There are many negative effects of poor time management. You’ll cause delays in your work that could lose money for your organization. Lead From Within CEO Lolly Daskal has highlighted some of the biggest time management mistakes.
If you’re the leader of a successful company, then you need to be a master at juggling priorities.
Lolly Daskal heads global consulting firm Lead From Within as it’s CEO. She speaks about the many time management mistakes leaders make in an article on Inc.com.
The mistakes on this list are the causes of poor time management. Here’s what Lolly Daskal does to avoid each of these blunders.
Trying to Do it All
Daskal speaks about this in her time management article. She recommends learning how to say “yes” to a person’s ideas, without taking on the task yourself.
“…Learn the subtle art of saying yes to the person, but no to the task,” she says.“This skill helps you assert yourself as the leader and manage your time.”
The desire to do everything yourself may stem from having worked your way up through an organization. You’re used to doing the small things. It may have been your job for many years before you took on a leadership role.
However, you can’t try to do it all yourself while working as a leader. Instead, you need to trust the people who work for you. In fact, learning how to delegate is one of the best time management tips for professionals.
According to Daskal, procrastination leads to more guilt and stress. As your task list grows, the pressure really mounts.
“Eventually it catches up with you and you end up slamming something together at the last minute,” she says. “This hurts the quality of your work and leaves you feeling unsatisfied with what you’ve done.”
In short, an “I’ll do it tomorrow” mentality will not work out well for you. All you do is delay the inevitable. After all, that task isn’t going anywhere. It’s just going to add to the burdens that you have to deal with later on.
Daskal recommends turning your phone off to minimize distractions. All those pings and message alerts will break your focus, which prevents you from completing tasks.
“One of the most important tools for gaining control of time and doing your best work is knowing how to minimize distractions and manage interruptions,” she says.
At times, it can feel like everything around you is trying to pull you away from your work. These little distractions may not seem like a big deal at the time. However, they will build up. Eventually, they’ll prevent you from completing your tasks, and you will see the effects of poor time management manifest.
Here’s what Richard Branson does to avoid distractions. He sets time aside each day to handle his messages, then he puts his phone away. This allows him to focus on the goals that he’s set for himself for the day.
Thinking That Busy Means Productive
Daskal adds that many people make the mistake of thinking that being busy means that you’re productive.
“’Busy’ isn’t a synonym for ‘effective,’ so slow down”, she notes.
World-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey coined the phrase “busy idiot” to describe this phenomenon. Your work ethic isn’t in question. However, you’re focusing your efforts in all the wrong places.
Richard Branson again comes up with a solution for this mistake. He has three priorities that he follows. Every task he completes must serve one of these priorities. Everything else is just busy work that would prevent him from being productive.
Trying to Multitask
Daskal’s article points to multitasking as one of the leading causes of poor time management. She notes that it’s almost impossible to complete a task to the best of your abilities if you’re doing several things at once.
“When you’re doing more than one task at a time, it’s a near certainty that you’re not doing any of them well,” she says.
As your list of tasks grows, you try to do several things at once. It seems like the best way to get through the list. However, it also means that you aren’t focused on a specific objective.
You can avoid this mistake if you take on your tasks one at a time. Prioritize the most important task, and dedicate all of your efforts to it. Once you’re done, move onto the next task. You’ll be more productive, and will also feel less overwhelmed.
Each of these mistakes can have a drastic effect on how you manage your time. Instead of working your way through your task list, you’ll end up focusing on the wrong things.
Keep this list of mistakes handy, and follow Lolly’s advice. Reassess yourself regularly to ensure you haven’t slipped these poor time management habits.