These thoughts are meant for all of us! We fall into the traps of time wasters and we need to find a solution. Let’s see what they are!
Time wasters originate from two sources: environment or self.
- PERSONALIZED DISORGANIZATION– Disorganization is a key culprit in wasted time. Sometimes, it shows up in your work area or at home. Do you start and stop several times a day before you see a task completed? Is there little effort on your behalf? Do you search for misplace items or are you distracted? Is your work or home area cluttered? How much time do you waste looking for things you know are there but can’t find? Perhaps, a housecleaning is in order. The old axiom, “A place for everything and everything in its place” is the best advice for organizing the information and things you need. You need to practice at completing your tasks. Avoid in getting involved in newer activities until it becomes your top priority.
- VISITORS OR AVOID DISTRACTIONS– Some of the time other people will break into the flow of your work. They had taking away your time from devoting to other things. Controlling time taken up by visitors requires both courtesy and judgment. It is often more difficult to get people to your area than for you to leave theirs. When people see you are busy, they tend to not interrupt. When you have a visitor, stand-up and they will stand-up and the visit will be shortened.
- GET RID OF UNWANTED JOBS–Some people do not like doing difficult jobs. Sometimes they will shift them upon you. Sometimes, staff asks you to do another chore to add to what you are doing now.
- TELEPHONE CALLS – Calls are a constant interruption. You can limit the amount of time it takes. The cell phones should be shut down during your work time until there is an appropriate time for them to be used. Many people text today for quick responses.
- MAIL – E-mails is a distraction. Unsolicited mail arrives in an unending flood.
- WAITING – This is an environmental time waster. We spend too much time waiting – for appointments, for meetings or something to begin, to complete something and as we commute. Try not to spend unreasonable time waiting for others with whom you have appointments. Or try to use it productivity. Try to list items from low to high priority.
- MEETINGS – Meetings should be planned for accomplishing and it should be kept brief and directly to the purpose of the meeting with a time limit.
- CRISES – Many people believe crises are unavoidable. That is only partly true. Unexpected events do occur that must be handled then and there. Many crises, however, are recurring events brought on by something that either was or was not done. When you delay something that needs doing, you are helping to create future crises. Try looking for patterns or recurring problems. Think true 3 questions: 1.What is likely to go wrong? 2. When will I know about it? 3. What will I do about it? Some crises are beyond our control. When this happens take a deep breath and relax for a few minutes. Think through things in a methodical and orderly way.
- POOR PLANNING
- ATTEMPTING TO DO TOO MUCH
- LACK OF SELF-DISCIPLINE
- INABILITY TO SAY “NO“
- INDECISION– Thinking about it; Worried about it; Putting it off
- INEFFICIENCY– Jumping in and just doing it without thinking it out.
- UNNECECESSARY ERRORS– You do not have enough time to do it right but you have enough time to do it over.
- DOING URGENT RATHER THAN IMPORTANT TASKS
- LACK OF PRIORITIES
NOTE: As for director’s time, 25% – 50% is controllable but the average manager is interrupted every nine minutes. So, there is a definite need to minimize interruptions but also plan them in to your day
LIST 3 OF YOUR TIME WASTERS:
WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO REDUCE THE IMPACT?