166 5 Things a Time Management Expert Would Never Do


I'm a time management expert, and I've noticed a trend on social media of people sharing the five things they would never do in their field.

Count me in! I thought it would be fun to do the same for time management so listen in to hear the five things I would never do as a time management expert.


In this episode, you will learn the following:
1. What are the top five things a time management expert would never do?
2. What are the benefits of planning ahead instead of waiting until the last minute?
3. What are the advantages of using a plan instead of a task list?


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Maybe you've seen the trend out there of the five Things I Would Never Do as an Expert on social media. I got pulled into this and got some interesting questions from people with the real that I shared a while back. So I thought that it would be fun today, particularly as we're kind of getting close to the end of the year to really think about and for me to share with you. Fine. Five.

And believe me, it was very hard for me to come up with the five five things I would never do as a time management expert. So let's jump in and start the conversation.

Welcome to the Work Life Harmony podcast. I'm your host, Megan Sumrell. I'm the creator of the Top program and top planner, teaching all things time management, organization, and productivity for women. I'm also a mom and wife, and just like you, I'm juggling hashtags all the things while running multiple businesses and a family. Guess what?

You don't have to feel constantly overwhelmed, exhausted and stressed out. There is another way. When you have the right systems and tools to plan and manage your time, you can live a life of harmony. This is your show to learn from me and other amazing women how to master your time, planning and organization to skyrocket your productivity so you can have Worklife Harmony. If you're ready to stop feeling overwhelmed, this is the show for you.

And if you're new here, I'd love to get you started with my Work Life Harmony assessment. All you have to do is DM me on Instagram at Megan summerl with the word Harmony, and my team will send it right over.

Hey. Welcome back to worklife, Harmony. You may have noticed there was a trend going around on, I think, Instagram TikTok talking about the top five things you would never do as you kind of insert your role. So I did a really short reel out on Instagram a while ago, sharing the top five things that I would never do as a time management expert. So I wanted to kind of take a deeper dive into that here today in the episode to help you understand why those were the five things that I picked.

So the very first thing I would never do as a time management expert is start each and every day identifying the top three priorities for the day. Now, I've discussed this before. There are a ton of planners, productivity experts, etc. Out there that will say, this is the key to success. Wake up every morning and figure out what are your top three things that have to get done.

Make sure you focus and do those first before you move on to anything else. Well, the reason I do not teach this, coach it, and do not do it in my own personal life is because not every day lends itself well to a top three priority list. If you are a woman that is juggling a lot of different roles and responsibilities, which I'm sure most of you listening are you likely recognize. We all have some of those days where it's a day full of a lot of those medium level things that we just need to get done. And we intentionally design our day to do that because we recognize we're doing our weekly planning, that we may have a day this week that we don't have large pockets of time, or we might be able to sit down and focus on one of those top three priorities.

So I notice when I do my weekly planning, there's usually one day every week where I've got a lot of little 30 minutes appointments and there just isn't a good chunk of open time that might lend itself to maybe I need a good, solid 60 or 90 minutes to be able to focus, to make progress on one of those priorities. Another reason why I really don't like the top three is sometimes there aren't three, right? And I have seen women who have churned and churned wasting precious time at the start of the day trying to, okay, well, I know I really got to get this done. God, what are the next two? And they're wasting precious time trying to prioritize between seven things, which two should go on to the top three priority list.

So do I believe in prioritization? Absolutely. That is actually one of the nine components inside of my top framework. But when you get the system set up, where you are always regularly with the rhythms that I teach updating, the list of all the things that are competing for your time, going through a weekly prioritization process, this is what is going to empower you when you create your weekly plan to make sure at the end of the week you've gotten the most important things done in a way that doesn't stress you out. And guess what?

That might mean? You may have a day where you aren't touching one of those top priorities, but you intentionally designed it that way. So if you are someone that gets stressed out by, oh my gosh, identifying the top three, guess what? You don't have to do that. Now, the second thing that I would never do as a time management expert is to set New Year's resolutions.

Now, I used to way back when, and here's what would happen. It would be like December 31, January 1, sitting around with friends and family. The conversation would come up, we're having your resolutions, right? So we'd all start thinking about them, and then we'd all maybe even write a couple down and then we never did anything with them, right? And here's why I really don't like resolutions.

The word resolution in itself has such this feeling of finality, right? And so you set the New Year's resolution. I'm going to run five days a week, every single week. And then maybe on the third week of the year, something happens. You get sick, you have an injury, and you only run two days that week because it was a, quote, resolution.

You feel like you failed. And so now you're like, oh, well, that New Year's resolution is gone, right? And so this is why I really hate the traditional way of setting New Year's resolutions. Instead, we go through an entire process. Just did this inside of the plan of Lucia two day event where we identify what are those want tos that we want to see movement on in the coming year, and then we actually prioritize them, and then we create a meaningful plan that is realistic.

