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Time Management Mistakes

There are three time management mistakes that are extremely common.

If any of these three are your problems... read on

Let us take each one in turn and solve the problems once and for all.

Problem 1

You spread yourself too thinly over too many projects simultaneously, and , as a result, you make poor progress on all of them, rather than bearing down on a limited number and making rapid good progress on a smaller number of vital projects.

This error is caused by two false beliefs:

False belief 1

You think it is good to "multi task"

Multi-tasking is defined as "the art of doing two, three or more things at the same time"
Multi-tasking sounds good: Multi-tasking when defined in that way seems to be a virtue.

But it is not a virtue.

Multi-tasking can also be defined as: "Failing dismally to concentrate on one thing at a time".
It is not good to fail to concentrate.
If you are trying to drive the car and unwrap a sandwich at the same time: then you are multi-tasking and making a grave error.
If you are trying to do your homework and watch TV at the same time; you will fail your exam.
If you are trying to listen to your friend's problem and phone text a different friend at the same time: you will lose!

The truth is that to do anything well you must concentrate on it.

That means put other things out of your mind, for a short while, and focus on the thing at hand.
Apply maximum mental focus onto one point, burn a hole into it, and then later put your maximum mental energy onto another point.
Focus your attention

False belief 2

You think you can do more than you can actually do i.e. you are too optimistic

The First thing you need to know about optimism is: Optimism is good.
But it isn't THAT good!

Over optimism causes avoidable and costly errors.

As an over optimist do you sometimes forget that almost everything takes longer than you think it will?
We tend to think in abstract terms and ignore the practical realities of implementing projects.

Time Management Training

Time Management Training

Most people feel they need help with time management. How can you get more done in the same amount of time? How can you stop other people wasting your time? If you want to know how, then click here to find out more about our time management training course.


You think it will take to 20 minutes to get to town.
AND it would take 20 minutes IF there is zero traffic, no hold ups, no new road works, no unexpected accidents, diversions, or red traffic lights.
But there are!
As a result, what in theory is a twenty minutes journey is, in practice, a 35 minute journey.

You are late: and you blame the traffic.

The truth is that you must build into your plans, enough time to account for the inevitable but unpredictable problems that will occur.

Problem 2

You allow other people to steal too much time from you because you are too polite to interrupt your colleagues who talks too much.

Too many people talk too long about the wrong things.

They talk too long about:

  1. Their fears
  2. The things that have already gone wrong
  3. How good it used to be compared with today
  4. Other people's gossip and love affairs
  5. Trivia from the TV and sport

You want to get on with your work, but don't have the heart to stop the other from talking: so you sit and listen to them.

This must stop!

Learn to interrupt the talker, with your version of the following sentiment.

"I know you have lots you want to tell me, but I am on a deadline this morning and so I must focus on this. Would you please tell me about it later?"

If they DO come back later, then amend the statement to this:
"I know you have lots you want to tell me, but I am on a deadline this AFTERNOON and so I must focus on this. Would you please tell me about it TOMORROW?"

Keep on delaying their banter until they choose another victim.


  1. Don't be rude
  2. Always smile

Problem 3

You put off tasks you don't like, or important decisions, until they have grown into a crisis.

Here is the rule to apply:

"Act according to the plan, not your mood"

Putting it the other way:

Don't ever say to yourself: "I could, I should, but I won't. - Because, I'm not in the mood".

Don't allow your mood to be the final arbiter
Make your mind the arbiter: Mind over mood.

Those people who break this rule always suffer terribly because they become procrastinators.

A procrastinator, by definition, is one who puts off the things he knows he should do, because he is not in the mood to do it.
But many important projects involve tasks which you will never be in the mood to do.
Nobody is ever in the mood to clean the toilet.
Nor do the food shopping.
Nor lift the heavy stuff into the van.

Your MOOD should have nothing to do with it

Remember this phrase: MIND over MOOD!
Your mind should take precedence over your mood.
Your well thought-out-plan should take precedence over your arbitrary likes and dislikes.
If you should, and you could, then you MUST!

For more information about time management training visit the Corporate Coach Group website.

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Further Reading in Time Management