Man holding up an alarm clock

6 reasons you haven’t mastered time management

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to run marathons, tackle multimillion dollar marketing campaigns, and keep up to date with their Facebook comments while you struggle to tick off your to-do list each day?

We all have the same amount of hours allotted to us, yet some people are able to accomplish a lot more with their time than others. If you have ever wondered where you are going wrong with time management, there is a good chance that one of the below six reasons may be the cause.

1. Setting unreasonable expectations.

Are you guilty of being a ‘yes’ person? Do you make promises that you know you can’t keep regarding deadlines and workload? If so, you may actually be doing yourself more harm than good, as consistently under-delivering on your promises can affect your business reputation. It can make you so stressed out that you end up completely overwhelmed by your in tray, and unable to work out where to start.

2. Spending your time on menial tasks.

Essential yet mundane tasks such as sorting the mail, and booking meetings, may be taking up more of your time than you realise. How much is your time worth? When you consider your hourly rate, you may find it is cheaper to outsource the menial jobs, and spend more of your time doing the work that you are being paid to do.

3. Overstretching.

Do you try to do everything? Assume that nobody else can balance the books/answer the phone/pick up the dry cleaning like you can? If you feel like you are being pulled in a thousand different directions at once, it may be worthwhile outsourcing some of the tasks you are not specialised in, so that you can spend more time focusing on your strengths.

4. Do you expect to get it right first time?

Time management is always going to be a work in progress. Expecting to get it right, first time, can set you up for disappointment. There will always be extra challenges and demands on your time, so make sure you take some time to figure out what works for you, and be prepared to be flexible as time goes on.

5. Not taking advantage of technology.

With so many smartphone apps and computer software programs designed to help you make the best use of your time, there is no excuse for sloppy time management these days. If you are not sure where to start, why not check out web-based SlimTimer, Rescue Time and Manic Time, or smartphone apps Checklist Wrangler, Things and OmniFocus.

6. Not taking advantage of people and connections.

Building connections with people around you can help make you more efficient, more focused and provide you with the contacts to help you grow your business. You might want to go one step further, and hire some external assistance, to help and advise you on your time management, and how to grow your business.

Do any of these sound familiar? At one time or another we have all been guilty of making common time management mistakes. Hopefully this list can help you identify where you might be going wrong, and get your time management back on track.

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