Five Myths of Time Management

There are so many prescriptions for how best to manage time and a bunch of them actually don't help you in any way. Author Laura Stack lists five of these time management myths below:

1.  If you plan properly, you can do it all. Well, no, you can't—because at some point, the sheer number of things you need to do outweighs the available time you have to do it. “Do-it-all” thinking got you into this mess in the first place. So examine your priorities carefully, focus on the important, and let the trivial go. Something can always slide—just make sure it’s not a key project.

2.  Multitasking makes you more productive. Quite the opposite, actually. Multitasking may work for computers, but for people, single-tasking—focusing tightly on one task at a time, to the exclusion of all others—actually works better. That way, you don't waste time switching between tasks and then refocusing on the new one.

3.  Breaks? I don't need no stinkin' breaks! Workaholics often skimp on breaks, under the impression that this makes them more productive. Big mistake! While you may not want to quit working on something when you're on a roll, stopping occasionally between tasks and taking a breather will recharge your energy. A nice lunch spent chatting with a co-worker may be just what you need to get back on the high-performance track.

4.  More is better. Some people believe the more they check off their to-do lists, the more productive they are. Be careful—don't confuse busyness with true productivity. If you accomplish two tasks worth $50,000 each in the course of an eight-hour day, then you've far out-produced your neighbor who polished off 35 items worth $500 each during a twelve-hour session.

5.  I need to stay connected at all times. While your smartphone, the Internet, and email can certainly make you more productive, tread carefully here. Responding instantly to calls, email alerts, and Tweets shatters your focus and diverts you from real work. So slip the electronic leash. When you need to concentrate on a critical task, shut down your email, skip Facebook, and turn off your cell phone. Take care of your communications when you come up for air.

Don't fall for these time management myths! Better yet, read Laura's book, so you can learn all the secrets of achieving fantastic productivity without succumbing to overwork! Finally, a “work less, more success” guide to time management!