Wisdom From Books

7 big time wasters – are we managing our time effectively?

Posted on: November 12, 2010

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.

7. Socializing

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

Your thoughts?


10 Responses to "7 big time wasters – are we managing our time effectively?"

I read this to kill some time and no realized I was practicing #3

Thankyou again for sharing this wonderful article Sir. My mother wanted to give a suggestion regarding time management: We can list down the objectives of every single day in the morning, and keep that list with us throughout the day. And at night just before bedtime we can go through it and analyse our achievements for that day!! Make it a written habit first then it will eventually stick to your mind.

Nice tips Sir,g really admirable work u r doing… but one thing that i wud like to add here is, having no proper future map may also be cause of wasting time.

Thanks Haji Jan – I agree with you. The ideas shared here were only a few elements. We can add upon many which we consider to be time wasters. Thanks for sharing.

dear sir salam
hope u r fine at your working place and home.
i am really thankful to you for continuous energy dosiers which you regularly sendin to me.i am really get alot of motivation from these references,

Thanks Inayat sb for appreciation.

this article is good for learning of a person.

Thank you Malik sb for bringing some more nuggets of wisdom. No doubt ALL these are GOOD time wasters 🙂

I also found that if somebody don’t have some CLEAR and STRONG purpose in life and DETERMINATION to achieve it, chances are high that he will find it very EASY to get DISTRACTED. So before learning time management they should learn how to plan the life. With life’s purpose, planning and passion; time management will become easy and sustainable. I believe that the only person who can value time is the person who can value life.

Most people have “To do list”. But we must maintain a “NOT to do list”.

Recently I read Darren Hardy’s article on DISTRACTIONS. It’s also worth reading for time management. It can be found here:


Simply, TIME = LIFE

Javed Iqbal
Educator | Empowerer | Entrepreneur
Lahore, Pakistan

Sir Excellent post….

Thanks Qamar sb for appreciation – please spread the word. thanks

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