And so when we shift away from this idea of New Year's resolutions and instead lean into, these are my intentions for the year, these are the things I plan on starting, finishing, making progress on, whatever that is for you, and you have a realistic plan to accomplish this. Well, now you're set up for success. And those plans allow you to have those weeks where, guess what? The activities I wanted to do didn't happen. And that's okay.

I know what to do to regroup and keep moving forward. The third thing I would never do as a time management expert is to work from a task list instead of a plan. I have preached on this so many times. But if you are operating day in and day out, waking up, doing a brain dump, getting just a task list, a random list of stuff for the day, and then racing all day to try and get that done, you will 100% burn out. You will be so busy being busy, you collapse into bed at the end of every day going, man, I sure was busy.

I don't feel like I accomplished anything. This is why you have got to learn to embrace the idea of creating a plan. And a plan means that you have identified not only what needs to get done, but a general idea of when specifically it's getting done and in what order. And we are marrying it with the realities of how much time do I honestly have? So that is what a life of a plan looks like.

We do not want to live day in and day out from operating from a task list. All right? The fourth thing I would never do is to use my mobile device, my phone calendar as a tool to help me make yes no decisions about my time. So what do I mean by that? Well, maybe I am away from my desk.

I don't have my full Google calendar. I don't have my paper planner with me. I'm out running errands. Who knows? And I get a request for my time.

So maybe a colleague, a friend, a family member reaches out and asks me, megan, are you available at X date? And next time to do something, if I use my mobile device to make yes no or decisions I will 100% get overbooked and over scheduled. Because what will happen is I'll pull up the calendar on my mobile phone, which is what? The screen size of maybe five inches by three inches maybe. And I pull up to the day in question and I just see dots.

I don't know what the dots are. Then I tap into the day and I can see. So maybe they're requesting my time for ten days from now. I can pull up what my calendar says I have going on ten days from now, and I might see that, yes, I do have an opening to meet that request. But what I can't see from my mobile device is that may have been the one pocket of time that week, maybe the day before and the day after were days that were jam packed.

Maybe it's my first day home from a trip and I've now just completely overbooked myself. So while I absolutely use the calendar view on my mobile device as a reference, I will never make a yes no decision about my time until I have had full visibility into what we call the command center. So this needs to either be you're using a Google Calendar, Ical, whatever you need to be able to see the full week and month out of you understanding what is the reality of your available time, or in my instance, my paper planner, my top planner. I want to go reference that to make sure I'm not getting overbooked or over scheduled. So by all means, use it as a reference, but do not use it as the tool you go to to make yes no decisions for your time.

Now, the fifth and final thing, and believe me, there are more, but the fifth one I chose to share on what I would never do as a time management expert is to wait until the end of January or the end of December or the beginning of January to start my planning for the new year. If you wait until most people either wait until that week between Christmas and New Year's or kind of lean into it the first week of January to sit down and create their plans for the year, if you are doing that, it is already too late. What do I mean? Well, when you wait until the right at the end of the year or the beginning of the new year to create your plans for the week or to create your plans for the year, first of all, we're usually kind of feeling a little tired. There's a lot going on in the holidays, right?

And to bring that level of thinking, you aren't going to necessarily make your best choices. Also, you are missing out on the opportunity to have done prep work so that when January comes, you're already in motion. So if you're waiting until January to do your annual planning then you're really going to miss out on the opportunities to be productive. My definition of productive getting the most important things done in a way that doesn't stress you out, you're going to miss out on those opportunities in the first several weeks of the year. And for most people, it means January is kind of awash.

This is especially true for business owners, small business owners such as myself. If I were to wait until January to sit down and look at my plan for my business for the year, guess what? The month of January and half of February is gone. Because if you need to do prep work planning, if you do events, maybe you're creating something online. Maybe there's an event at a brick-and-mortar store.

That type of activity usually takes planning a good six to eight weeks ahead of time. This is why I do my annual planning, my first draft of it in October so that I make sure that I am focused on any activities I need to in November and December to hit any milestones that I want to achieve in January. So, quick recap of five things I would never do. First, start each day with a top three priority list. Second, set New Year's resolutions.

Third, work from a task list instead of a plan. Fourth, use my mobile device calendar as a tool to make yes-no decisions for my time. And fifth, I would never wait until the end of the year, the start of the new one, to start my annual planning. I would love to hear what else you guys might think about adding to the list of five things a time management expert would never do. Feel free to come find me over on Instagram at megan Summerall.

Shoot me a DM and let me know. Have a great week. Getting on top of all things time management, organization, and productivity doesn't have to stop just because this episode is over. If you want one-tap access to all of my training and current top podcasts, go to the App Store or Google Play and download the Pink B app. It's one word.

The pink bee app is jampacked with simple yet powerful tips and strategies to get you out of overwhelm and into harmony. And if you have a question you want me to COVID in a future episode, go to iTunes and ask your questions in the Podcast Review section. And while you're there, don't forget to leave a five-star review.

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