Do you constantly feel like there are not enough hours in the day? Do you always find it difficult to get your work done? In this downsized world, where most people are doing the responsibilities of two or three jobs, it is a common feeling. However, there is a good chance that a large portion of your time is being needlessly wasted. Take a look at these time thieves and see if any of them sound familiar:
1. Constantly checking and replying to e-mail. When you receive an inbox alert, do you immediately check and reply to your e-mail? While people will appreciate your promptness, this is an inefficient way to work. When you switch from one task to the next, it takes you a few minutes to orient yourself and remember what you were doing. When the task is more complicated, it takes even longer. This is all wasted time. Also, you are allowing your e-mail inbox to set your priorities. You could be spending time responding to an unimportant e-mail, while there is a crucial document waiting on your desk.
2. Chatterboxes. You know who they are; you say hello, and you’re standing there listening for forty-five minutes. They are often very nice people, but you can’t be wasting that much of your work day chatting. Politely let them know that you are in the middle of something that you need to finish, and that you will talk to them at lunch.
3. Personal e-mail, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter. You don’t go on these sites at work, do you? Without realizing it, you can waste an hour (or more) a day on these sites. Most employers won’t mind if you sneak a peek every now and then, but they will be unforgiving when it starts to impact your productivity.
4. Other people’s priorities. Are you willing to drop everything that you’re doing to help your co-workers? While it is important to be a team player, you need to be setting your own agenda. In some situations, your co-worker’s task may be urgent. However, in most cases you should prioritize your work and let your co-workers know that you will assist them after your most important tasks are done.
5. Being disorganized. Does your desk resemble a disaster area? Are you forever looking for things? A disorganized work space adds to your stress and wastes your time. If you organize your desk before you start work, it will save you time (and a headache) later.
Your time at work is valuable. If you waste your time, you will miss out on valuable opportunities. Prioritize and plan your work, be firm with your co-workers and yourself, avoid distractions, and you will be amazed by what you can accomplish.
(Written by: Karen Bivand, Photo From: Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net)