Good time management skills can help you tremendously in many areas of your life. But time management is exactly that: a skill. And even if you’re naturally better at time management than most, there is still room for error and ways to improve.

If you want to experience all the benefits of proper time management, make sure you know what not to do. Here are five mistakes to avoid if you want to manage your time effectively.

1. Misusing Your Calendar

When using a calendar to manage your time, make sure you’re using it correctly. This means adding every event to your calendar and organizing it in a way that makes sense to you. Color coding events by type can be a good way to do this. It also means planning everything around the events in your calendar and prioritizing tasks appropriately when necessary. Your calendar can and should dictate your day-to-day, and it’s a powerful tool when used to its full potential.

You should consider doing so if you’re not using a digital calendar to organize your events and tasks. Many people prefer an old-school paper calendar or a physical planner. While these are nice, the capabilities available with tools like Calendar, Microsoft Calendar, and Google Calendar are unmatched. Unique calendar features that digital calendars have include the ability to share your calendar, merge calendars, and ‘focus time’ capabilities.

Pro tip: If digital calendars are new to you, research and determine which one best suits your needs and lifestyle. A calendar is an important tool, and you deserve one that works for you and not against you. It should be helpful and reduce stress rather than add more.

2. Giving in to Distractions

Getting off-task is one of the most common (and easiest) time management mistakes to make. Initially, it can be challenging to minimize distractions and effortlessly stay focused on day-to-day tasks. Everyone gets distracted, whether you realize it or not. At work, your boss may bother you with an urgent matter while you have other things on your plate. In your personal life, time with friends may cause you to lose focus, thus adding stress to your week. But there are ways to ensure you don’t allow these last-minute requests and distractions to kill your productivity.

When it comes to distractions, learning how to prioritize tasks and knowing when to say “no” is key. But there are ways to ensure you don’t allow these last-minute requests and distractions to kill your productivity. If a task comes up at work, evaluate its importance and relevance to your role within the organization. From there, you can decide to focus on it now or push it off until later. You can also delegate tasks when necessary.

There will also be times in your personal life when fun plans tempt you. Having a calendar in place will be important in these scenarios because it allows you to evaluate whether or not you have the time quickly. If you’re too busy this week, saying no to fun plans may be best. But during a week when your workload is light, you may be able to swing it.

3. Constantly Procrastinating

One of the main benefits of having a calendar is that it allows you to plan ahead and stay on task. Having a calendar will seem pointless if you allow procrastination to get the best of you. When you’re staying on top of your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, you won’t feel as stressed. Days will feel less chaotic, and you’ll be able to produce higher quality work.

For some, crossing items off a list or calendar motivates them. When you complete a task, a meeting is over, or an event has already happened, cross it off. This not only feels like a win, but it forces your mind to focus on what’s next. Look ahead on your calendar and figure out what will require your attention in the coming weeks. And don’t put larger tasks off for too long; it’ll only make things worse for you.

There are many reasons why experts believe people procrastinate, and there are also a lot of consequences to doing so. If you find yourself procrastinating often, the Procrastination Mind Framework can help you develop strategies to overcome and combat it. Helpful strategies include identifying what triggers procrastination, breaking down large tasks into smaller ones, and more.

4. Striving for Perfection

Of course, you should always strive to do your very best. And if you’re managing your time effectively, you can rest assured that you will perform at your best. However, constantly striving for perfection can be detrimental to the successful completion of tasks. Instead of worrying about whether or not you did something perfectly, focus on getting it done — then getting the next task done. Focus on checking off items on your to-do list, and don’t get stuck on the small details.

This doesn’t mean you should produce poor-quality work or not care about things on your calendar. It just means that getting things done is sometimes more important than how they’re done. While you’re focused on a specific task or project, try to limit outside distractions. Focus on the task and nothing else to ensure you do your very best (which is all you can do).

Other than that, just make sure that you’re moving from task to task efficiently and with ease. You’ll get the hang of juggling a lot of tasks without sweating the small stuff. It just takes practice — and mastering time management tactics, of course.

5. Overworking With No Breaks

While you shouldn’t strive for perfection, you also want to ensure you’re at your best when working. This is why it’s so important not to overwork yourself and take breaks. Everyone needs a break. It’s well worth it, even if you must schedule breaks into your calendar to force yourself to accept them. Remember that being busy does not equate to being effective or being successful. It’s all about the quality of work you produce, not the quantity.

If you constantly overwork and have trouble taking a breather, consider blocking off time on your calendar. It may seem like a calendar is only for scheduling meetings, big events, and for keeping track of tasks. But you can truly plan out every aspect of your day — even if it means scheduling a break for yourself. Time blocking is an effective way to get the most out of your calendar, and several ways exist. The Pomodoro technique, time boxing, and task batching are just a few other strategies. Find what works for you and use it to your advantage.

Even if you’re consciously trying to manage your time effectively, the smallest mistakes can derail your productivity. Proper time management helps you to not only be more productive, but it can eliminate stress and improve your focus. Time management is a skill you have to master, but you must also recognize and rectify common time management mistakes. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at what you’re able to achieve.