When it comes to smart time management there is a simple irony, and it’ s this – busy people who want to manage their time more effectively repeatedly make 7 mistakes which will forever continue to rob them of time.

So, are you making the 7 most costly time management mistakes?

Time Management Mistake Number One – You don’t know where your time goes

Each and every time you bump in to an acquaintance and they ask ‘How are you?’, you respond, ‘I’m busy!’ But just when did ‘I’m busy’ replace the common response of ‘I’m fine, and you’?

And you are busy. You feel busy. You tell people you are busy. You look busy. You simply rush from task to task with an aura of busy’ness wrapped around your very busy shoulders.

Why is being busy somehow a new badge of honour? Why the pride? Quite simply, having an overwhelming sense of busy’ness – so overwhelming that it is the first thing that pops out of your mouth when you are greeted by a friend – is one badge you really don’t want to wear. For instance, multi rather than single-tasking has been found to reduce your overall productivity by as much as 40%. Not so cool now, huh?

If you are determined to manage your time well, to work productively and to lose your sense of busy’ness, you need to get a good handle on how you spend your time each day. Because if you don’t know in detail where you spend your time, you can’t know what changes you can make to manage your time more effectively.

Map your time across the course of a week in to 10 minute time segments (find Time Sheets in the Me Time Workbook downloadable for free at www.timestylers.com). Write it all down, without judgement or censorship, and then use this data to identify the tasks you need to do; those which you can do more efficiently; those you don’t need to do at all; those you can outsource and those you can insource.

Stop thinking about being busy  – a better use of your time would be to work out  why you are so busy.

Next post: Time Management Mistake Number Two – You don’t say ‘No’

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