Do you manage your time, or do events and those you work with/for manage it? How often do you mentally have your day planned out, only to have the day “disappear” with most if not all of your plans set aside?

Stop Wasting Time

Tania Khadder says “Time flies when you’re wasting it” and provides the following list of top time wasters:

  1. Instant Messaging – IMing has a time and place, but in most business situations, a phone call, email, or a face to face meeting may serve you better (and ultimately save you time and improve the likelihood of obtaining desired results).
  2. Over-Reliance on Email – Email is a wonderful tool to get information out quickly to many people. The down side is you can’t be certain the message was read, or that the tone and information were accurately interpreted. Do you send emails to only those that need to take action or receive an update? How many unneeded emails do you get copied on daily?
  3. Meandering Meetings – Some meetings go longer than anticipated and accomplish little. Stick to an agenda, control side bars, highlight meeting accomplishments and document takeaways/next steps. Have you ever left a meeting and wondered why you were there or questioned its purpose?
  4. Short Gaps Between Meetings – Schedule your meetings so that your day is as minimally disrupted as possible. If you have the choice, pick either mornings or afternoons to meet, and leave the other open to deal with daily activities and to work on what’s important to you.
  5. Reacting to Interruptions – We don’t always have the latitude, but if possible, schedule a time in your day to answer phone messages and check email.
  6. Ineffective Multi-Tasking – Multi-tasking can impact quality; we don’t listen well, and we may appear inattentive and disengaged since we aren’t focusing on just one item at time.
  7. Disorganized Workspace – Did you know the perception of a leader lacking organization skills impacts the ability for that leader to be trusted? Enough said.
  8. Personal Communications – Try to limit checking your personal emails, text and phone messages to your break and lunch time only.
  9. Web Surfing “Breaks”– It’s great that many have the opportunity to use a computer at work, but similar to personal communications, limit your personal activity/searches to your break and lunch time (if your company allows it).
  10. Cigarette/Coffee/Snack Breaks – How often do you get up from your desk or leave your office? Every time you do, you lose focus on whatever it is you were doing. Sometimes we need a break to stretch our legs or clear our head, but be cognizant of how many times you allow interruptions to delay what you’re trying to accomplish.

Click here to see the complete article and read Tania’s Khadder’s thoughts.

Your Challenge

Remain focused, identify what’s truly important to you, and have the courage to say “no” to tasks that may be important to others, but prevent you from addressing your priorities and using your time wisely!

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