1. Not ‘timeboxing’ your schedule
If you plan your daily workload in your calendar or online tool you will have a better chance of not going overtime. It’s easy to lose track of time or let some tasks distract you from getting more important things done. Timeboxing forces to start … and stop work so you can finish all the things you need to get done.
2. Ignoring Not Urgent but Important Tasks
It’s easy to focus your attention on things that are urgent, or appear urgent, but could be put aside until later. Most crises or urgent items arise from someone else’s urgent need to have something done right away. Make sure you stick to your plan to spend time on your own priorities as scheduled, and rearrange less important tasks so you can accommodate any emergency.
3. Not saying no
If your schedule is seriously overloaded, you will feel overwhelmed and unlikely to get everything on your list done. Don’t be too ambitious by stuffing more into your schedule than you can realistically achieve. And if you get a last minute, urgent request – it’s okay to say no (or not now).
4. Being busy doing nothing
There’s a difference between doing a lot of things and getting a lot done. Being busy doesn’t always end in results. Focus instead on high value, high leverage activities. Learn to delegate. Spend your time on activities that will yield results vs. puttering.
5. Getting lost in (cyber) space
Hours can fly by when you’re idling ‘online’. Set some reasonable limits around how much time is required (timebox) each day and enforce it!