3 Common Time Management Mistakes

Time Management Training  is an important component of corporate training where companies strive to maximize output from man-hours while cutting down on time related factors that cause the company to bleed financially.

As human beings we are finite creatures living in time and space. We are reminded of our limited time every day, week, month and year. And as our biological clocks continue to tick, we understand the value of needing to manage our time wisely. Unfortunately this is easier said than done. Most of us tend to allow certain ‘habits’ to distract us from doing certain tasks or accomplishing certain objectives. While there are numerous resources that speak on how to manage your time effectively, it helps to also keep in mind certain ‘time-killers’ that can be detrimental to your time management skills. In this blog we will look at three key areas where this can happen easily:

Failing to keep ‘to-do’ lists

It almost invariably happens on a Monday. Just as we get ready for a workweek, we realize we had forgotten to do something that we had planned to do during the weekend. And that’s when it hits us – we didn’t put it on the to-do list! This is a common error that often lands us in trouble even in the workplace. With ever increasing workloads and the necessity to multitask, keeping a list of things that need to get done is a crucial aspect of time-management skills.

Failing to prioritize

With the advent of digital devices and technology that remind us of things that need to be done, sometimes it is easy to think that our priorities are in our head and that is sufficient to figure it out. But often in a high stress work environment it is easy to let high priority tasks to slip through the cracks for the sake of the urgent tasks at hand. ‘How to manage time with 10 tips that work’  is an interesting article to make work more fun and motivating.

Failing to manage distractions

In the age of the Internet, modern smartphones today can do more than simply make phone calls. They also offer us limitless amounts of access to media. These can be incredibly distracting in deviating our attention from the immediate needs that require our attention. It is important to discipline ourselves to not be distracted by the digital world so one can focus on the immediate needs at hand.

For more information on Time Management Training refer to the following articles/blogs:

Building Your ‘Time Machine’ Through ‘Time Efficiency  

4 Effective ways to manage your time 

 The Art of Pacing Your Presentation – Good Time Management

Building Your Time Machine Through Time Management

Why Prioritization is not Prioritized when Managing Time?

Time Management and Prioritization are often topics of discussion in Performance Management and initiatives that are focused on enhancing productivity. But often productivity is unaffected.

Let us start with examining our process of doing To-Do Lists, Activity Logs and other time management tools. We start the day with listing out all the tasks that need to be handled during the day and keep some room to add new tasks that evolve as the day goes on. The focus is on completing as many tasks as possible.

Some people then have a process of prioritization that helps them to determine the order of the tasks. The parameters used vary for each person. However, the prioritized list of tasks does not seem to increase efficiency in people.

David Rock, in his book ‘Your Brain at Work’, has mentioned latest research on brain science that has finally revealed the answer to this conundrum.


David Rock states that in effective time management, there are 3 steps:

  1. Creating the list of tasks
  2. Putting them into buckets of Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 based on the complexity of the task
  3. Understanding ones energy levels during the day and performing the level of task based on the complexity

The last step is often overlooked. The Level 3 tasks often require the highest concentration and should be conducted when energy levels are high. This is because the Pre-Frontal Cortex (PFC) of our brain handles the complex tasks and requires a lot of physical energy to do the processing. Level 1 are routine tasks, which have been done before and are stored in our brain and just needs to be recalled. This requires the lowest energy. Hence, Level 1 should be done at times when our energy is at a low.

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” – Steven Covey

When we do not plan our tasks based on these principles, we tend to do the Level 1 tasks as we are able to complete it without too much effort and we are rewarded as we experience instant gratification. Planning our day using all 3 steps of time management gives you the highest likelihood of increased efficiency.

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Steven Covey

Make the decision to prioritize your tasks based on both the complexity of your task as well as the energy levels needed to handle the task. More importantly, make the decision to follow what you have decided. This will take you a significantly higher level of functioning.

The Time Management Training conducted by MMM Training Solutions has been repetitively described as ‘life changing’ because it is based on the principles of brain science.