7 Barriers To Effective Time Management And How To Overcome Them

Preview: What’s holding you back from feeling in control of your days? It might be one of these seven barriers to effective time management.

Do you wonder why you still cannot manage your time well despite your best efforts? You’ve tried all the tips and tricks the time management gurus said you should do, and still, you struggle to feel successful and in control of your days. This article explores seven common barriers to effective time management and provides three questions to help you overcome these obstacles.

What's holding you back from feeling in control of your days? It might be one of these seven barriers to effective time management.

Barrier 1: Not Having Enough Margin

You can’t manage your day if your schedule is too full. It is hard not to fill every waking moment with activities and feel like we always need to be productive. Several possible causes of these emotions might be

  • Jealousy that we are missing out on something fun.
  • Fear we are not providing our children what they need.
  • Guilt about not volunteering.

But it is okay to say no. When you have enough margin in your day, you can help others with unexpected needs. You can have a calm and restful spirit which allows you to cultivate a thriving home atmosphere and focus your energies on what matters most to you.

Barrier 2: Not Making Time To Plan

A common barrier to effective time management is not making time to plan. Have you had any of these thoughts?

  • I don’t have time to sit down and plan my day.
  • I don’t need to plan out my day.
  • I want to live spontaneously and not be defined by a schedule.
  • I can’t live by a schedule.

I’ve heard all of those reasons for not making time to plan from the Triumphant Learning audience. It is easy to fall into the trap of believing that it takes too much time or you don’t need to plan your day, but when you make the time, you’ll be amazed at the results. You will find that you are calmer and less anxious, you’ll accomplish more, and your home atmosphere will start to change.

A simple way to plan your day is to identify three things.

  • Appointments
  • Meals
  • Three to five tasks

Identifying these three things removes decision fatigue and sets a clear path for your day. And it even leaves room for spontaneity and unexpected events. You can learn more about planning these three things by joining the free Take Back Your Day email challenge.

Finally, take control of your homeschool days. Learn five simple strategies to help you manage the demands of being a homeschool parent.

Barrier 3: Overplanning

I am guilty of overplanning frequently. Overplanning prevents us from achieving what we want to accomplish. Sometimes I have to tell myself to stop planning and start living. I can have the best-laid plans, but I have to actually implement them. At some point, you have to stop thinking about what might be. You need to stop dreaming about the future and start executing. Your goal can change; it doesn’t have to be perfect. Take the first step in moving toward your goal right now.

Barrier 4: Planning Too Much

On the other side of the spectrum, if we plan too much, we don’t leave room for the unexpected. I am guilty of this quite frequently too. In episode 93 of the podcast, I talked about how you can have realistic expectations for how much you can get done in a day. We have to consider how much time we will have to complete tasks and how much time is needed for each task. It’s more of an art than a science to finding the right balance, and it takes practice to master this skill.

Barrier 5: Viewing Every Task As Urgent

I love the Eisenhower matrix. Each task has a level of importance and a level of urgency. If we live in Quadrant One, which is comprised of urgent and important tasks all the time, we will not have time to focus on things that are important to us but have not risen to an urgent status. Instead of investing time to accomplish what we value, we spend the majority of our time dealing with what seems like a fire we need to put out. It is possible to have your focus on what’s important to you.

Barrier 6: Not Delegating Effectively

The most common answer I hear from parents as to why they don’t delegate more tasks to their children is that they don’t want to let go of control. They might not trust their children to do the task well and are afraid it will require more time as they train and redo their children’s work. It does require an investment of time in the short term to train our children, but in the long run, we will save time because they can help out.

Barrier 7: Perfectionism

There are many ways perfectionism can be a barrier to effective time management, including the following.

  • You will not manage your days perfectly all the time. There will be days you schedule too much or underestimate how long a task will take.
  •  You do not have to complete a task perfectly.
  •  You don’t have to complete a project in one work session. It’s okay to pick a stopping point.
  •  You may not see the whole picture or know how the end result looks.

We can let go of the fear that we don’t do it perfectly and take the next step.

How To Overcome Barriers To Effective Time Management

Which barrier most resonates with you? Schedule a meeting with yourself, and journal about how you can overcome that barrier. Find a few quiet moments in your day, and ask yourself the following three questions.

  1. What might be blocking your success?
  2. What changes in mindset do you need to make?
  3. What micro step could you take to minimize the effects of the barrier?

If you want some help processing these questions and overcoming your obstacles to a successful homeschool day, coaching may be helpful for you. I would love to coach you through this process and provide a safe space where you can think about what’s going on and identify the barrier that is causing the most stress for you.

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