8 Time Drains That Are Stealing Your Productivity

8 Time Drains That Are Stealing Your Productivity

There are a lot of ways to lose time at work and in your personal life. You might be spending too much time on social media, watching TV, or playing video games. But there are also other factors that can make you less effective – for example, public transport, high-energy meetings, or just bad planning. The point is to take control over these time drains so that they don’t decrease your effectiveness.

Here are some ways to reduce time-wasting distractions and increase your productivity at work:

1. Use technology effectively. Don’t just use technology for social reasons. For instance, use email only for important, written communication; don’t overuse it for instant messaging or text messaging. Make the most of your smartphone, tablet, and computer to record notes and share them with colleagues in real-time – instead of working on them later.

2. Establish a routine that works for you at home and at work. The more familiar you are with how you spend your day, the more effective you’ll be at it. For example, set up the same way of doing things at home as at work (e.g., eat breakfast at the same time, choose the same clothes, drive to work at the same time). This way you won’t have to waste time figuring out what you should do next.

3. Listen carefully and make eye contact when talking with others. Don’t interrupt – instead, really listen to what people are saying and respond appropriately. Do the same when listening in meetings – pay attention and note down any points of interest that come up. By watching your own behaviour, you’ll prevent yourself from being distracted by other people’s actions. This will save you “circling back” to the subject in the next meeting because you’ve forgotten where it’s at or what to action.

4. Learn to say “no.” with grace and without anger or resentment. More often than not, we say “yes” to things that end up being time-wasters. But saying no helps you to focus on what’s important and free your time to do the things that matter.

5. If some tasks can be delegated or shared with others, do it. You’ll become more productive overall if you delegate, and this will allow you to get work done more quickly. It’s easier to delegate the tasks when they’re familiar and when you’ve identified your team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Hey V.A, Your Virtual Assistant can help you out here!

6. Know your limits – don’t overdo it. Don’t feel pressured to always be at the office, handling everything that’s on your plate, when you have a full day ahead of you. You’ll become less productive overall if there’s too much demand on your time.

7. Prioritize your most important tasks – don’t just do the easy ones. By doing the easy tasks first, they’ll get done faster and you’ll become less productive overall when dealing with more difficult issues; e.g. you’ll have less energy and motivation to complete larger tasks later on.

8. Focus on the tasks at hand – don’t let your mind wander. If you’re thinking of something else, you’re not doing what you should be doing right now and this will waste time overall. Often it’s effective to set an appointment or time limit with yourself on a specific task. This causes you to be more engaged for the specific time period.