Everyone wastes time, in one way or another. Whether it’s intentional, such as avoiding doing an unpleasant task, or unintentional, like scrolling your Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, or Instagram feeds, it happens to the best of us. Those are pretty obvious ways to waste time. But there are other things that can waste your time that you may not be aware of.
Most people are not able to switch quickly from task to task, and when interruptions happen, it takes even longer to get back on track. In order to remove disruption from your day, create and stick to a schedule for each thing that you need to do. But more importantly, ensure that you inform those around you not to interrupt you during specific times of the day. Close your door. Put up a sign. Turn your phone to “do not disturb.” Even if you work in a cubicle, you can stop most interruptions with some sort of signal to your coworkers.
Lack of Planning
When you don’t take the time to plan something out, you create opportunities to waste time. Think about it. If you don’t know what you need to do next, you’re wasting time trying to figure that out. Or worse: you go back and forth from task to task with no direction and no deadlines, and no real progress gets made.
When you sit down and write out a plan, it gives you an opportunity to anticipate roadblocks, bottlenecks, and other issues that may cause time management issues during your day.
Every day you should save some time to engage in short-term, medium-term, and long-term planning. Whether it’s losing weight, getting your home organized, or starting and running a business, plans made with SMART goals will always perform better than making it up as you go along.
Thinking You Have to Do It All Yourself
It doesn’t matter who you are or what responsibilities you have, you really do not have to do everything yourself.
Let me say that again.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING YOURSELF.
Whether you’re raising kids, starting a business, running a business, or running a household, there are people that can help. You can engage your spouse, your kids, or other family members, but you can also pay people to do the things you don’t want to do. Believe it or not, someone else might do the task much better — or more quickly — than you can do it.
Don’t forget that you can also use technology to boost your productivity and gain more time in your day. For example, if you automate your bill paying, savings, and investments, that can remove hours of work each month from your schedule.