Life’s biggest time wasters and how to beat them

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time wasters

Start each week with the very best of intentions to finally make a dent into that never ending “to do” list? End the week wondering where the time disappeared to, “to do” list merely dented?

You may be giving it your all both in and out of the workplace, but everyday time wasters may significantly be draining your precious time. After all, minutes quickly stack up into hours.

We’re sure you will be familiar with these time wasters, no matter how much of a time keeping pro you are. If you happen to be guilty as charged, here’s how to beat them at their own game…

Chit chat with co-workers

Social interaction is necessary to get through the day; one of the biggest factors in creating a strong team morale. When it becomes more frequent than a lunch time catch up it can quickly eat into your day. Ten minutes in the morning, ten on the tea round and ten as the day comes to close adds up to over a day a month, so think twice before getting into a deep discussion about either last night’s soaps or the big game.

How to beat it: Whatever you do, don’t withdraw yourself from your colleagues, but if you can, take your full lunch break with your work pals in tow. By getting all the conversation out of your system during your designated break time you will settle back into your work flow again easily.

Compulsory training

We all know the situation. You have an urgent deadline looming and off goes the fire drill. You have a project to put the finishing touches to before lunch time and the IT department schedules an urgent meeting about data protection- which is compulsory. These things are vitally important, and need to be addressed, but they significantly eat into your time when you need it most.

How to beat it: If the fire drill sounds, make sure you pay attention and follow instructions. When it is evident that the situation is safe, why not make the most of the down time you have outdoors and hold a quick brainstorm session. Compulsory training shouldn’t be avoided, but do consider whether you are right person in the team to be in attendance.

Browsing the web

Think that you only spend a couple of quick minutes here and there catching up the latest updates from your favourite news site or social media platform? Think again. Online shopping can be another time drainer, especially around the festive season; a few clicks too many and you’ve overran your lunch break- twice over.

How to beat it: Consider using Rescue Time to get to grips with how much time is slipping through your fingers. This handy little app measures how much time you are spending on particular activities, making you come face to face with the harsh reality of how much time is being spent on Facebook. If you find it hard to kick the habit altogether? Then Self Control could be the Mac add on made for you. You can block anything on the web which may be distracting you, for as long as you need.

Unsophisticated scheduling

Have you ever thought how much time is wasted in between meetings? Short breaks in-between meetings don’t allow you to get stuck into anything major so often become lost time. Constantly starting and stopping a project to attend meetings can also become distracting so think about when your meetings are booked in for.

How to beat it: Consider using a scheduling app that will let you see how your meetings time is adding up, with some even allowing you to share your work load with colleagues before requests are sent. If meetings can’t be avoided and you are really up against it, turn all your distractions off. Set your IPhone to do not disturb and do the same with your Mac if you use one.

Time is precious, so use it wisely.

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