I was on an online chat with several friends and fellow trainers from the United Kingdom the other night...
We were discussing Time Management, a subject that most of us provided training on.
As we were chatting, the subject got around to the biggest time wasters we had each seen with ourselves and our clients.
We decided to compile a list.
I have included that list below. Some are very similar but I added everybody’s contribution.
- Spending time on things that don’t matter (80%) instead of those that matter (20%)
- Not knowing what the priorities should be
- Ending up in conflicts with others, draining energy and loosing focus
- Getting interrupted and not having a systematic way to handle it
- Procrastination and leaving tasks to be done at a later date
- Having many unfinished projects while still getting excited about new things without committing to finish them off in due course
- Too much socializing and spending time talking with others rather than doing any useful work
- Forever been lost examining what it could have been and what should have been done, rather than focusing on what can be done and what should be done
- Mixing up personal and professional areas of life and ending up in a situation where mishandling of one affects the other
- Lack of self-discipline and inability to push forward towards a clear goal
- Spending time envying others rather than asking the right questions to get there
- Not analyzing where the time is lost and hence focusing on optimizing areas that are efficient and ignoring those that need the most attention
- Doing too many things at once and ending up wasting a lot of time in overhead when switching from one task to another
- Doing everything on your own and not learning how to delegate to others, especially areas that other people can be more efficient than you
- Not setting time limits for task. This means that you end up doing a lot when you could have spent only half the time.
- Waiting, waiting and more waiting. Cut the time you spend waiting or have something to do.
- Always managing crisis after crisis rather than spending time planning and preparing to prevent the crisis happening in the first place
- Being untidy and disorganized
- Not spending enough time for yourself so you can have enough time to do some personal reflection
- Inability to say 'NO' when you cannot do something.
- Not knowing who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and how to use them to your advantage in being effective.
- Lost or bogged down in juggling too much technology - email , phone, internet
- Not focusing on what matters the most.
- Wanting to do everything yourself, because no one can do it as well as you
- Not trusting anyone with the work you give them, which prevent you from delegating
- Not using technological solutions to tackle demand and your time
- Not using a calendar system that you can fully rely on where ever you are
That’s a pretty comprehensive list if I do say so myself. Now that you have read through the list, go back through it one more time.
Focus on each one and ask yourself, “Does this apply to me?” Once you have picked out the ones where you need improvement, figure out how you can adjust what you do to eliminate those issues and make better use of your time.
Remember, we all have the same 8760 hours to use every year.
Make the best use of each and every one of those hours and you will be more successful in whatever you do.