Eliminating Time-Wasters

“Half the time men think they are talking business, they are wasting time.”

–Edgar Watson Howe

Eliminating Time-Wasters

by Tony Dalessandro

Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and wondered where all your time went? You were up-and-down, left-and-right busy all day, yet you barely made a dent in your to-do list; so what did you do? What happened to all that time if it wasn’t spent accomplishing your projects?

Time-wasters come from the people around you as well as from within yourself. Some time-wasters are unavoidable, but reducible nonetheless. By identifying the most frequent sources of time-wasters in your day, you may be able to make headway into reducing them, and therefore increasing your available time.

As a means of comparison, I’ve included a list of time-wasters. Many researchers find the same handful at the top of their lists, which indicates that they are problems common to all of us:

1. Scheduling less important work before more important work.
2. Starting a job before thinking it through.
3. Leaving jobs before they are completed.
4. Doing things that can be delegated to another person.
5. Doing things that can be delegated to modern equipment.
6. Doing things that actually aren’t a part of your real job.
7. Keeping too many, too complicated, or overlapping records.
8. Handling too wide a variety of duties.
9. Failing to build barriers against interruptions.
10. Allowing conferences and discussions to wander.
11. Conducting unnecessary meetings, visits, and/or phone calls.
12. Chasing trivial data after the main facts are in.
13. Socializing at great length between tasks.

So, what are your major time-wasters? And, what can you do to address them? Finally, get a handle on your time every day.

Copyright © 1996-2007 Alessandra & Associates, Inc. Dr. Tony Alessandra can be reached at http://www.alessandra.com.

Coaching Call to Action

Tony sure is accurate in this article. It’s so important to pay attention to what you really want to accomplish and then clear the space to do just that. This week take time at the end of each day to determine what your time wasters are. Then, come up with a plan to eliminate them.