Anyone who is honest will probably tell you that they engage in time wasting activities from time to time. However, when it becomes a routine or habit it’s time to take some action.

Fortunately, there are 6 ways to kill time wasting activities for good that can help you get back on track.

1. Develop a Routine

When you jump from one thing to another each time you get a phone call, email, or question it can negatively affect your work productivity. Developing a routine for these tasks instead can help you speed through them faster and kill time wasting activities for good.

For example, each day check your email messages, texts, and voicemail when you first get to work.  To avoid wasting time, give yourself a time limit to finish this activity, such as 15-20 minutes.

Next tackle urgent projects or those that require intense concentration. Once those are done, do anything that can be competed in just a couple of minutes to narrow down your list.

Starting your day with a routine helps you speed through those first few minutes and get down to your real work quicker without wasting time. Once it becomes a habit you’ll be doing it without thinking about it.

2. Get Organized

Nothing affects productivity worse than disorganization. Not only do you lose time looking for things that should be easily accessible but you affect others as well. Therefore, getting organized is another of the ways to kill time wasting activities for good.

Begin by filing anything that should be put away but make sure you label it clearly. Next, set up trays for the remaining paperwork marked “in”, “out”, “to do”, and any other category that’s needed.

Finally, make a task list or use a scheduling app to keep track of your open projects. Use it to group tasks that are similar so you can speed them up and be more productive.

3. Plan Your Day

In addition to developing a routine you should plan your day to kill time wasting activities for good. Start by using a paper calendar, day planner, or online calendar. Use it to schedule appointments and meetings as well as other important events.

Look a day ahead on your calendar so you know what to expect tomorrow. This can help you make it to early morning appointments and meetings on time.

You can also create your task list ahead so you are ready to tackle it first thing the next day. If it helps, assign numbers to your projects in order to prioritize them.

4. Schedule Your Email Breaks

Email can steal your time if you are not careful. To prevent that from happening, check it first thing in the morning and not again until midmorning.

Then allow yourself only a minute or two to check it at lunch, mid-afternoon, and the end of the day. Otherwise, ignore it unless you are waiting for an urgent message.

5. Set Your Phone Out of Reach

It doesn’t take long to get caught up in social media when all you intended to do was grab your phone and check for messages. To prevent this from happening, set your phone out of reach while you are working.

If you have to get up to get your phone you are less likely to pick it up as often. Use the same philosophy as with emails and only check your phone a few times per day to get the most done.

6. Use Timers and Reminders

It may sound a bit old-fashioned, but using a timer at work is a great way to kill time wasting activities for good. But if it’s easier you can also set up calendar reminders.

For instance, as soon as you get ready to open your email, start your timer at 15 minutes. When it goes off you should be done or finishing up. It’s a good way to get done what needs to be done and move on quickly to other important jobs.

It’s easy to get into the habit of wasting time. But you can use the 6 ways to kill time wasting activities for good to help you get more done.