Did you know that the average person wastes about two and a half hours every day? If you take a five-day work week and add it up, this totals 650 hours of wasted time annually. If you divide that by 8-hour work days, you’re wasting around 81 days – or nearly 12 full weeks – every single year. Think of just how much you could get done with those extra 12 weeks!
Where Are You Wasting The Most Time?
Are you spending most of your time on your highest priorities, or are you wasting time on things that just don’t matter? Most of us have some work we need to do in order to streamline our activities so they better align with our goals. We also often find ourselves with time “stolen” by some of the most common time thieves, including:
- Engaging in small talk
- Taking breaks
- Browsing the internet
- Checking social media
- Inefficiently handling voicemail and email
- Giving in to interruptions (visitors, phone calls)
- Attending meetings
- Completing tasks that should be delegated
- Being indecisive
- Having inadequate technical knowledge
We are all guilty of wasting time on a combination of most, or all, of the above. How do we better manage our time so that we can maximize our efforts and get more done?
How To Be Less Wasteful and More Purposeful With Your Time
Here are three tips (and a helpful time tracker!) to get you started:
- Plan the two to three tasks you’ll do to begin your day. It’s important to always think about what you’re going to be doing next, and that includes first thing in the morning. Before starting your day, plan which two to three tasks you’re going to do first. When you get to your desk, you can then hit the ground running.
- Break a large project down into smaller ones. The best way to attack a big task is to break it down into its components. Prioritize and complete each smaller task and you’ll soon find you’re that much closer to finishing the entire project.
- Creating efficiencies – wasted time = more productivity. Time is your most valuable resource, so stop wasting it! Begin to look for areas where you can create efficiencies to maximize your time and efforts. For example, make better use of your time and territory management by stacking appointments in the same area, or put your phone on silent when you’re working on completing an important task to eliminate interruptions. It’s a simple equation: creating efficiencies minus wasted time will result in more productivity.
Need help determining how and where exactly you’re wasting the most time? Try tracking your time each day for a week so you can uncover your specific areas of inefficiencies and determine some key ways to be more productive.
Download BDU’s time tracker to help you get started.
Do you have additional tips for time management you’d like to share? We’d love to hear your ideas!