Expert Panel, Forbes Coaches Council
Time management is crucial in today’s always-on business world. Many professionals think they have the best tips for prioritizing and balancing one's responsibilities and tasks. Among these tips, however, are myths and poor advice that could actually have more of a negative impact.
We asked 11 members of Forbes Coaches Council to set the record straight on certain "good" time management tactics, like multitasking and detailed daily to-do lists. Here are some of common tips they say you shouldn't buy.
1. 'Better Time Management Means Better Task Management'
Some say that if we better manage the tasks on our to-do list we can better manage our time. I am a fan of time blocking as a way of managing priorities. However, I do believe that, to have good time management, we need to have good boundaries and make intentional choices about where to focus our energy. The choices we make dictate our priorities. To have better time management, make better choices. - Michela Quilici, MQ Consulting and Business Training, Inc.
2. 'Schedule Your Hardest Task First, Regardless Of Your Energy Levels'
When you just focus on managing time, you don't take into account your natural bio-rhythms and energy levels. Trying to take on a tough task when your energy is at rock bottom is a recipe for procrastination. So, if your energy is high in the morning, then focus on the more difficult projects or actions. If, by Friday, you tend to feel flat, then schedule less important meetings and administration. - Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy
3. 'You Can Always Find Time For Your Priorities'
Knowing your priorities and aligning activities with them is important, but you can still feel stressed. Since you can't change the time you have, change how you feel about it. If you’re thinking you don’t have enough time, it'll feel stressful. Tell yourself "I have all the time in the world." You’ll feel calmer, more present and open to new and different solutions, allowing you to get more done. - Rosie Guagliardo, InnerBrilliance Coaching
4. 'Multi-Tasking Helps You Get More Done'
A common time management tip that is actually a myth is the concept of multi-tasking. The more effective way to manage time is to practice mindfulness and be fully present in the moment, increasing the ability to both focus and recall information, which saves time and increases productivity. - Shelley Hastings, Synergy Empowerment Coaching, LLC
5. 'It's All About Doing As Many Tasks As Possible'
If one gets millions of things done, especially at the cost of their body, mind and soul, but few or none of those tasks helps improve their professional and personal life, that is not wise time management. True time management is not about getting more things done in less time but about doing things with an intention for a purposeful, successful and happy life. - Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC
6. 'You Don't Have Enough Hours In The Day To Do Everything You Want To Do'
You have full control over the choices you make. It's common to hear "I don't have time to network, to work on my cover letter, to reach out to people or to figure out my career." Make the choice. Decide to focus, even if it's 15 minutes a day of investing in yourself, evaluating where you are in your career and your story. Ask yourself what's stopping you from making the time -- then decide to commit. - Joanne Markow, GreenMason
7. 'A Structured Day Leads To Well-Managed Time'
One of the biggest myths is that a structured day is inherently the basis of good time management. This couldn't be further from the truth. Productivity, effectiveness, efficiency and time management require individualization for maximum results. Hence, one has to experiment to find what works for him/her. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. - Kamyar Shah, World Consulting Group
8. 'You Need A Detailed Task List To Properly Manage Your Time'
A common time management tip that is actually a myth is the detailed task list. While it is important to list your tasks, it is more important to structure tasks in line with your strategic objectives. To master time management, know your desired outcomes and take 15 minutes to plan your next day the night before. Limiting your planning time increases decision-making and productivity. - Lillian Gregory, The Institute for Human and Leadership Excellence
9. 'Plan Each Day To Manage Your Time Well'
"Plan your day" used to be the mantra of time management. However, if all you do is plan your day, long-term goals never get any closer. You finish the day with extra to-dos that get added to tomorrow's list until you eventually give up on them. They can be unimportant tasks, but more often they are tasks with a longer time horizon. Include time in your week for longer-term strategic goals. - Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, Inc.
10. 'Just Budget Your Time'
Good luck with that; your budget will be shot 15 minutes into the day. Instead, create focus periods where you won't take calls, won't answer emails and focus on one task until you've made sufficient progress and then move to the next focus zone. This ends "got a minute" meetings and random interruptions and allows total and complete focus on one thing at a time. - Mitch Russo, Mindful Guidance, LLC
11. 'You Can Manage Your Time'
We can’t manage time. We all get the same 168 hours each week to do with what we wish. We can manage our energy to increase productivity. This begins with believing that there is enough time to do the things you deem most important. Now take a breath, close your email and social media, and focus fully on the critical activities to push your personal agenda forward. Now you can enjoy "found time." - Deborah Goldstein, DRIVEN Professionals
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