How To Stop Wasting Precious Time
By Mike Moore
Twenty four hours a day minus the eight hours we sleep leaves us with 16 productive hours to accomplish things that need to be done at home and at work. Of these 16 hours, a lot of time is wasted due to distractions, interruptions and disorganization. We just don’t manage our time well.
The Top Six Time Wasters
- Television: We average four hours a day watching television. If we live to be 72 it works out to 12 solid years wasted watching TV. This doesn’t include time spent on the Internet. SOLUTION? Go on frequent television fasts.
Emailing back and forth: Email becomes time consuming when you consider how often we check it and how frequently we are involved in sending back and forth messages. A survey was done by the American Management Association with these results: Of the 400 business managers polled… 35% use email to communicate with clients… 26% prefer the phone… 15% would rather have face to face meetings. Interesting results when you consider the time email consumes.
Junk mail of the traditional kind: Too much time is wasted opening and then trashing unwanted mail.
Drop in visits: When you are in your office with the door open you are an open invitation to those with nothing better to do to drop in for a chat. When they do, they eat up a lot of your precious time. SOLUTION? Keep your door closed. If you don’t want to close your door arrange your desk in such a way that people passing by can’t see you and drop in for a visit.
Reading every word of every document that crosses your desk: We are living in the age of information and it seems that much of it ends up on your desk each day demanding your attention. If you don’t learn how to scan it quickly and either discard it or place it in your ” for further study” pile you will end up overwhelmed and stressed.
Phone calls that are too long and too frequent: Some people just won’t get off the phone and let you get back to work. Solution? Let people know that it is a bad time and then give them a better time to call when you can spare a few minutes. Before they call back get an egg timer and put it on your desk. As soon as their call comes in get the egg timer going and then see if you are able to bring the conversation to a conclusion within the three minutes provided by the timer.
The message is clear… take back your time or you will never get anything meaningful accomplished.
We will never find time for anything. We’ve got to make time.
Mike Moore is a popular speaker, humorist and author whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. He is a recognized authority on the therapeutic power of humor in human wellness and relationships. His many speaking engagements throughout North America have convinced him that laughter forms a universal language that entertains, heals and unites us all. You can check his website here.