“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
This quote from the Lord of the Rings makes so much sense even in the context of everyday life. Don’t you wonder how some people manage to make the most of their time at work or stay on top of their emails or put things into action when their entire day is occupied with meetings?
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We would all love to have more hours in the day just to finish our tasks, and maybe, at the end of it all, also find some leisure time. While there is nothing that can be done about having more hours in the day, what can be done is to utilise our given time in the best possible manner. This is what is meant when we hear people talk about Time Management. However, while everyone may think that they understand the concept, the ideas most people have of time management are incorrect.
Since time management is an essential ingredient to a well balanced life, it becomes imperative to set aside the common misconceptions surrounding it. Here are five myths related to time management that we’ve decided to bust.
Myth 1: You should learn to manage time
The biggest and foundational flaw of time management is that people think it’s all about managing time. However, that’s not true. Teresa Amabile, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, who has done years of research and study in this field, concludes that it’s more about managing your overall workload.
The key is to map your capacity to work, commitments to take up and the time frame together, and exercise control over the workload.
Myth 2: A set system always worked
Just because a particular style of performing a task has worked well for someone in the past, it really doesn’t mean that it can work for every other person as well. A study by Jordan Cohen, a time-productivity veteran, reveals that one should just keep trying different ways of doing work. What matters more is not the modus operandi, but the quality of work delivered.
Myth 3: Technology is a gift
Peter Bregman, CEO of Bregman Partners, argues that technology is in fact not the greatest of the gifts to mankind when it comes to time management. Technology that can make us more efficient can also turn out to be a reason for delayed work. This is where a digital vacation, both in personal and professional life, is needed, in order to complete the tasks that are most crucial.
Myth 4: Breaks are a waste of time
Breaks are very important for efficiency and productivity. While some people make use of their breaks to finish different tasks, Dr Laura Hills, a life coach, recommends otherwise. She reinforces the belief that breaks are quintessential. Breaks should be proper ones, giving rest to the body as well as the mind.
Myth 5: Multitasking is the way forward
While multitasking helps you do more, it doesn’t necessarily lead you to achieve more. Divided focus can often lead to mistakes, and in most cases, a do-over is needed. HBR studies also reveal that multitasking actually leads to less competent performers.
It can be really daunting to manage our workload and time, but knowing what works and what doesn’t could be the step in the right direction.