Carolyn Shannon is my guest blogger today. Her business Venting Creatively.com helps people find creative ways to shine a light on their lives from a different view. She runs a monthly networking group BEE Niagara.com and publishes Women of Worth magazine.
Top 10 Productivity Time Killers
Everyday countless hours are wasted away due to non-productive activities. Time is money, so when distractions and procrastination sets in profitability will decline. A survey conducted by OfficeTime.net has revealed 10 of the biggest time killers. The main offenders that reduce of our productivity are:
2. Surfing the net
3. Watching TV
6. Non-business conversations
7. Commuting & travel time
8. Social networking
9. Cell Phones & texting
10. Dealing with red tape
Types of Time Wasting
There are many factors that lead to procrastination. There are a few broad categories that most time wasting falls into.
1. Indecision. Perfectionists will often struggle with indecision. Some things may never become perfect, and putting too much focus on perfection will mean too much time spent on one job. Splitting the work into smaller tasks is one way to deal with it more effectively.
2. Avoidance. A fear of being judged can be the main cause of procrastination. It could be fear of failure or even success. Neither of these are something to be ashamed of. Success should be celebrated, and failure is the best way or learning. Think less about what others may think and more on trying your best at the task on hand.
3. Thrill Seeking. This is when procrastination is justified because the worker likes the thrill of an approaching deadline. If this is the case it is best to move deadlines closer and set personal targets. This still gets you the thrill of working against the clock, while reducing procrastination.
How to Put an End to Time Killers
The first step to battling time killers is to understand and appreciate the amount of time that is being wasted. What is the value of all that lost time? Time wasters will directly affect your career advancement opportunities and reduce the amount of income you could have received.Tracking where your time is spent will allow for efficient time management. Don’t just rely on your memory to remember what you did during the day. Use a system so that you have a written record that can be looked over and analyzed. This could be as simple as creating a timetable on a piece of paper, or utilizing a computer program or app to record your daily activities. Cutting down on time killers is a good start, but there are other strategies that should be used to effectively manage your time:
1. Define your purpose. You need to know exactly what you want when starting on a task. Without a definite purpose you will lose focus.
2. Smart goal setting. Choose realistic and specific goals and targets. It should be measurable so you know when it has been completed.
3. Plan on a regular basis. As factors change, you plan should be adjusted to reflect the reality of the situation.
To truly beat time killers you need to work on your mindset & stick to your plan for the long-term.
Which type of Time Waster Are You?
1. Thrill Seekers feel they can procrastinate, as they enjoy the feeling of working against a deadline
Tip: constantly set and adjust deadlines so that you still get the adrenaline rush but are using your time more effectively than procrastinating
2. Avoiders prefer to procrastinate as a means to avoid being judged. Whether it is a success or a failure
Tip: Success is a good thing and nothing to be ashamed of. Failure is a way to learn and improve. Focus on doing the best job you can and not on what others think.
3. Indecisive people are often perfectionists but procrastinate to shift responsibility from themselves
Tip: Not everything has to be perfect so try to take small risks and use your intuition. Mistakes may mean you learn something new. Try to split the task up into more manageable parts.
My favourite time management technique is to know when I will have a WiFi connection and when I won’t. Yes, there are still times and places when I can’t get WiFi. For those time I plan to have work with me to do when I am unconnected. You might think, “when does that ever happen”, more often than you think:
When I arrive early at a client’s home
When I arrive early to pick up someone
When the person I am pickup arrives late
When the client is late
When the distance between appointments and returning to the office will cause me to waste time commuting so I find a quiet location work instead of wasting my time driving.
I will have a book along to read or mail to open or start on my e-mail that I downloaded before I left for the call. Sometimes I am reviewing a speech I am presenting, signing holiday cards, planning my week/ month or getting in my exercise by going for a walk. Using these small expected or unexpected amounts of time well will make you more productive. I learned this technique by trial and error. I found myself sitting around waiting with nothing to do when my children were involved in activities. I quickly realized that I was wasting a lot of time and needed to plan my “spare time” as well as my work time to be able to get everything accomplished without using my family time or free time to get things completed.
Here is a great video on how to store batteries safely to prevent a fire in your home.