Stop Wasting Time and Get Things Done!

We’ve all had days where we feel lazy and don’t want to do anything but sleep, watch TV or do nothing. It’s important to use this kind of time to regroup, refresh, and reset yourself.

It’s the unintentional time-wasting activities that we’re focusing on today.

Like … the days you are late for work and get caught up with a chatty co-worker for 30 minutes only to go to your desktop do some online research but get sidetracked watching hilarious cat videos. Sound familiar?

This might be fun at the time, but the downside to this is that your morning sailed past you and now you’ll be spending another late night making up for those lost hours.

If you could only stop those distracting habits that cause you to waste time, you know you’d be productive, right!

Let’s identify how and when you’re wasting time and be real about it. Most of us waste some time during the day, but the trick is to evaluate your work habits to have a deeper understanding of the distractions and be more productive.

Tips To Stop Wasting Time, Get Things Done & Be Happier

1. Multitasking… Not!

Many people think that multitasking accomplishes everything. Multitasking may also feel productive for some people, but the truth is, it doesn’t work. Only 2% of the general population can multitask successfully.

So, to be more productive stop multitasking and:

  • Focus on one task at a time
  • Finish one task and then move on to another.

Changing your routine may be hard to do, but once you have seen that you’re actually accomplishing something and are focusing more on a task, you’ll be more productive.

2. Have A Clear Direction

When you don’t have the information or clear instructions, you’ll waste time figuring out what you’re supposed to be doing during the day. You’ll find yourself pausing or probably avoid the task at hand while finding ways to distract yourself.

To prevent this, you can ask your team leader or colleagues, or get some important resources to clarify things for you. Once you have all the information, it will be easy to formulate a game plan on how to attack the task at hand. If the task is too big for you, break it down into parts.

3. Disable Your Mobile Alerts

If you have something to do that really needs your full attention, disable your mobile alerts. Every ping or ding from all of your social accounts will distract you and will make you want to check them.

Leave the work email or work chat ON in case work-related announcements are sent to you. All other non-work related, turn them off. Enable them again once you’re out of the office or once you’re done with your tasks.

4. Determine What Kind of Day It Will Be

Yes, there are days that you don’t want to do anything and just chill, listen to music and read a book. There are also some days that you want to accomplish more than usual. All of them are good days and nothing’s wrong with it, but every morning or at the start of your day, you need to determine what kind of day you will have. What things need to be accomplished and then set your expectations.

5. Delete Any Pointless Apps

Downloading games on your mobile can be fun, but most of them are not “productive”, they’re just a source of amusement. Turn off their notifications because they will entice you back into their world, and delete them all together if they are causing problems with your work productivity.

6.  Stop Checking Random Email

First thing, separate email for work from personal email. If you don’t have a separate email for work and personal use, everything will get mixed up and the email popping in and out of your inbox will create a start and stop pattern. Have separate email accounts. Multiple email checks will cost you precious time unless you’re expecting something really important or task/work related. Create a schedule for checking email everyday – mid-morning, after lunch and mid-afternoon.

7. Learn How To Say No

This is simple and yet challenging to do. When time is important and the stakes are high, learn how to say no to the things that don’t align with your priorities. Learn how to say no if you want to maximize your time because if not, you’ll be living on other people’s terms and not saving enough time for yourself.

8. Go Out And Have A Break

If you have accomplished all the tasks in your list for the day or for the week, go out and have a break. You deserve it. It will help you recharge and feel more balanced.

Jon Capistrano

Jon is a researcher and writer, as well as avid scooterist and musician.

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