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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. 

  1. Spending time on things that don’t matter (80%) instead of those that matter (20%)
  2. Not knowing what the priorities should be
  3. Ending up in conflicts with others, draining energy and loosing focus
  4. Getting interrupted and not having a systematic way to handle it
  5. Procrastination and leaving tasks to be done at a later date
  6. Having many unfinished projects while still getting excited about new things without committing to finish them off in due course
  7. Too much socializing and spending time talking with others rather than doing any useful work
  8. 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 
  9. Mixing up personal and professional areas of life and ending up in a situation where mishandling of one affects the other 
  10. Lack of self-discipline and inability to push forward towards a clear goal 
  11. Spending time envying others rather than asking the right questions to get there 
  12. Not analyzing where the time is lost and hence focusing on optimizing areas that are efficient and ignoring those that need the most attention 
  13. Doing too many things at once and ending up wasting a lot of time in overhead when switching from one task to another 
  14. Doing everything on your own and not learning how to delegate to others, especially areas that other people can be more efficient than you 
  15. Not setting time limits for task. This means that you end up doing a lot when you could have spent only half the time. 
  16. Waiting, waiting and more waiting. Cut the time you spend waiting or have something to do. 
  17. Always managing crisis after crisis rather than spending time planning and preparing to prevent the crisis happening in the first place 
  18. Being untidy and disorganized
  19. Not spending enough time for yourself so you can have enough time to do some personal reflection 
  20. Inability to say 'NO' when you cannot do something. 
  21. Not knowing who you are, your strengths and weaknesses, and how to use them to your advantage in being effective. 
  22. Lost or bogged down in juggling too much technology - email , phone, internet
  23. Not focusing on what matters the most. 
  24. Wanting to do everything yourself, because no one can do it as well as you 
  25. Not trusting anyone with the work you give them, which prevent you from delegating 
  26. Not using technological solutions to tackle demand and your time 
  27. 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.

Views: 716

Tags: 27, Time, Top, Wasters, efficiency, productivity, waste


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Comment by Ric McCoy on September 21, 2013 at 5:12pm
Great post Alan. I'm posting this in our training room. Thank you.

Comment by Bill Cosgrove on September 21, 2013 at 1:25pm

Thank you for a much needed reminder. Reading this was definitely not a time waster. I don't think there is anyone who could not improve on one or more of these time wasters. I know I could improve on some.

Seeing it written here has made me consciously take note of my shortcomings. I have already made my list and will be using it as a call to action.

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