Time management. Procrastination. Useless tasks.
If any of these buzz words resonate with you, this article is a must read. Today we talk about keeping on top of your job and look at three time wasters that zap your energy.
First, you might wonder how time wasters can zap your energy.
Wasting your time, or just feeling like you’re wasting your time can deplete your stores of energy.
While most of you have every intention of getting your work done, time wasters zap your energy because they leave you frustrated. Why?
Time wasters cause frustration because people are either not meeting their own expectations or someone else’s.
Phone interruptions, texts from other employees, a co-worker stopping by for a chat – these can all cause you to waste our time. They are distractions, and they keep you from finishing our work.
While these are external time wasters that you often have no control over, let’s look at three time wasters you can control today.
Wasting time is a growing epidemic. According to Forbes, one year ago 69% of people surveyed said they waste at least some time at work every single day. Today, that number has jumped to 89%.
What’s more, 78% of people say they waste between 30 minutes and two hours each day. Why?
The top culprits are talking on the phone and texting, Internet browsing and social media. And, these can all take place on your smartphone.
When it comes to social media, it’s worth noting that the most productive and successful employees don’t get pulled into the social media realm.
While some employees may say, “I’ve only been looking for five minutes,” if they timed themselves, we bet they’d find it was more like an hour.
Social media can involve checking every Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest notification. What starts as just looking at one notification leads to a spiraled hour of social media browsing.
If you don’t control your social media usage, it can take over your work day. Your to-do list is left undone, and you probably don’t have a happy boss.
Texting can also zap your energy because it can be a constant distraction. The hard truth is you don’t have to answer each text the minute it comes in.
Let’s say you decide to work on a project for an hour, and in that time, you get 10 texts. If you answer each one as it comes in, there is no possible way for you to complete your work.
The end result is frustration and a feeling of lost control.
What can you do when it comes to digital distractions like social media, texting and surfing the web?
- Master your self-discipline and vow to stay off your phone during the work day.
- Turn your push notifications on your phone off so you aren’t distracted by them.
- Set a time limit on your browsing. Turn on the alarm on your phone.
- Decide to only look after you’ve finished a task on your to-do list.
- Set your phone to silent.
Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to effective time management and staying on top of your job.
Fortunately, you can fix the problem by dedicating yourself to a little discipline.
Everyone is hit with a bout of procrastination at one time or another. Perhaps it’s a task that seems difficult or overwhelming. Or, maybe the job at hand is just plain boring or is going to take too long.
The problem with procrastination is that it zaps your energy by causing you much stress and anxiety. These negative emotions can spiral out of control creating even more procrastination.
How do you overcome this time waster?
The best way to avoid procrastination and the stress that comes with it, is to set smaller goals and break down your tasks.
You’ll find it easier to get started on your task if you set small sub tasks that are easily attainable. This way, you can break down a week-long project into smaller bits, making it easier to get started.
When it comes to procrastination, it’s important to note that you can get past it with a little diligence. You can get your work done.
How many times have you looked at your inbox and wanted to scream?
Does it seem like every day you just cleaned out your box, when suddenly 20 more emails come crashing in?
At the end of your work day, you may even feel you’ve been busy and productive. Yet, looking back on your day you realize all you did was respond to email. In other words, you spent the whole day responding to other people’s needs and not your own.
Email is another big way that you can waste an entire day.
If you’re always trying to reach inbox zero, we’re here to tell you that every day will zap your energy. You’ll never stay on top of your job by responding to every email as it flows into your inbox.
In our digital society, we’ve all become accustomed to instant access – to information, to the Internet and to each other.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
Here’s the answer to avoiding zapping your energy in your email inbox.
- Create an email filing system. Organize your emails into folders – one for emails that require action and one for emails that require a response.
- Set a time each day for responding to emails.
- Turn off notifications. You don’t actually need to be notified each time an email comes, do you? Interruptions zap energy and cause frustration. Eliminate the problem by turning off your notifications and setting two times each day for checking email.
When you get side-tracked by time wasters, you zap your energy because all of a sudden you don’t have as much time to get your work done.
To keep on top of your job, it’s important you practice better time management skills.
Here are a few final tips:
- Make a list of what wastes your time each day.
- Prioritize your list from biggest time wasters to smallest ones.
- Create action steps to eliminate or better manage your time wasters.
- Make a list of the things you need to do at work.
- Set goals.
- Work on your organization skills.
- Hone your self-discipline.
Take these tips and take control of your time wasters so you can keep on top of your job.
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