Tag Archive: wasting time



WastingTime-ClocksWasteCan-SmallI’m sure there are a few things you can think of right now that are wasting your time every day that you would love to be rid of. Things that have been keeping you from getting it done for quite some time now.  Just how are you wasting your time? I’m going to share a few ways I see entrepreneurs wasting time daily and give you solutions for moving beyond them.

Let’s talk about your day to day experiences. Every day there are so many things going on that if you’re not careful, your day will have control of you and you won’t have a say in the matter. I’m pretty sure you’ve had the experience that I’m talking about. You’ve got a full day, things that keep popping up and you’re trying to maneuver the landscape of the things on your agenda along with interruptions, social media, multiple devices and the challenges you have. That’s quite a mix and of course this is what you want to shift away from, so let me share a few ways that are probably wasting your time and give you some help with those time wasters.

Doing Irrelevant Things– How much time do you give to the mail, social media, accounting tasks, the marketing, etc? Many are focused on these things  instead of the things that generate revenue. If this is where your time is going, you don’t have much of it to give to your expertise so your focus isn’t contributing to your bottom line. Delegate the things that you don’t have to be the one to do so you can focus on what you’re good at and bringing that to your clients.

Being Effective But Not Efficient-You might be doing the right things, but doing them in an inefficient way. Efficiency is doing things the right way and effectiveness is doing the right things. So here the problem is being effective, but not efficient. You’re on track doing the right things, just not going about them in a productive way. I see this a lot when it comes to repetitive tasks. The things that have to be done daily, weekly and monthly. Each time the wheel is reinvented instead of there being a system for said repetitive tasks. The solution here is to document the tasks so that anyone you delegate them to has clear picture of what has to happen. Create templates or forms to support the process if they’re a fit. Save information needed such as login details and have them readily available. These are things that will help streamline the process.

Technology-Technology is changing every day and honestly I think that the more it advances, the more it consumes people. There are our phones, apps, email and social media that for the most part keep people caught up during the day. First off, open your email when you need to check it and don’t make that first thing in the morning. When you’re done, close it and check it again later. Be sure you designate when you’re checking email and stick to it. Use folders and filters to help sort your email or better yet, try a tool like SaneBox that will keep your inbox clean. Create a social media plan and get someone on board to create and make some of your posts or set them up in something like Hoot Suite so you can cut down on the time you give to social media posting. Of course you don’t want to automate everything.

 


WomanWithUpsidedownClockLet’s talk about that “thing” that keeps you from getting it done. If you’re like most people you don’t know what it is that keeps you from getting things done. You just know that you’re not getting the results that you want, which can be frustrating to say the very least. Before you can improve your productivity, you’ve got to know what the issue is.

If you’re struggling you already know what that feels like…working the extra time to get it all done, having what seems like too much on your plate and no room for you and rushing to satisfy and keep your clients. Facing your challenge first means identifying what it is that has you struggling. If something were ailing you physically, you would seek to determine what the problem was so that it could be remedied.

There are a lot of things that cause people to be challenged: procrastination, cluttered office space or disorganization, email overload and chasing those BSOs (Bright Shiny Objects) is a big problem for creative types, not that others don’t do it. Then there’s lack of focus, lack of proper tools and systems and non-supportive habits.

You have to look at your every-day work life to see what’s challenging you. You are caught up. Overloaded. You are caught up in the everyday to-dos of business and family, multiple overloaded inboxes, calendars and tasks on your to-do list.

This is what’s going on…You have multiple mobile devices— your laptop, smart phone and probably a tablet and other tools too. I do. I’ve got my BlackBerry, my tablet and my laptop. The multiple devices isn’t really the issue if they’re needed. The issue is the lack of management of them.

There’s social media, your piles of paper and cluttered work space. Add to that all of the things that you need to do and the places you need to be and yes, you’re caught up.

To identify the things that challenge you, just take a look at your behavior, which takes some effort because being human, we get caught up in routine things and ways of being. Start logging every minute of  your time. What you’re working on and your start and finish times. Log the times that you stop for a snack or for lunch or to take a break. Log the time that you spend on the phone and on social media. You even want to log the time that you spend socializing or chit chatting online or on the phone. Be sure to document all of it so that when you look back you have a clear picture with all of the details. You want something that will let you see exactly what you’re doing so that you can know what your oppressor is. If you’re going to get beyond what impedes you, you have to identify and acknowledge it so it can be faced and dealt with.

 


ParetoI’m sure that you have heard of Pareto’s Principle. The principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In business, the general rule is that 80% of your sales come for 20% of your clients.

When it comes to the things on your agenda, 20% percent of tasks are critical, and 80% percent are trivial. One of the things that I have people do when they work with me is to look at what’s on their agenda so that we can identify which tasks on their list are critical and focus on those, and of course get rid of the trivial stuff.

Simply put, you waste your time on useless activities! Things that aren’t getting you anywhere; things that are keeping you from being productive, which is why you’re reading to this, right? Everybody has their major time suck…interruptions, email, social media. Maybe you know what your time suck is, maybe not, but whatever it is, it’s zapping your level of productivity. If you don’t know, it’s time to find out and do something about it.

