Skip to main content

3 Time Management mistakes you are making

 How you waste your time and how to fix it to be more productive

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

You can’t discuss productivity without coming across the term of time management. It’s a must within a sustainable productivity system, a mandatory tackle on your journey for self improvement.

However, a lot of people do it wrong.

Many people see time management as a way of cramming up as many tasks as possible in the shortest amount of time. They see productivity as a quantitative success, rather than a qualitative one.

That’s fundamentally wrong…

From a productivity perspective, you should analyze your goals, prioritize them based on your personal values and break it down into (hopefully SMART) steps that are more or less valuable.

If you’re using time management to fit as many tasks as possible, it probably means you didn’t prioritize your tasks, and you don’t know the value of each of them.

There can’t be all that valuable. So you don’t need to take all of them into your to-do list.

The winning split should be something like 3 very valuable tasks, 1 medium value task, and 1 or 2 tasks that are not valuable but need to be done.

Now that we’ve got this out of the way, let’s dive into the mistakes you make.

1. You Don’t prioritize tasks and put them in the right order

We already covered the prioritization in my explanation above, but what about the order. Why does it matter?

Allow me to introduce my humble understanding of neuroscience. I am a computer scientist, so be patient with me.

When we complete a task, especially the ones we view as valuable and important to us, we get a dopamine spike.

Don’t get me wrong. All the tasks completed offer you a feeling of achievement and you’ll get a dopamine spike. But the more important the task is, the more dopamine you will receive.

Dopamine is a deciding factor in our motivation. So, by completing difficult tasks or very important ones, you will get a huge dopamine spike, and be motivated to complete the rest. This is one important time-management hack to always feel good.

This will allow you to feel accomplished for the day and feel like it’s not a lost day.

The second reason to correctly order your task is what other events out of your control appear during the day.

If you know you have a lot of meetings in the morning, schedule the more demanding and important tasks right after, so you don’t get interrupted.

If you know you are very creative in the afternoon, schedule the creative tasks then.

If you have kids coming from school, you might be better scheduling important work in the morning.

2. You don’t properly estimate how long it takes

For successful time management, you need to be honest with yourself and estimate tasks correctly.

We all got used to saying:

Oh, that will just take me a minute.

Oh, I’ll have that ready ASAP.

Oh, that should be pretty easy. I’ll have it ready in no time.

However, there are always things that might delay it. You might get a message to do something else, get a call to help someone, you might have an unexpected meeting, your kid has an event they forgot to tell you about, or you might simply have technical difficulties such as laptop issues.

My personal trick is to always think how long a task normally takes and then double that. No less than this.

When you estimate tasks for your whole team, I would recommend to triple the time. It’s even harder to estimate for someone else.

3. You don’t allow buffer time between tasks

Once you prioritized your tasks, and you put them in the right order, with the right estimation, the next time management trick is to allow buffer time between them.

This will allow you to do 3 things:

  • Allow for unexpected work or circumstances
  • Allow time for a break
  • Allow time for when others need you

You don’t want to schedule tasks back to back and then snap out of your flow state and realize it’s already evening. That will take a toll on your mental and physical health at some point. You might even end up in burnout.

Also, social interaction and collaboration is proven to improve productivity and catch errors and mistakes early on. Allow time for discussing with colleagues and friends.

In conclusion, time management is immensely popular and talked about but not everyone does it correctly.

Actually, 80% of people don’t do it correctly.

Use the steps above to become more productive and never feel like you’ve lost the day.


Popular posts from this blog

Guide: How to Sign up for Coursera Courses for Free

  Can you get a Coursera Certificate for Free? Certificates were free in Coursera’s early days. Unfortunately, you can’t get a free certificate for completing  Coursera courses  now. You can, however,  apply for financial aid  for most courses if you can’t afford to pay for a certificate. Some providers have  stopped   offering   free certificates  for completing their online courses although many  free certificates are still available from a range of providers . Free Certificates From Other Providers Here are some popular collections of free certificates and badges from various providers: Massive List of Thousands of Free Certificates and Badges 1000+ Courses from Top Med Schools with Free Certificate & CME Credit 1000+ Open University Free Certificates 70+ FutureLearn Courses That Still Offer Free Certificates Harvard Computer Science Free Certificates For more free certificate courses, visit Class Central’s free certificates  collection  or  articles . Is Coursera Still Free? Ye

Mastering Deep Work: A Guide to Unlocking Your Productivity Potential

In today's fast-paced world, distractions are everywhere. Whether it's the constant buzz of notifications on your phone, the lure of social media, or the never-ending stream of emails flooding your inbox, maintaining focus and accomplishing meaningful work can be a real challenge. That's where the concept of "deep work" comes in. Coined by productivity expert Cal Newport in his book of the same name, deep work is a powerful approach to working that can help you accomplish more in less time and achieve your professional and personal goals. In this blog, we'll explore what deep work is and provide practical tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine. What is Deep Work? Deep work is a state of flow where you concentrate without distraction on cognitively demanding tasks. It's a period of focused, uninterrupted work during which you produce high-quality, meaningful output. Deep work is in sharp contrast to shallow work, which includes activities lik

The Power of Mindfulness: A Path to Inner Peace and Well-Being

In today's fast-paced world, where we are constantly bombarded with information and distractions, finding moments of calm and clarity can seem like an elusive goal. However, the practice of mindfulness offers a powerful antidote to the chaos of modern life. It is more than just a buzzword; it's a way of living that can transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. In this article, we will explore the profound power of mindfulness and how it can enhance your well-being. What Is Mindfulness? Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in the moment, without judgment or distraction. It is about paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations with a sense of curiosity and acceptance. Rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, mindfulness encourages you to experience life as it unfolds in the here and now. The Science Behind Mindfulness The practice of mindfulness has been studied extensively, and research consistently s