Women In Business

The 11 biggest myths about time management

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Time is crucial. It’s how we measure our work day, travel, leisure, and so much more. And it’s the way we manage our time that really helps us stay on track with our work and personal schedules – especially for busy women like us

But it is also important to know that, while we’re all looking to manage our time better, there are many myths out there about how to do it best. These myths will tell you to stop this, don’t do that, and always do something else.

But some of the biggest myths can also be detrimental to time management, actually undermining – rather than helping – your efforts to stay on top of everything.

1. The biggest time wasters include phone calls, visitors, meetings and emails

Phone calls, visitors and meetings are not a waste of time. In fact, they can be greatly beneficial to you in staying on top of your work. By attending to these things during your workday, you stay up to date with what’s happening — give yourself, and your brain, a much-needed break from the main projects.

Furthermore, doing this can also benefit your time management skills because it can train you to allow for anything unexpected to happen and still come out on top of your game.

2. It’s more efficient to stick to one task until it’s completed

This may be different depending on what you’re working on — because some tasks/projects may be easier to focus on and complete than others — but the idea that you have to work on one thing at a time until it’s completed is ridiculous.

More pressing matters may come up during your day and you need to be able to switch priorities swiftly. Plus, if you concentrate on one thing for too long, you may start to lose focus and your work may even suffer because of it.

3. Sticking to the schedule is everything

Not necessarily. Just because you have good organizational skills and a schedule of what you need to do and by when, doesn’t mean that you will. As detailed above, unexpected things may come up during your day, throwing off your schedule. If anything, good time management skills allow you to see what you need to do, make a plan for what you’ll do and when — and then change it as you need to and eventually get everything done.

4. Everyone faces the same time management challenges

No, they don’t. Yes, there are a lot of people with excellent time management skills, who can certainly get a lot more done than other people in a shorter amount of time, but that doesn’t mean that everyone faces the same challenges.

Some people find it harder to keep to a schedule than others and need more time to complete tasks during their workday — because no two people are exactly the same or work exactly the same way. We all have different ways of working, and thus have different time management challenges. This is where some self-examination comes in … see the next tip.

5. I’m a good judge of how well I currently use my time

No, you’re a good judge of how well you think you’re using your time. Your boss/manager and colleagues are a good judge of how well you use your time.

And yes, there may be a crossover in what you think and what they think your time management skills are like but, to a large extent, those around you are a lot more unbiased on the topic and in their opinion. Ask them for some constructive feedback, think hard about what they say and analyse your skills yourself.

6. I already get a lot done, so I don’t need to improve my time management skills

Everyone can always improve time management skills. In fact, the better you are at time management, the better you can get – because you are clearly already aware of its importance, and comfortable with implementing strategies to make the most of time.

7. Delegation is more trouble than it’s worth

No, it’s not. Not delegating tasks to others can place unnecessary stress and pressure on you and limit your ability to achieve things and lead others by example. To overturn this, start by delegating small tasks to others to see how it goes — and then build up from there.

This can be particularly important if you aim to be in a managerial position at work because all good managers know how to delegate work to the people they’re in charge of in order to get good results.

8. A perfect time management system exists

The idea that all workers within a job have to do things exactly the same way so that there is universal uniformity is ridiculous. The truth is, there really isn’t a “perfect time management system” because everyone works differently, at different paces and they have their own schedules to keep to.

But if you really want to improve people’s time management skills in a more general way, you could implement and/or enforce rules about not wasting time more strictly so that everyone is on the same page about the do’s and don’ts of the office.

9. We can control time

Time passes at the same rate for everyone. You can plan as much as you want, but at the end of the day, you still may not get through your entire to-do list. Unless you have the ability to time travel or slow down/speed up time, no one can control time to make more of it to get things done. It’s just not humanly possible.

10. Today’s technology improves my time management abilities

Yes, technology has its conveniences like allowing you to discover information and communicate on the go, but it does not make you a more organized person just because it exists. Modern technology really only reminds you of what you have to do and helps you stick to your deadlines. You also need to apply a time-management mindset and strategies in combination with the technology.

11. The most efficient individual is always the most effective

Just because someone is organized and works efficiently, doesn’t mean they or their work/ideas are effective — because they may have missed the mark on something and will have to redo it or improve it.

The key is to not try and speed through work so fast that you leave a trail of errors and poor quality in your wake.

About Rowena Nagy

Rowena Nagy is a Journalist at The Business Woman Media. A graduate in Journalism, Media and Communications, she is passionate about in writing, travel journalism, video journalism and Public Relations.

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