quality work.
7: Thriving on “Busy”
“I produce my best work when I’m under pressure” is something I have personally heard many times over the years. The problem with thriving on being so busy all the time is that it will lead to stress.
I have been a loyal member of the serving industry for the past three years, and can honestly say that the only time multi-tasking really works is while serving tables. Otherwise, distractions will happen. “I’m going to have an in-depth conversation and write this 25-page paper on Statistcs and get a perfect score on it” …Said no one….ever.
9: Not Taking Breaks
Breaks actually enable you to give your brain a break, so that when you come back to the task, you’ll be refreshed and ready to work!
10: Ineffectively Scheduling Breaks
This idea mainly focuses on once again, prioritizing the type of work that you are responsible for doing. Mainly by breaking down high-value work to low-value.