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As a time management consultant, I'm often asked what are the top mistakes I see people make. Last time we saw the first five. Here are the last five:  

6)Not taking time to relax: Sufficient sleep is necessary, but not enough to ensure that you function at your best, and make the most of your time. Providing your mind with rest is just as important to effective time management. By not giving your brain breaks from work on a regular basis to do completely different things – engaging in fun activities that have nothing to do with work or obligations – you slowly lower our performance level, always resulting in much lower performance (hence more hours at work to achieve the same results) and sometimes ending in mental burn-out.


7)Ignoring your own time management style: There is no such thing as one-size-fits all in time management, but the different styles and the corresponding techniques are not widely taught. So you most likely learned your time management skills from our parents, a teacher, a mentor. If this person had the same time management style as you, you learned and improved your skills. But if this person had a different style, no matter how much you tried, you never were able to replicate their habits successfully, and probably blamed yourself for it. Don't... All you did was try to use for yourself a solution that is not adapted to who you are. Learning your personal style will allow you to develop tools and strategies that actually work for you.  

8)Reinventing the wheel: In my professional life, I've seen too many people re-inventing the wheel on a regular basis. Too many don't take the time to sit down, think through a procedure for activities and tasks that they perform on a regular basis. As a result, every time they need to re-create the whole process, again and again. Taking a few extra minutes to think it through and create a written procedure or checklist can save you untold amounts of time: a client of mine, whose profession requires her to prepare events several times a month, reduced her event preparation time from an hour and a half to 20 minutes just by taking the time to create a checklist of everything she needed.  

9)Not delegating enough: This is one of the most common, and most time-consuming time management mistakes I see. You have built your business on your own; or you have built a career based on your ability to get things done. You now have resources to delegate, but you still perform many tasks that would be more profitably and/or effectively done by others. As a result, you waste time on tasks such as filing, or packing, or drafting letters. You're also wasting money in the process: if your hourly rate is $100/hour, it is the same whether you are in front of a client or filing your papers. By delegating tasks that can easily be done by others, you are freeing time for you to do more of the things that only you can do, and using your resources much more effectively.  

10)No emergency planning: According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2006 a building caught fire every 60 seconds or every day in America. In other words, most people will be directly affected by a fire in their lifetime. Unfortunately most people don't have a plan to deal with such an event, and will waste enormous amounts of time, money, stress and effort in trying to recover from it. When life's smaller emergencies strike, it's often the same: there is no set plan B, or even plan C, if their child falls sick the evening before an important meeting, or if they themselves fall sick right before a critical deadline at work. Having a backup plan, on the other hand, allows you to immediately spring into action and deal with the emergency effectively and quickly, then be able to move on without stress.  

How many of those time management mistakes do you make?


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