Dealing with common time wasters

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Dealing with Common time wasters

Dealing with Common time wasters

Time wasters come in the aftermath of the below 3 categories: 

1- Lack of Control Over the Work Environment
2- Lack of Planning
3- Lack of Self-Management

One of the first steps in taking control of your time is to find out where you lose time , go over the three categories above of common time wasters and take the first step in identifying which ones apply to you and waste your time.


1- Managing Your work Environment   Which are your time wasters?

- Drop-in visitors
- Lack of training—you don't know how to complete certain tasks
- Duplication of effort
- Inadequate equipment or facilities
- Confused responsibility or authority
- Paperwork/red tape/too many e-mail
- Meetings
- Telephone interruptions
- Visual or noisy distractions causing attention to shift


2- Lack of planning

 Which are your time wasters?

- Attempt to do too much
- Indecision—endless gathering of information
- No specific plans to meet your goals
- No daily priorities—don't know what to do first
- Unrealistic time estimates
- No plan for using "waiting time" (appointments, etc.) effectively
- Failure to break priorities into small, manageable parts
- Lack of written goals with deadlines
- Making snap decisions based on few facts
- Crisis management arising from failure to plan


3- Poor self management 
   Which are your time wasters?

- Procrastination
- No self-discipline in staying with your top priority until it's done
- Leaving tasks unfinished
- Perfectionism and/or getting bogged down with details
- Impatience and haste
- Lateness/absenteeism
- Pointless conversation, which interferes with your top priority
- Can't say "no!“
- Time spent looking for items/poor filing system
- Attempting too much and not accepting help or delegating




Time management tips for Better work environment:

- Close your door and leave a note saying when you’ll be available
- Stand up when the drop in  visitor walks in and keep standing
- Greet the visitor explain you’re working toward a deadline 
- Set a time limit for the visit
- Make an appointment for a more convenient time
- Walk towards the door as you acknowledge and summarize
- Rearrange your office layout so you are not facing people walking up and down the hallway to reduces chances of people walking in and interrupting you 
- Go to their office so you’re in control of when you leave
- Ask drop in visitors to help you with your work by time they will learn not to drop in unless it's really urgent and important.
- Use voice mail when you are working on an important task , do not feel obligated to answer the phone whenever it rings.


Time management tips for better planning:

- Use a prioritized to do list daily
- Always start with A's or High priority tasks on your to do list and not with C's low priority tasks
- Handle each email or piece of paper only once, either read it , file it , delete it or take action on it immediately.
- Write goals and set priorities
- Establish rituals, set a specific time of day for example early in the morning to make your to-do list or end of day to make the next day's to-do list.
- Set a specific time for answering phone calls and replying to emails
- Always plan ahead, a week, two or three weeks in advance
- Always keep in mind the 5 point planning check  What, Where, How, When, Who
- Use a planner, Organizer , Outlook or any other planning tool of your choice.


Time management tips for better self management - Just start! 
- Spend time breaking down the activity into bite-size chunks
- Schedule completion of chunks over a period of time
- Avoid "analysis paralysis” 
- Set a start time and a deadline, then stick to it.
- Be realistic about the deadline – don't allow yourself to be under so much pressure that it leaves no time for corrections
- Determine what  motivates you and reward yourself as you complete portions of the task
- Be Assertive and learn to say "NO"


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