TIP TUESDAY: 40 Common Time Wasting Activities & How to Resolve Them

{from Business Know-How online}

Start Managing Your Time Now

Don’t wait another day to start solving your time management problem. The longer you wait, the further behind you’ll fall behind; the further you fall behind, the more stressful your situation will become.

Here are 40 time-wasting activities common to most employees; how many do you take part in?

Reading email too often during the day
Participating in too many online communities
Procrastinating jobs you don’t want to do
Looking at your social media channels too frequently during the day
Text messaging too often
Watching Youtube videos on the spur of the moment
Randomly surfing the web
Accepting too many jobs at one time
Complaining or talking about other people
Blaming people for making mistakes
Not reading manuals and instructions when you start using new products or software
Pondering too long over inconsequential decisions
Searching through clutter for lost documents or other items
Being excessively neat
Doing work yourself that could be delegated to others
Micromanaging the people who work for you
Allowing subordinates and team members to dump problems on you that they ought to be solving on their own.
Changing priorities unnecessarily
Not taking steps to limit interruptions
Writing letters, memos, reports that could be written by a secretary or assistant
Failing to set goals and objectives
Failing to make a daily plan
Failing to set priorities
Managing by crisis
Planning or managing meetings poorly
Not maintaining a good filling system
Misplacing files and materials/not putting them where they belong
Using outdated methods
Failing to automate processes that could be automated to save time
Getting involved in personal conflicts
Personal insecurity
Poor communications or poor listening habits
Too many personal activities and personal phone calls during business hours
Having too many people involved in decisions
Not finishing one thing before starting another
Taking or making unimportant telephone calls
Spending too much time on phone calls
Doing unimportant or unneeded tasks (busy work)

So….Set Up A Plan to Eliminate Those Time-Wasters

To better manage your time, make a list of your biggest time wasting activities, and then plan to eliminate them, or drastically reduce the time you spend on them.

The best way to get something done about those time-wasting activities is to write down the cause of the problem and the steps to solve it using a format like the worksheet below.

As you get ready to tackle each problem, list what needs to be done, and who, other than you needs to be involved. If the biggest drain on your time seems too complex to fix at this point, start with smaller problems. When you successfully fix the small problems, move onto bigger problems.

Quick Time Management Fixes and Workarounds

Learning to manage your time efficiently all of the time is something that requires your awareness of issues – and practice.Old, time-wasting habits can be as difficult as any other habits to change. But if you’re in a bind now and need to get a project done or make more time in your day right away, try these time management quick fixes and workarounds.

  • Make a list of your goals and post them where you’ll see them frequently
  • Set aside a few minutes at the end of each day for planning and to list and schedule activities for the following day
  • Assign priorities to each of those tasks, and assign enough time to the top priority items to be able to complete them.
  • Schedule the highest priority tasks and/or the most difficult tasks for the time of day you will be most productive
  • Break big tasks or projects down into manageable sections
  • Schedule easier tasks or projects for your least productive times
  • Set deadlines for completion of each task or portion of a task
  • Eliminate distractions during your prime working hours
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend on social media
  • Complete one task before starting another
  • Delegate work to others on your staff
  • Be sure they have the training and authority to handle as much as possible on their own
  • Outsource work to other departments, to other businesses or
  • If you are a morning  person, delay reading your email until afternoon, if possible. Use the morning to tackle important priorities.  If you are expecting important email, scan your email for the message you are expecting and only open that piece of email.
  • Turn off any automatic notifications telling you that there is new mail in your email inbox so you won’t be tempted to just take a peek. 
  • Turn off sound notification on your smartphone so you won’t be tempted to look at texts or social media notifications constantly
  • Tell your administrative assistant to hold your calls. If you don’t have anyone to take your calls, let an answering machine or answering service take messages for you.
  • Schedule a specific time of the day to take and return telephone calls. Doing so will help reduce the temptation to chat with callers about non-urgent matters