Wasting time is the problem we all don’t think we have. Doesn’t it seem as if we don’t have enough time to waste? One of our biggest challenges is that we don’t have enough time If you’re working at a career and have a family how do you make it all fit? The time management gurus tell us to become more efficient and to get more things done in less time.
Deborah Jacobs of Forbes.com believes that people not connected to their biological clock or circadian rhythm are wasting time. Deborah explains that if you match your work time to your biological clock, you make fewer mistakes and get more done in less time. And if you’re not sure if you’re an early bird or night owl, Deborah offers a questionnaire from Cornell University for you to download “Lark, Owl or Hummingbird“.
By figuring out your best and worst periods, you can cut down on errors and accidents, take less time to complete complicated tasks and improve your creativity.
Russell Boyce of Reuters provides a list of guidelines on the news outlet site Quartz.com. He lays out a schedule for you to follow from your morning cup of Joe to reading your email and even allows time for you to brush your teeth at 2:30 in the afternoon. I think Russell Boyce probably lives on a jungle island.
So, if you’ve signed up for 3-hour tour with a guy named Gilligan, check out the schedule here.
Optimizing your work day to maximize your productivity and happiness admittedly isn’t a hard science. Differences in body chemistry, sleep routine, personality, profession, and office culture mean that one person’s ideal day is another’s productivity nightmare. But there are some evidence-based guidelines you can follow to get yourself on the right track.
Wasting Time: What You Need to Know
At the end of the day do you stress all the things you left undone? Do you spend time anxiously searching the Internet for the latest iPhone app; blog post or day planner that offers the scheduling method that will help you manage your endless task list? OK, take a deep breath and stop, just stop stressing for one minute. Let me tell you something, there isn’t an app, post or planner that’s going to provide all the answers for your overbooked day. But, I can tell you what WILL help you take control of your day and stop wasting time. The quick fix for wasting time is very simple and painless.
5 Stupid Activities That Waste Time
- Plan as you go: Perhaps it worked in fifth grade to just wing your tests without impacting your grades in a negative way. However, you are now in the grownups class in productivity, and if you really want to become among the best, winging it just won´t cut it anymore.Remember, every minute spent in execution will save you ten minutes in planning. If you don´t plan your day and week, you will just be responding to other people´s requests.Your schedule will actually NOT be your schedule. It will be THEIR schedule.
So this is what you SHOULD do.
Start planning your day a week in advance. If that might be bit too hardcore for you in the start, no worries. At least start with planning the next day the night before.Then you should have ONE master to do list. That means that you will only be using ONE to do list. Tasks that are NOT included in your to do list, won´t get done.
- Categorize your tasks as if they are all equally important Few activities can cripple your productivity more than to categorize your tasks as if they are all equally important.That means that you will be working on the wrong type of tasks most of the time. As Brian Tracy says, if you believe all your tasks are equally important, NONE of your tasks are important. Use the 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto Principle) to determine which type of tasks you should prioritize. It says that 20% of your most important tasks will result in 80% of the total production value. If you have 10 tasks on your to do list for the day, and you manage to complete only the 2 most important tasks, that will result in 80% of the total production value. As long as you are able to identify and complete the 20% of the most important task every single day, you will be extremely productive, and way ahead of the rest.
- Say yes to all unreasonable requests We only have 24 hours in our day, and your time is your most valuable asset. The big difference between very successful people and you is how you have spent your time. You should really protect your 24 hours each day like it was food for your family. Every time you give away an hour, you give away a meal for your family. In other words, you should be very selective on how you spend your time. By that I mean that you actually should start saying no to unreasonable requests. Every time you say yes to a request, you automatically say no to other activities.
- Working longer hours believing it will cure all problems Working longer hours won´t cure anything. Of course, there might be days that you really need to do a long night. However, it should be the exception and not the norm. Studies have shown that the majority of people are the most productive during the 2 first hours after they get out of bed. This may of course vary from person to person. Some people are the most productive in the evening and other people are night owls. You should find out at what time of the day YOU are the most productive, and block that time out to work on your most important tasks.You should increase your productivity, which will help you to INCREASE RESULTS while working FEWER HOURS.
How can that be done? Plan your day in advance, use the 80/20 rule to work on your most important tasks WHEN you are the most productive during your day and say no to unreasonable requests.
- Being easily distracted Few things are making you procrastinate MORE than you being easily distracted.Imagine that you are going to write an important article, and suddenly your mom calls and asks you if you want to come over for dinner on Saturday. 10 minutes later your friend knocks on the door wanting you to join him for a concert on Friday night. A few minutes later, your neighbor is at the door asking to borrow some flour. The person who is able to focus on one single thought for 2 minutes straight, will be able to accomplish anything. In order to become super productive, you need to be able to focus. Nothing will turbocharge your productivity more than you being able to work focused on ONE single task at a time until it´s completed. Read more