10 Time Wasters
wasters will eat up your time and keep you from
focusing on what's really important. To free
up your schedule, identify time wasters and
take action to deal with them. Following are
the ten most common ways of wasting time.
1. Not enough time off
To be truly effective, you need to step back
and re-energize yourself. Many people try to
do more and more, thinking this proves their
efficiency. But in reality, excessive busyness
reduces productivity and distracts you from
focusing on what is most important.
waste time when you keep doing, doing, doing,
without taking enough breaks to reflect and
re-energize. Eventually, your health may suffer
and you'll reach a crisis point where you're
forced to take even more time off.
2. Lack of planning, prioritizing and focus
Without these, you'll find yourself drifting.
Your work will be scattered and disjointed.
Again, you'll not have time to invest in your
priorities, but will waste energy on activities
that are not moving you towards your vision.
You'll feel directionless; your productivity
will drop, and you will inhibit the momentum
required to be effective and efficient.
Putting things off wastes not only your time,
but also your physical and mental energy. When
you procrastinate, time is wasted thinking and
worrying about the things you need to do, and
berating yourself for not getting them done.
You'll be ineffective, especially when crunch
time arrives and the thing you have been avoiding
suddenly becomes urgent.
Interruptions may include the telephone, people
dropping into your office, and unanticipated
events or visitors. Interruptions distract you
from focusing on what is important at any given
much as possible, avoid overlapping different
areas of your life. Unless there is an emergency,
don't allow your work and personal life to interrupt
each other. While enjoying time with your family,
avoid becoming distracted by work. Don't take
business calls. Likewise, let your friends know
that you would appreciate it if they did not
call or drop over during office hours- schedule
other times for socializing. Focus on one area
at a time.
5. Lack of delegation
You'll really waste time if you fall into the
trap of thinking that you need to do everything
and no one ever does it as good as you. You'll
end up doing too much and having insufficient
time to focus on what you really excel at -
your gifts, strengths and abilities. You miss
out on leveraging your time by not allowing
other people to carry out your basic and routine
Meetings can be time wasters if there is no
specific reason, agenda and timeframe for holding
them. It's easy to fall into the habit of holding
meetings without realizing that some of that
time could be spent more efficiently. You'll
save time by clarifying the reason and purpose
of a meeting.
7. Crisis management, fire fighting
Running around like a headless chicken is a
major time waster. You'll be hindered from working
on what's important because of all the urgent
items getting in the way. Because you're in
such a hurry, things will not be done well and
may come back to bite you, wasting more time
when they need to be re-done.
8. Telephone, e-mail and Internet
As with meetings, it's easy to spend a lot of
unnecessary time on the telephone or Internet.
Time is wasted when you lack clarity about the
purpose of your activities, and when you are
easily distracted. It's easy to justify to yourself
that you're working hard when in fact what you're
doing may serve no useful purpose.
9. Not saying 'No'
Taking on too much adds excessive pressure and
prevents you from working at your best. That
means everything takes longer; more time is
stolen. If you can't say no, it means you don't
value your time and you are allowing others
to choose how you should spend it.
10. Lack of organization and tidiness
Clutter zaps your energy. Not only does it hinder
your effectiveness, it wastes time as you try
to sort through the mess. You may find yourself
looking through the same clutter time and again.
Clutter is a distraction and hinders you from
making the most of your time. When you are disorganized,
much time can be spent doing the same thing
you have a clear idea about time wasters, you
are free to make a choice about what, if anything,
you want to do about them. To eliminate these
time wasters, you must take action. I suggest
you periodically re-evaluate how you are managing
your time. Honestly assess how you waste time,
choose one thing that you want to change and
then define the specific action you're going
to take to plug the hole in your wasted time.
Hearn, Coach, works with business owners,
professionals and executives to discover and
unlock their own inspiration, to effortlessly
take the actions required to have the success
they desire. To receive Wendy's free newsletter,
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