I Don’t Know Where My Time Goes!

Does these statements sound familiar?

  • “I know exactly where I spend my time daily. The only problem is I never have enough of it.”
  • “I do everything I can to make sure that each day is productive. I even list the things I want to accomplish that day, and five days out of five, I never get through the list.”
  • “It’s not that I think I can’t accomplish things daily, , that’s really not the problem. The problem is all the interruptions. Someone stops by to ask me something, and there go fifteen minutes. Someone calls, and there go another ten minutes and so on and so on”
  • “Then there’s the truly big time wasters such as printer jams, computer upgrades, and office celebrations only getting me side tracked more.”

There are two basic types of problems that waste time. The first are mechanical problems such as the jamming printer. Other mechanical problems could be phone issues, system upgrades, and so on. When the mechanical things don’t function correctly, time is spent putting up with them until, hopefully, a solution is found. Usually the solution can be discovered quickly and management can fix any of these glitches.

Mechanical time wasters are easy to identify. Personal time wasters require you to recognize them for what they are. There are countless ways you can waste time in the workplace and below are the top five time wasters YOU can prevent.

1. Visits from your coworkers:. Office chit-chat around the water cooler or at your cubicle is one of the worst time wasters. Not only does it take up your time, but most coworkers are too polite to ask a colleague to leave them alone for the sake of work. If you have a door that you can close, do so. People should get the message that you’re busy. Otherwise, try to find a quiet place such as a meeting room where you can be alone and left undisturbed.

2. Making and receiving phone calls: Another classic time waster is personal phone calls. If you have caller ID, you can use it to screen calls and let certain calls go straight to voice mail and then handle them when free time is available.. If you find that phone calls are hurting your time management, try to block out time when you make and receive phone calls if this is possible, so that you are not simply answering the phone every time it rings.

3. Clutter: If your workspace is messy, you’ll spend more time looking for things, than doing things.A cluttered workspace makes for a cluttered mind. De-clutter and simplify, this will lead you to work more efficiently. Before you leave the office, rid your office of unnecessarily clutter (food, cups, papers). Utilize a file cabinet for something other than your afternoon snacks. Recycle paperwork you’re never going to use. And don’t add unnecessary items to your files – if you don’t need to print something out, don’t. Your company’s shared drive is perfectly suitable for storing documents.

4. Email: One of the classic time wasters, sending and receiving emails can certainly be a big time waster. Like receiving phone calls, responding to emails the moment they arrive can help to decrease your time management if you allow your email to rule you. As with your phone, you might decide to only send and respond to emails at certain times.

5. Internet: Like email, Internet usage (social media in particular) can be a big time waster. Actually, even work-related Internet usage can be a big time waster too. Use common sense here. Wasting time using the Internet probably just means you have to end up staying late at work or bringing work home that you could otherwise do at home.

To be truly effective in the use of your time you need to introduce new processes of for time management. Take a look at how your time is wasted in a given day, pick out one specific thing and then define the specific action you’re how to turn this wasted time into productive time.