We often find ourselves wasting time trying to complete routine tasks. For this reason, we need to replace time wasters with tasks that do the opposite: save time. Try substituting the following time wasters with time savers.
Lengthy Small Talk Phone Calls with Random People
Replace long phone calls with quick text messages to people, such as your neighbor who merely needs to know if the block potluck party is still scheduled for next Saturday.
Surfing on Social Media
Do you really need to know what everyone is up to? Take the few minutes you have at lunch to take a break from screens. If you’re surfing at night, take those minutes and cuddle with your kids or significant other. Pay attention to the real people in your life, not the ones you see online.
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Looking for important documents amid clutter in your home
Discard stacks of paper and junk mail piling up on desks and tabletops at least three times per week. File important bills and other documents in a designated place.
Your children’s procrastination to complete homework
Give your child an incentive like a sticker reward or promise of a weekend family excursion to get them to complete homework in a timely fashion.
Searching for misplaced items, such as your car keys
Designate a place for important items, and force yourself to keep them in the same spot.
Nagging your children to pick up after themselves
Make cleaning fun for your kids by singing songs or making jokes while you work together. To help give them direction, make a list or have a chore list. When chores are done everyone gets dessert!
Searching for lost paperwork at the office
Devise an effective filing system where all paperwork is labeled according to category. Force yourself to file all documents when finished with them to ensure they won’t disappear when you need them in the future. Consider going paperless by scanning documents you must keep — and shredding the rest.
Making more work for yourself when trying to finish a project
Take a direct approach to your work schedule. By being proactive, you will streamline any work task that needs to be accomplished.
Waiting for subordinates to complete a task
Delegate responsibilities, and give deadlines and detailed instructions to subordinates about how to complete a task in the most efficient manner.
Talkative colleagues when you need to get your work finished
When colleagues attempt to chat with you during the workday, either cut the conversation short, or politely tell them you need to get back to work in order to make it home to your family on time. Do make time to connect with them later, but limit the socializing to five minutes so it doesn’t interrupt your schedule.
Daydreaming at your desk
If you find yourself distracted from your work duties, force yourself to get back on track. Give yourself daily deadlines (even if your boss doesn’t). If you fantasize about getting a project completed before lunch, force yourself to meet that deadline. Reward yourself for finishing a task with five minute breaks to surf the Internet or walk around the office — but use a timer so the five minutes don’t stretch to 30.
Yes, we are all guilty of wasting time. When you don’t have goals you’re excited about it’s extremely easy to get side tracked and waste time. If you truly want to save time, yes avoid these time wasters, but also set some personal and professional goals and then go for them!