It’s been a while since I’ve talked about productivity, time management, or really anything in that category, but this is a post I’ve had lined up for a while. If you’ve noticed, I’ve been trying to “theme” BTD topics each month so that I’m not throwing my 894992384 ideas or thoughts your way all the time. Brighton Brain is REAL but that doesn’t mean I have to get y’all caught up in it, right?
Anyways, while we’re talking lots about simplicity and doing less this month, I thought this topic was timely. I’ve already covered why time management is important and tips for using your time wisely (a post I LOVE!), but what we haven’t discussed much are the things NOT to do. The MISTAKES.
What I’ve come to learn with time management, productivity, etc., is that it’s gotta be personal. Yes, there are general rules that usually work for most, but just because you read something online doesn’t mean it needs to be implemented in YOUR life. It’s how a lot of mistakes are caused. (This really goes for anything in life, but today we’re talking about these specific topics.) I guess that’s my tip #1 or bonus tip, honestly! You gotta do you. Simply take someone’s tip (like mine!), try it out for a couple weeks, see if it works for you, and then choose to add or remove it from your life.
OK but now for the other mistakes to avoid, and especially ones that can cause more stress & clutter than good…
You overbook your calendar
If y’all have seen my calendar/planner before, you know most of my days are planned out, almost to the minute. BUT one thing I’m really good at (gold star please!) is attempting to give myself enough time per item. I’ve learned the hard way that most things take me longer than I’m planning for. Instead of thinking a blog post will take 2 hours, I now always block off 4 hours, or whatever, depending on the subject. And I’ll block out an extra 30 minutes for my weekly coffee dates with my friend because technically I have to drive home and get settled before I can start another task.
Give yourself some wiggle room and it’ll cause SO much less stress and anxiety! Plus, worst case? You have extra time for a break or to get started on the next task while getting ahead for the day.
You don’t take breaks
Speaking of breaks, YOU NEED THEM. We all do! This is something I’ve read over and over while learning about time management. Everyone from Elon Musk to Tim Ferriss to Jenna Kutcher to Oprah say one of the keys to their success (and empires), is downtime.
While it might seem smart to push through your week on auto drive, it’s actually not. Your brain literally needs a break to recharge, just like an engine eventually does. So even if you think you’re “wasting” that hour break for a workout class or meeting a friend for lunch, you’re not! You’re actually preparing your system to be more effective. Pretty cool, right? Plus, self-care and breaks are good for the soul (aka lower cortisol levels/stress/clutter from the brain/all the things). They’re a must.
Schedule in at least one thing a day that recharges YOU and remember, this will look different for us all. Here are some of my favorite waysd if you’re looking for ideas, though.
You don’t take time to organize and prepare
Another big time management mistake is not preparing for success when it comes to your life’s organization. I think of this step like going to the dentist or getting your oil changed (but for work). It doesn’t feel like it’s making you money or excelling your life or getting anywhere on your to-do list, but it’s a foundation for not only time management but adulting.
I try to do this on Fridays and it looks something like this: I go through my phone and computer and delete photos and files I no longer need, including screenshots saved on my desktop and random things I’ve had to download for work. I also go through any mail or packages that I’ve put off during the week and get rid of the boxes/trash. I clean up my desk area, put things away, wipe it down, etc. Then I plan my week in my calendar!
This time (usually about 1-2 hours) has been life-changing for my productivity and sanity and I could NOT recommend it more for any aspect of your life. I put on a little music of podcast and it’s actually kinda fun, if not only a huge release from my brain.
This is kinda like the breaks thing where it seems counterintuitive to success/getting a lot done, but it’s not. I actually wrote a whole post on single tasking and why it’s more beneficial which I’d love y’all to read. In the spirit of time management mistakes, it wouldn’t make sense to re-write what I’ve already written, right? But for real, give this post a read!
What mistakes have you found yourself making? Any of these? Any time mgmt tips to add in general?
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