We all think we’re pros at time management. We write multiple to-lists, set reminders on our phones for every single little thing, and respond to every email the moment we get it.
But little do we know that we’ve got it all wrong. Time management is not an art, nor a science. It’s not an innate ability or something we’re born to do. Instead, it’s a skill. And with any skill, practice makes perfect. When it comes to practicing effective time management, we go about it all wrong sometimes. That means we’re actually being less productive, not more. Here are 5 common myths about time management:
The faster I get something done, the better.
We think that the less time it takes us to complete something, the better. That can definitely be true. But not always. When we try to rush through a project, we often do a poor job. We miss things and make mistakes. That leads to having to spend even more time cleaning up what we did wrong. Faster doesn’t always mean better. Spend that extra time to get it done right the first time around.
Check off as much on my to-do list as possible.
It sure feels good to check things off our to-do list. We think that the more we check off, the more productive we are. That’s a myth. With this mindset, we always gravitate towards the easy-to-do items on our list and ignore the bigger, more complicated projects. And the longer you do this, the more you’re procrastinating.
Don’t waste time on breaks.
Not all breaks are created equal. Yes, if you’re taking a break every 10 minutes and checking your facebook account, then you’re wasting your time. But don’t forget to schedule those necessary breaks every hour or two. Get up, walk around, or grab a drink. Even spending a couple minutes away from your computer screen will help you recharge.
If I want it done right, I have to do it myself.
It’s human nature to feel possessive over something we feel is ours. That notion can be applied to tasks that we need do it. If we want it done right, we have to do it ourselves, right? No. You don’t need to do everything yourself. In fact, your time might be better spent elsewhere. The mark of a good leader is being able to delegate so don’t be afraid to do it.
I need to get it done.
Whenever we put something on our to-do list, we feel like we must get it done. And so, we’ll work hours on it, only to have something else thrown on our plate. The reality is that we will never get everything done. There will always be something else. So don’t stress out about finishing every little thing. You never will and it’s OK. Learn to accept it.