In my opinion, time is your most valuable asset. The greatest thing about time is that it’s distributed equally amongst everyone. While there are inequities in just about every other aspect in life, time will never be one of them. It’s how we spend it that makes all the difference. So are you wasting valuable time? Or are you investing your time so that you can build a brighter future?
To keep you on track, I’ve put together four common ways even the most seasoned business executives waste time at work.
Failing to keep organized.
This is at the top of the list because it sets the foundation for your productivity and workflow. If your workspace is disorganized, how do you expect to stay on top of your work? You need to make a habit of keeping both your physical and mental workspace organized.
On the physical side, make sure your desk is free of clutter and any distractions in your line of sight. Mentally, you should develop disciplined habits that keep your life in order. For example, every morning I follow the same routine. It took a while to commit and stick to it, but once the habit was developed it’s there to stay. This is the kind of mental discipline that will help keep you organized.
Thanks to technology, there are more than enough ways to stay connected to one another. This is both good, and very bad. It’s great because it allows us to communicate freely and efficiently in multiple channels and environments. So what’s the downside? Over-communication.
Whether it’s Slack, Basecamp, Trello, Email, Text, Phone, or your other email account – there are just too many ways to keep in touch. Instead of spending all your time communicating back and forth, try to create defined workflows for each department. Set up weekly standup meetings for each department to track progress, and try to limit communication in between sprints. This will keep the team on the same page, without bogging everyone down with constant communication.
Second guessing your decisions, or worrying about your mistakes.
Nobody in this world is perfect, or makes perfect decisions. More often than you’d probably like, you’ll make mistakes. The last thing you want to do is spend time second guessing the decision you made. Instead, you need to recognize the issue and immediately work to solve the problem. Overtime you should develop systems that will help eliminate mistakes before they cause too much damage.
For example, if you’re a leader or manager, you should create an open dialogue between teams when issues arise. Once the problem is identified, and a solution is presented, appoint a single individual to make the executive decision on how to move forward.
Failing to delegate.
Regardless what position you hold, you need to learn how to delegate. It’s common for us to take on various jobs and tasks no matter what. We also like to maintain responsibility, and most of all control. As a leader you need to learn how to delegate. Your ultimate goal is to operate as maximum efficiency. Taking on a job that’s the best fit for another colleague is not efficient. The more you practice delegating, the more natural it will become.
If you want to keep more of your time, make sure you avoid the four time waster above. It could make all the difference in your productivity!