Effective time management is a challenge for every human being.  Balancing the demands at work, as well as the demands outside of work, prove to be exhausting much of the time.  In the month of May, we will be focusing on this specific topic – time management; energy cycles and strategies for tackling procrastination, prioritization, and goal setting.  To begin the series, let’s take a look at a few myths many people believe about time management

1.  Once I learn to manage time, I won’t struggle with time management.

Time management is an ongoing process.  Different tools work in different situations.  You are a dynamic human being and what motivates you is dynamic.  This is part of time management. Think of it like this – if you do the same work out every day, you will only work the muscles used in that work out.  To work other muscles, you need to switch up your work out.  Do you get the picture?

2.  If only I was a better multi-tasker.

Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking is a detriment to your productivity.  A 2009 study at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found two issues with multi-tasking: 1) when our brain switches from task to task, we experience a lag time in our focus, and 2) doing more than one task at the same time negatively affects our ability to process.  Besides, some of you are compartmentalized thinkers – and that is perfectly okay!

3.  I can’t say no to my boss.

You CAN say no to your boss … although there is a diplomatic way to do it.  Saying no involves negotiating other tasks and priorities.  Sometimes your boss doesn’t understand the big picture of what you do.  A short conversation can enlighten them.  Using the phrase, “I am happy to do it and first I need your help to decide which of these other tasks I can move down on my list of priorities.”

Over the next four weeks we will dig deeper on tools for managing your time.  For now, work on accepting time management as a daily activity, letting go of multi-tasking, and giving yourself permission to say no.