Ok so you’ve a heap of tasks on your to-do list that need to be done yesterday, you’re determined to get them finished today, starting right now. Just after you check Facebook for a few minutes…
Sound familiar? Before you know it an hour or two goes by and your to-do list has nothing crossed of it.
We all know how to waste time! Sociologist W. Edward Deming states that the “average worker has more than fifty interruptions a day, of which seventy percent have nothing to do with work.” If you’re a have an email, Twitter or Facebook account the odds are stacked against you from the start!
“The great dividing line between success and failure can be expressed in five words- ‘I did not have time’ ” Franklin Field
So what can you do?
1. The first step is to identify your time wasting habits. Are you guilty of any of the following?
* Constantly checking your email or Facebook?
* Taking phone calls when you’re working?
* Surfing the net when you’re working?
* Replying to most of your sms’s immediately even when you’re working, in the cinema or at a restaurant?
* Incapable of saying no?
* Lack of daily or weekly planning?
* Under or over estimating the time to complete tasks?
* A constant stream of ideas or offers that distract you and lead you ‘astray’?
* General time wasting?
If you haven’t a clue where all your time goes. Try keeping an activity log for one week to help you to understand how you spend your time. Write down everything from eating, exercising and working to sending texts, emails and watching TV.
2. Then for each time stealer that you identified ask yourself what can you do to overcome this.
* Set your phone to silent or turn it off when you’re working on something important.
* Set aside certain times of the day to check emails/ facebook/ the internet etc and stop when your time is up?
* Prioritise your goals from being a better parent to increasing your income and allocate your time according to their importance to you.
* Spend 10 minutes at the end of the night to plan the following day.
– Eg list the top 5 items in order of importance to be completed the next day. The next day, start on task 1 and finish this task before moving to task 2, finish this then move to task 3 etc?
* When someone asks you to do something when you’re busy let them know you’re working on something else and ask can you get back to them later.
I literally wrote that last line and had someone call me to do something really fun now, talk about being tested on walking my talk. It took willpower to say No but I said it- hurray!
Developing strategies for overcoming your time wasting habits can not only give you hours of your time back each week but will minimise your stress, make you more productive and free you up to do more of what you love.
Now isn’t that worth it?
Louise Greally, Health and Success Coach – empowering you to be the best you can be! Get more success tips here.
“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves.” – William Shakespeare