Are you still making any of these time management mistakes? It’s almost impossible to accomplish everything on our to-do lists if we spend too much time on distractions.
…or if we’re following the wrong approach to managing our time.
Fix these 9 mistakes now and you’ll be able to focus on what matters most, get your work done faster, and do it better.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKES #1 – NO PRIORITIZATION OF TASKS
The first time management mistake we make is that we often prioritize tasks in order of urgency and importance but cannot factor in how long a task will take.
We spend valuable time on low-priority work that we can use for something else and then we become frustrated when we don’t have enough time for each task.
There are a lot of apps/software out there to help with prioritization and three of our favorites are
- Trello, and
If you need help to get started or simply want some advice, consider hiring a digital marketing consultant.
At most cases, it will cost less than hiring an employee who isn’t fully using their time and productivity potential because of poor management.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKES #2 – INADEQUATE PLANNING
When entrepreneurs say they’re busy, it means one of two things:
- Either there’s something wrong with their schedule, or
- They need a more efficient way to get things done.
It’s possible you do not know how much time you spend on different tasks because you don’t keep track
(or are making judgment calls about what is and isn’t important).
If that’s true, try using an app like RescueTime or Toggl to understand how your time is being spent—then look for ways to shave hours off your day.
Whether you’re hoping to manage your time better or learn more about time management, these resources can help in avoiding time management mistakes
5 RESOURCES ON WORKING SMARTER NOT HARDER.
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss
Want to be a lazy achiever? This is one of my favorite books on life and business hacks.
- A Guide to Personal Productivity by David Allen
If you’re looking for a more practical guide on time management, then pick up A Guide to Personal Productivity.
It provides a concrete framework that anyone can follow—especially those of us who are easily overwhelmed by day-to-day demands.
- How to Set Up an Efficient Morning Routine–And Stick To It
Getting up early isn’t easy for everyone, but it has some significant perks if you’re able to pull it off.
This book has help me achieve important tasks throughout my workday.
- 15 Questions You Should Be Able To Answer About Your Marketing Goals
Knowing what you want from your marketing efforts will keep you laser focused on results—and keep your team productive and inspired.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKES #3 – HAVING LOW LEVEL OF AWARENESS
Time management mistakes occur when we’re not aware of how we spend our time, it’s impossible to make improvements.
How can you improve what you don’t measure?
To be more aware of how you spend your time, try getting an app that monitors and logs your activity.
Simply opening your eyes to how you spend your time will give you a good idea of where things needs improvement.
For example, is there a consistent opportunity cost between various tasks? If so, it might show that something else should take priority.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKE #4 – LACK OF MOTIVATION
Not having a sense of urgency can be fatal for your business. If you’re stuck in a rut, that might be exactly what’s holding you back.
Entrepreneurs are notoriously over committed, which is just another way of saying they have no off switch.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing—if you’re productive.
But if you push into deadlines without enough time to do good work, it might be time to take a step back and slow down.
The result could be worth it: Acknowledging your limits will allow you to focus on your work objectively.
And make sure that instead of working harder, you’re working smarter.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKE #5 – NOT SAYING ‘NO’ WHEN YOU NEED TO
It’s a common mistake to ‘simply’ say yes to every project, task or request given to you. We often make this time management mistakes.
While it may seem easier in short-term, remember that saying yes comes with a cost.
It takes time away from everything else you want to accomplish and can often create more work in future steps.
Be realistic about your capabilities and pick tasks and projects carefully.
Remember that saying no can be beneficial for your career as long as you don’t go overboard with it
Being too choosy could have negative effects on your reputation over time if everyone thinks you’re not willing to help unless you really like what they’re doing!
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKE #6 – LACK OF COMMUNICATION IN A TEAM
It may seem obvious, but if you have a project that needs completing and you don’t talk about it with your team (or anyone else), it won’t get done.
The beauty of working in a digital agency is that all communication takes place through messaging or email.
You don’t need to send an intern running across town to find someone because they won’t know what they are supposed to be doing.
For example, when we were building an app for one of our clients, we came up with very detailed task lists so we knew exactly who was doing what.
While it takes longer to set things up initially, having everyone on board saves valuable time later on down the line.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKE #7 – SUNK COST FALLACY
Another time management mistake is Sunk Cost Fallacy.
It is the belief that you’ve invested too much time, energy, or money into a project to pull out now.
In reality, you can always shift your resources elsewhere if it no longer makes sense.
You might have worked hard on a design for hours and it’s only 80% complete.
But that doesn’t mean you should push past 80% just because you’ve put so much work into it already.
Instead, make sure that your time is being used efficiently, and focus on using what you’ve learned from your mistake to come up with something better next time.
If you’re working on multiple projects at once, consider setting deadlines based on how far along they are instead of when they started
(truth is, “when” feels way more tangible).
This way, you won’t feel tempted to sink too much effort into one thing just because of how long it’ll take to do.
It may seem counterintuitive but shifting priorities really helps in terms of both quality and efficiency!
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKES #8 – INFORMATION OVERLOAD
Technology has made information and content abundant.
There’s too much of it, making it impossible to stay current with new trends and best practices if you try to keep up with everything.
Some digital marketers fall into a trap of seeking every new tool or technique that emerges in their field, only to chase their tails as they become overwhelmed.
Avoid information overload by staying organized: you don’t need to know everything.
Focus on what works for your business rather than trying out every shiny object that comes along.
Focusing your time on areas where you’ll see quick wins and results will save you time overall in both execution and learning curves.
TIME MANAGEMENT MISTAKE #9 – THE EGO TRAP
Often, we think that a project is going to be easy and then we set off on it with great enthusiasm.
Then, along our journey, things take a turn for the worse.
- Frustration sets in.
- Our motivation plummets.
- Perhaps we even abandon ship completely and start over from scratch.
How many times have you gone into something thinking that it’s going to be a piece of cake?
Have you ever gotten half-way through and not been able to take it anymore?
The culprit here is ego.
The best possible way to manage your time effectively is to start off small by setting simple goals for yourself that can be easily achieved.
It may not seem like much at first, but as you build up momentum, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and ultimately see some great results!