How to Abolish the Top Five Time Wasters

Time wasting is of the key reasons stopping businesses performing and growing to their potential. Procrastination, answering emails and the telephone, unnecessary meetings, unexpected visitors and not having a daily game plan all affect your ability to do your job. Find out more about these time wasters and how to combat them, ensuring you are as efficient as you can be.

1. Procrastination
"I will do it tomorrow", "I will get to it soon" or whatever excuse you use, it's all procrastination. The feeling that you will complete the project or task in the near future will rob you of your time today and cause unnecessary stress when there are no more tomorrows left. In order to avoid this time trap, start your workday with the most unpleasant task first. Decide and visualise the desired outcome of the project and list small daily assignments that will get you to completion.

You don't have to complete the project in one day: just work on it daily and set deadlines in order to reach the desired outcome. Also, think about the consequences of not doing the project or task, this alone will motivate you to get it done. Block time on your schedule for tasks and commit to following your schedule; this will help you avoid putting off until tomorrow. Once the project is completed, you will feel emotionally great and able to complete other duties.

2. Emails and Telephone
Block time in your schedule to read and reply to emails. I check and reply to emails in the morning before I start my daily tasks and once again as I close my day. I only check emails during the day if I have a few minutes due to cancellations or I have finished a task sooner than anticipated. If you review and respond to emails all day or whenever you get mail, you will tend to spend more time corresponding on the internet and not completing other much needed tasks.

Create folders for emails that you do not have time to read but would like to read later on your personal time. Use filters to avoid the over abundance of unwanted mail and keep replies short and to the point. Depending upon your services or products, it is great to establish a "frequently asked questions" list. You can use it to reply to questions that don't need customised replies, or post on your webpage (if you have one) as a point of reference.

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