Ask any successful lifestyle entrepreneur the secret to his or her success and “excellent time management skills” will at least make their top five.
But there can be many miscalculations about how to take charge of your time. As you scramble for time mastery, you may be falling into these six myths about what it takes to be a time management guru:
Myth #1: A One Size Fits All Approach
Yoon Cannon, a recent guest on my radio show, “Christian Women Entrepreneurs on Fire”, who currently had two high school kids and one in elementary, shared that guarding her time now is actually much more difficult than when all of her kids were younger. She said that you definitely need different time management strategies at different stages in life.
For example, when you have younger versus older kids, your optimal time management approach — from decisions about whether to have an electronic or off-line system, whether and how to time chunk, working from SMART goals or using more of a visioning approach — can change during different work and personal stages.
TIP: Constantly evaluate what is and is not working in your time management routine and be open to learning and incorporating new approaches you encounter.
Myth #2: Clear Priorities Are the Key
Your priorities or unfinished work around your priorities can actually be the root of your time management problems. When you have too many priorities, you neutralize your focus on any of them. And having conflicting priorities leaves your unconscious mind battling itself to figure out what to do next.
TIP: At the beginning of the year, make time for thorough planning of both your work and life goals. Take time to force yourself to narrow your focus on several crucial areas that work in synchronicity with all parts of your life.
Myth #3: All Interruptions Are Bad
Did you know that each interruption can cost you 8 minutes to get back to what you were doing? But when you can plan your interruptions by scheduling them in, you avoid sitting too long working which is not only bad for your body, but is a productivity sucker.
There are times you want to completely shut out interruptions so you can get into the flow. But it may be a good strategy in the early stages of your business to allow for interruptions using technology to notify you of potential clients calling to schedule an appointment or key people you need to talk to if the alternative is a series of phone tag.
TIP: Structure your day to minimize interruptions. But, be strategic when deciding when to let them in your business day.