Time is said to be constant, but all too often it slips away unnoticed. This is true whether you are at work and have a lot to do or at play and simply having fun.
In the business world, however, wasted time is one of the top complaints of employees and managers alike. Both groups have valid points because there are so many things that turn into time wasters.
Identifying them all would be difficult, but if even some are addressed it would save both time and money. Here are 6 tips to stop wasting valuable time that can help.
1. Organize Your Paperwork
When you get really busy it’s easy to set paperwork to the side so you can put it away later. Then you tackle the next fire and the next trying to get everything under control.
The next thing you know, your desk is a mess, you’re frustrated, and you can’t find important documents you are looking for.
You can fix this problem by getting your paperwork organized. Put away what can be filed in folders that are clearly labeled and easy to read. For starters, make a “to do” tray, an “in” tray, and a “to be filed” tray and use them. As you have the need you can a few more trays later.
Use a calendar to keep track of appointments, meetings, and other important events. It can be on paper if it must be, but consider an electronic one that can be added to even when you are not in the office.
2. Stop Wasting Valuable Time by Planning Your Day
End each day by preparing for the next. Take a few minutes to look at your calendar for the next day. Checking your calendar will prevent you from missing important meetings or appointments that may be scheduled early the next morning.
Planning your day at the end of the previous day also helps you to prioritize what you need to get done. I sometimes jot down a quick list to help me and then number the list in order of priority. That way the most urgent things get taken care of first.
3. Get in a Routine
Having a similar routine each day can help you get more accomplished. Start your day by listening to messages, checking email, and reviewing your calendar. Set time limits for yourself so you move through each task quickly.
Next tackle complicated tasks that require more attention. Save the afternoon for jobs that don’t take as much concentration.
4. Set Your Cell Phone Aside
Many people spend too much time at work on their cell phones. To break yourself of the habit, set your cell phone aside and ignore it until lunch time.
5. Multitask in Ways That Make Sense
Some people say multitasking is not good because you make more mistakes. Although that is true for some tasks I do not believe it is true for all of them.
For example, when you first start working in the morning, start your computer while you listen to your voicemail messages. Or, have a cup of coffee while you sift through your emails.
6. Use Meeting Agendas
To stop wasting valuable time at work, create a meeting agenda for all attendees. Agendas ensure important issues aren’t forgotten about.
Another thing agendas do is keep the meeting on track so time can be used wisely. They allow you to clearly see what is next on the list so you can press on to the next topic at hand.
Letting valuable time get away from you is easy to do. However, with these 6 tips to stop wasting valuable time you should be able to get more done in your day.