Sometimes, it seems like we can never follow our schedule and get all our tasks done on time. Our goals seem realistic until we’re an hour behind on one project while we should be working on another. Having a punctual and predictable schedule for the day is key to measuring and improving productivity. Here are a few reasons you end up falling behind, and some quick fixes to make your schedule more accurate.

You Don’t Leave Enough Time for Breaks

Very few people are able to spend an entire day working without taking any breaks. If you are one of these people, feel free to schedule your day without any downtime between tasks. However, if you’re like most of us, plan for a few minutes before and after each schedule entry to recalibrate and prepare. Stand up and stretch or take a short break and play an instrument or listen to your favourite music.

Your Goals are too Broad

To make the most accurate schedule, break each broad goal into as many small tasks as possible. Not only will this improve your schedule’s accuracy, but it will also help you to stay focused on the specific task at hand and improve your productivity.

You Assume your Day Won’t come with Distractions

Along with each day could come traffic jams, emergencies, late alarm clocks, late buses, or so much more. Even if you’re sure you’ll get everything done on time, accidents could happen and you could fail to reach your goals for the day. When creating your schedule, remember to leave some room to account for various unexpected delays.

You Overestimate Your Productivity

In a perfect world, productivity could be estimated by tasks divided by time. However, we can’t always tell the speed at which we will complete the day’s duties. Be honest with yourself when making your day’s schedule, and don’t overestimate your ability to work.

Your Workspace Isn’t Organized Enough

If time is money, then minutes wasted looking for a pen, paper, or any other materials you need to accomplish a task is comparable to setting a pile of cash on fire. To shave a few minutes off of each project, make sure you know where you keep all of your materials and avoid relying on your co-workers to lend you anything. While you’re at it, organize your desk to minimize distractions and lost documents.

You Lose Track of Time

It happens to everyone; conversations last too long, twenty-minute business meetings last an hour or a desk organization becomes an intensive cleaning. Plenty of seemingly small tasks can last much longer than intended and eat into our day. When scheduling for a busy day, try to eliminate small tasks that could take too much time. If they’re absolutely necessary, be sure to get to the point as soon as possible and don’t be afraid to cut a task short when there are more important things to attend to.

You Don’t have a Sufficient Scheduling Software

Written schedules have been a handy office tool for decades, but online schedules are the best way to optimize your productivity, save time, and minimize risk. Applications like Entry and Google Calendar offer significant features that will improve your ability to follow your schedule to the minute, such as notifications, cross-device compatibility, integration with TeamHeadquarters, and shared calendars.

We’ll never be able to predict exactly how our day will go, but for every time we miss one of our goals for the day, there is a way you could have prevented it from happening. Use the tips above and enjoy a much more accurate scheduling experience.