Tag Archive: wasted time

Wasting your time can be pretty frustrating. You really want to get to the things one your list but may not be able to figure out just what’s going on. But before you can get to a space where you’re knocking things off your to-do list left and right, you’ve got to look at what’s going on right now. Where is your time going? What things are stopping you in your tracks or detouring you? To find the answers to those questions, tracking your time is the step to take. It may not be the most fun thing to do, but it will let you see just what things are getting your time, allow you to record all of the interruptions you get during the day, discover if you’re giving your time to things that matter.

You might not see it at first, but making the space in your days to keep track of what you’re doing and what happens during the course of your day will give you valuable information. What you see on the front end is just a list of things you did, how much time it took to do each what things actually got some or all of your time. When you look much closer, you see…

  • Exactly what things you’re giving your time to
  • How you prioritized things and where you made the mistake of putting one thing before another
  • How to determine the importance of the things on your agenda moving forward
  • What interruptions tend to happen and which ones you allow
  • The difference between what got done and the things you had on your to-do list and what kept you from the important things

The biggest insight you’ll gain is seeing what your biggest time wasters are right before your own eyes. That’s priceless because it gives you the big picture. You’ve got to know what the reason for the problem is before you can create or apply a solution for it and logging your time does exactly that for you.  If you don’t know where your day is going, why things aren’t getting done and always feel pressed for time, chances are you’re wasting time. This is a great starting point for you. Start tracking your time so you can get the information you need and be ready to move forward with finding and implementing a solution. Use this nifty little tool to help you.



The new year is here and if you haven’t already gotten into the groove, it’s time to get your new year off to a running start with things that will support your efforts.  Usually, we don’t think about this one key piece of the puzzle, but no matter who you are–business owner or not, stay at home Mom, or if you work a regular 9-5, you need tools and systems to get your year off to a rolling start and help keep it rolling throughout the year.  Imagine having your goals and a written plan to carry them out, but nothing to support you in your daily steps toward them.

This is the time of year for resolutions, fresh starts and the like, but we don’t think about getting things in order and people are typically scrambling this time of year to get off to a good start after a hectic holiday season, but there are ways of avoiding that scramble–at any time of the year.  Your business or work setting as well as your home should run like a well-oiled machine. The best thing you can possibly do to support yourself is to set up systems to streamline your tasks.  Your business or work environment should have systems in place for every area: filing, sales, accounting, payroll, etc.  The same applies to your home environment.  Each system carries out processes that contribute to the environment as a whole, ultimately leading to increased productivity.

To begin to get your systems in place, start by looking at what’s working.  This question might not be so easy to answer, because usually if there isn’t anything wrong, we can’t see what’s there.  If there is a system in place that’s working, leave it in place but look to see what improvements might be made to that system.

Next, look at what’s not working.  This question will be easier for you to answer than the first.  If something isn’t working, get rid of it and create a system that does work; one that will support you.  For example, your filing system should include three types of files, reference, action and archive.  Not having a solid filing system in place and using it is one of the top things that will waste your time.  Once you have a solid filing system, have processes in place that keep your system in top condition and continues to support you.  To give another example, set up a schedule for purging your files and for archiving.  Know when you want to remove things from your reference files and archive them and how long you need to keep them in your archives.  Statistically speaking, people waste 1.5-2.0 hours each day looking for things.  That translates into 7-10 hours every week of wasted time just for one person.  Think about the money that’s wasted just on looking for things.  Not having systems in place can break you and negatively impact your bottom line.



Recently I interacted with someone who just did not have his act together.  With missed appointments, frequent last minute cancellations, unproductive lengthy meetings, and unfocused conversations, I realized that this man has no foundation.  There was nothing for him to build upon and without that foundation in place, he flounders through his days.  At his rate, it will take him much longer to get anything accomplished.

Dealing with someone so challenged can be absolutely unnerving, to say the very least.  It’s just not possible to get anything done operating without a solid foundation to support you.  Operating this way is like trying to build a skyscraper on a clay foundation.  It simply won’t work.  Without a solid foundation to help you make and keep appointments and scheduled meetings, plan accordingly, have concise, productive meetings and a focused agenda, the building can come down fast.

What does your foundation look like?  What do you have in place to help with your calendar and other scheduled items?  Do you plan on a regular basis, have concrete reasons for scheduling meetings and create agendas for them?  If not, you might be experiencing the aforementioned situation.

Think about what you’re building.  Why do you do what you do and what goals are you aiming for?  Start from scratch and create your plan.  Create your goals and be sure that they are values-based and S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time bound).  Next, create the plan for reaching each of those goals and place the related individual tasks on your daily to-do list and in your calendar.  Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it’s really necessary to meet.  If so, does the meeting have to be face-to-face or can it be virtual?  Who  needs to be there and why, and what items need to go onto the agenda?  Create that agenda and assign time to each item, then stick to the agenda.

If you’re floundering through your days, take a step back and look at your foundation.  Ask yourself if it’s supporting you now and if it’s strong enough to get you to where you want to go.  Do you have a solid foundation that will erect a steady structure, or will it all come tumbling down?  What are you building?

Every business  should run like a well-oiled machine and one thing that helps keep them that way are systems and processes for all areas of business.  Typical systems are filing, accounting, contact management, sales, inventory, payroll, customer service.

Having systems in place with processes inside of them lead to less wasted time from the owner of the company on down, decrease in expenses, fewer mistakes or mishaps and overall, a positive impact on your bottom line.  The absence of systems within a company can cost it greatly.

Look to see what systems you have and which you need to add then establish those systems for  your business and create a step by step processes for each one.  Once they’re created, it’s time to create new habits and begin using them and sticking to the process so that things run like a well-oiled machine.  Doing so allows each system to carry out its related processes in contribution to your office and company running smoothly.  Having them in place and using them maximizes everyone’s time and leads to high productivity levels.

What systems have you got in place?  What’s working and more importantly, what’s not working?  If it’s not working, then it’s got to be addressed.  For example, if you always have trouble finding things, then it’s time to create a solid filing system.  By the way, it’s typical for people to waste 1.5-2.0 hours each day just looking for things.  It gets pretty scary when you start to do the math.  If you’re constantly looking for contact information then it’s time for a better way to manage your contacts, because after all, if you can’t connect with your clients or prospects, you’re going to have issues.  Not much work is getting done when you’re spending time looking for things that could be easily retrieved in 30 seconds or less with efficient systems in place.

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