7 big time wasters – are we managing our time effectively?
Posted November 12, 2010on:
Just ask some one: Do you have time?
Most common answer: I am too busy. Sorry I don’t have time!
Every one has 24 hours in a day. No one has a minute more or a minute less. However, look around: We will find some people achieve much more in same 24 hours. Why is it so? During our daily routine, we also set our priorities to complete XYZ tasks but at the end of the day, we find ourselves still working on our initial ‘to do’ list, though we had a very busy day!
Why at times we are very busy but we achieve very less? Are we ‘wasting’ our time without realizing it?
Here are seven big time wasters and a few tips on managing time effectively. Let’s see if we are wasting time because of any one of them:
1. Telephone interruptions:
Is it really necessary to take all calls when a phone is ringing? Can we call the person back once we are done with the task on hand? In my view, it happens that once mobile phone rings, we talk and our attention diverts. The task on hand remains there while we enjoy our chat.
2. Inability to say ‘No’
We find it really difficult to say NO at times. At times, we don’t know how to refuse. However, we have a right to say NO and then suggest alternatives. If we have a list of agreed upon priorities, we can show it to the person who is asking us to do some thing which demands more time.
3. Lack of self- discipline
Do we have our objectives in writing? Are we following our goals? If we can set ‘key result areas’ and focus to achieve those areas, our efforts will pay off. If we try to handle one task only once, we will have more time. Try this!
4. Management by crisis
If we don’t ‘anticipate’ problems in advance, we will be managing by crisis. This is also called ‘fire fighting’ in management terms. It is said: Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly!. If we try to plan for unexpected, we will be in a position to manage crisis fast and effectively. We can ignore the problems which can be ignored or we can delegate issues to others before we put our hands to them. It should be recognized that it is more important to prevent ‘new fires’ from developing.
5. Ineffective delegation
At times, we want to do ‘everything’ ourselves. At times, we feel more comfortable in ‘doing’ rather than ‘managing’. If we relax and avoid ‘perfectionism’ in every thing we are doing, we can get lot of things done through other people.
6. Lots of paper work
Technology has made life easy. Is this true? or has technology made life difficult? We have lots of emails to respond to, lots of papers to be filed and lots of information to be taken care of then ever before. If we read an email or a paper only once, have a ‘do it now’ rather than ‘i will read this again’, much of the things can be done faster. If we organize our filing habit, we can find our papers fast.
Thanks to face book, email, twitter and blogs, we have lots of time to socialize! Socializing and networking is a good habit but not at the cost of wasting time. If we plan to obtain information on a systematic basis and try to control our urge to log on to face book five or six times a day, we can focus on tasks on hand and do them better / faster.
You may identify other time wasters of your own and share your ideas. Above are from the book ‘Dare to Win’ by A.L. Malani