Time Management Lies We Tell Ourselves Every Day!

When it comes to time, most of us are guilty of telling ourselves little white lies.

Sometimes, we tell whoppers like …

I don’t have enough time … I’ll do it later … I can multi-task …

They seem harmless, but these little deceptions can have a negative impact on our overall lives.

When you’re trying to get stuff done or trying to reach your goals, but with all good intentions you are running into obstacles, you may want to have a look at some of the things you’re telling yourself.

There are many lies we tell ourselves daily, but here are six of the biggest time management lies that could be the culprit …

I don’t have enough time!
Actually … you do have enough time. You have the same amount in a day as everyone else.

If it feels as if you don’t have time it could be a symptom of over-commitment. As in, you’ve taken on way more things than you have available time to get it all done.

Maybe it’s time to let some things go. Please remember … you’re a human being, not a human doing.

I work best under pressure!
It may be true you’ll finish it quicker because pressure makes you act faster, but ask yourself …

Are you finishing the work because you’ve done your best, or are you ending the work because you’ve run out of time?

Did you put the finishing touches on it or did you throw something together that was mediocre and took the chance that nothing could go wrong … creating unnecessary stress for yourself in the process?

Try this instead: break the task – or whatever it is –  into smaller chunks, giving yourself an earlier deadline, and doubling the time you estimate it will take. Knock off those small chunks a little at a time. This way you won’t be leaving the whole thing until the last minute.

The added bonus to this is NO STRESS!! Yay!

Everything on my task list must get done!
Pretty much everyone today is struggling with unrealistic workloads. They’re overwhelmed by too many emails, too much information, too many tasks, and roles and responsibilities. The pace of communication has increased dramatically and trying to keep up with it all is exhausting.

The stuff coming in is faster than the output.

All of this means you must come to terms with one important thing … you will never get everything done.

No matter how much you finish today, no matter how productive or efficient you are, you can only accomplish a limited amount of things and you have limited time and energy to do it.

Choose your priorities carefully, and let go of the belief that you will get everything done.

I don’t need to write that down – I’ll remember it!
Your mind can only process so many things at one time and when you’re busy trying to recall dates and appointments and thoughts and ‘don’t forget to pick up milk and bread’, it’s difficult to think about pretty much anything else.

Your thought process will slow down and you’ll find it more difficult to think of new ideas or have the capacity to make decisions.

By putting stuff down on paper, you free up your mind to focus on thinking instead of constantly trying to remember stuff so … write it down!!

I’ll get more done if I just power through and don’t take a break!
Thinking about skipping that lunch break so you can squeeze in a bit more time on that project? Or saying no to a quick coffee break after a long meeting?

Hmmmm … working non-stop is not the most efficient way to get stuff done. The longer you work at something, you become more fatigued and you’re likely to make more mistakes. I must admit … I’m guilty of this one for sure.

Take a break – even if you think you can’t afford the time to do it. You’ll come back to work refreshed and ready to get ‘er done!

I can fit all this into a day!
The biggest lie many people tell themselves is that they can get two to three times as much done every day – even though they’ve never actually been able to manage that load. As you can probably imagine, this can be pretty demoralizing.

Every day pick One Thing. Not two. Not a dozen. Just One Thing that is your most important-highest-priority. If that’s all you manage to get done then you can feel good about yourself.

And hey, if you suddenly end up with some time in your day, you can start on the next most important-highest-priority.

That’s it. Those are the six biggest time management lies people typically tell themselves.

You might be surprised to hear yourself telling at least one of these before lunch!

I know you want to work smarter, but lying to yourself won’t help. Stop the lies … get more done.

Now, get on with your day!

About Georgina Forrest

Georgina Forrest is a Productivity Coach & Organizing Specialist at Smartworks! Enterprises Inc. in Red Deer, Alberta. Her credentials include Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®), Organizer Coach, and membership with Professional Organizers in Canada (POC) where she has attained Gold Leaf status – a designation acknowledging her as an experienced professional organizer. Her specialties are geared toward increasing productivity, streamlining administration and decreasing stress in the workplace. She will teach you how to manage your time, space and information so you can be more effective and efficient at work. Additionally she offers training programs, productivity coaching and time management-related presentations.