The rule applies in another way too…80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. You may not be getting the results that you want, but what you’re getting is a direct result of where you’re putting your energy. You have to ask yourself, what do you need to be doing? What is it that needs to get done but you don’t seem to have enough time for? It’s time to focus your efforts on the results that you want. If you’ve got a major project that needs to be finished, think about the efforts you need to put forth. Let’s say you want to roll out a new program for your clients, what efforts do you need to engage in? It definitely can’t be the usual time suck, like the interruptions, email, social media, or whatever it might be for you. You have to shift your energy from what’s killing your time to the things that are going to generate results. If that program is going to get launched, if you’re going to get people enrolled in it, or get people to purchase it, what do you have to focus your efforts on? That can be a lot of work, and if it’s to be done timely, you have to focus and give your time to it to make it happen. Your efforts have to go toward the results that you want with regard to that program.

Look at the outcomes you want to see if you’re doing the right things and if not, where your time has to go instead. Depending on the things you do or what you give your time to some elements contribute to the outcomes you want and others contribute to the outcomes that you don’t want. Be sure that you’re allocating time doing more beneficial things.

If you’re not getting the results that you want, it’s time for an assessment of where your time is going. Then make that shift so that you start getting the results that you’re looking for.

 


To-Do ListGot a long to-do list and wondering where to start? How do so many things end up on your list, where do they come from and how do you get it all done? Life moves so fast and you continually add things to your plate without even thinking. There are things that you miss or don’t get done because you don’t have things in place to support you. There are particular steps and habits that you can create to support you in becoming a task master that will get you through your to-do list every time.

So, let’s look at how things end up on your to-do list. Are you creating daily tasks based upon the larger projects that you’re working on or are you creating lists randomly?  How you create your list makes a big difference when it comes to getting it all done.  The first key to becoming a task master is being a master at determining what goes on your list.  If your daily lists are being created based upon the projects that you’re working on, the tasks are focused and related to something that’s important or something that you value.  If your daily lists are being created randomly, they are likely to include things that aren’t important or even relevant.  Those are the things that will waste your time.  Only add things to your list that are related to the goals or projects you are working on and other things that are important and relevant.  This helps you weed out the unimportant tasks and things that can be delegated and keeps you focused on what’s important.

The second key is knowing when to do what, so you have to know your priorities and stick to them.  Priorities should be created when your projects and goals are created.  If the projects and goals that you’re focused on don’t have a priority attached to them, determine them.  Once you know your priorities for each, you know the priority of the related tasks as they filter down to your daily to-do list.  This has you be in the practice of scheduling your priorities and not prioritizing your schedule.

The third key to being a task master is personalizing everything.  Know the time of day that you are at your best mentally and physically and use that time to carry out your top priority tasks so that you’re not working against your grain.  Organize your work space according to how you work and assign a place for everything so that it’s easily accessible.  This way you’re not wasting time looking for things.  You’re working on the tasks at hand.

These three keys will keep your daily to-do list trim and fit, with no extra filler.  Be particular about what you give your time to.  If something doesn’t fit, don’t give your time to it.  Always keep your priorities in mind and allow them to guide you.  There will be many things that will try to get your attention and your time, but you get to choose how you spend your day.  Stick with habits that support you and you will be able to get it all done.  You will be a task master.

 


WomanSuitBoxingGlovesThere never seems to be enough time in any given day to get to all of your to-do items.  The day begins and you’re off to a good start, and then, before you know it, times up.  You stop and wonder, “Where did the day go?”  Now we’re at the end of another year and you might be wondering where the whole year went and how it went by so quickly.  It’s safe to say that people find themselves here because they don’t know how they relate to time, don’t plan for what they want to accomplish, or the plan is in their head, they fall prey to procrastination and interruptions and have no clue as to where their time is going.  The scary thing about this is that it can be a pattern, and it probably is if you’re sitting here at the end of the year wondering where it all went.   It’s not too late to get a handle on it all and make some progress toward some of the things on your plate right now and finish the year powerfully.

Look at the things that you’d like to accomplish before the end of the year and prioritize them. Once you’ve determined the priority of each item, you can move forward.  Do you have time to get to all of the things before year’s end?  If not, determine what you can complete in the time that’s left and schedule time to work on those pieces of the project between now and the end of the year then schedule time to finish the remaining pieces in early January.  Get the blocks of time scheduled in your calendar now and commit to them.

The next step to finishing your year strong is to think about next year before it gets here.  Start with a list of things you want to accomplish and turn them into goals.  Once you’ve got S.M.A.R.T. goals, you can create your road map to accomplishing them and know exactly how you’re going to get there and when you’re working on each.  The year might fly by, but you’ll be getting things done instead of wondering where all that time went and why you have nothing to show for it.

As you look forward to the next year, think about what you have to do differently.  What did you do this year that just didn’t work?  What do you want to do differently?  Be conscious of how you’re relating to time, pull together systems and tools to support you, create a plan and above all, look at where your time is going.  Be sure that you’re investing it, not simply spending it.  Give your time to things that are worthy, things related to your values and goals and let the rest go.  Doing so will keep you productive and getting to the end of the year with things accomplished, ready to celebrate and plan for the year ahead.

 

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