We all have the same 24 hours in each day to create, produce results, live our best lives, make an impact and be present. But, we’re not equally disciplined to cut out time wasters that reduce our productivity. To give your productivity a boost, stop doing these 13 things—the biggest time wasters in our lives.
Jumping from task to task
The first step in being more productive is knowing what your priorities are. When you are clear on your priorities, you no longer feel compelled to jump from task to task. Rather, you can spend your time doing what is most important based upon what your priorities are.
Obsession with social media
It’s OK to shut down your social media channels for several hours each day. And, quite possibly, when you discipline yourself to not be tied to social media for every waking moment, you won’t miss it.
Checking email every 15 minutes
Identify two or three times a day when you will check your email account(s) and respond to messages. When you allow your email notification to distract you every time a new message comes in—spam and all—you are wasting valuable time.
Eliminate as many meetings as you can. When you do schedule meetings, make sure there is a specific objective, agenda and action items when you leave so that your time is productive rather than wasteful.
Going down the rabbit hole of content
When online, it’s incredibly easy to get tied up with the latest articles, news and must-read content that’s hitting your inbox and popping at you. Instead of reading these items ad hoc whenever you run across them, have a file where you save them to read for later. Schedule time daily or weekly to get your read on during a dedicated segment in your schedule.
When you overbook, your productivity will falter. When you are in survival mode trying to tackle an overwhelming to-do list your high-priority items suffer. Say “no” to more which leaves room in your schedule to really focus on your high-priority tasks.
We are inundated with options to watch on television from Amazon, Netflix, cable and more, but often instead of tuning in to the one or two programs we are really love, we spend valuable time trying to find “something to watch.” Just don’t do it! It’s wasting valuable moments in your life.
Clutter and acquiring stuff you don’t need
Whether it’s in our office or in our homes, many of us are drowning in stuff. Keep your desk and office organized, so that you can get your hands on what you need when you need it. Get rid of things you don’t need and reduce paper by scanning and filing things electronically.
Commit to doing the hard things first. When we avoid the hard things and procrastinate, we are wasting time finding ways to avoid the task rather than just getting it done.
Staying tied to the computer
It might seem counterintuitive, but when you have a big to-do list, forcing yourself to just sit in front of your computer actually makes you less productive. Give your mind and body several breaks throughout the day—take a walk, get some fresh air. You will come back recharged and refreshed, ready to go.
Focus on the things you can control and stop worrying about the things that you can’t. If you don’t have the power to change something, worrying about it is a huge time waster. Just let it go.
Quit striving for perfection. Aim for completion. There is always room for improvement, but the extra effort and time you put into trying to get to perfect is wasted when “good enough” is ideal in pretty much any activity.
Being like everyone else
Since not having enough time is an issue almost everyone has, be different. If you live differently, you’ll have different results. Be the change you wish to see.
If you start by eliminating these 13 things from your life, you will most definitely have more time to focus on the things that are most important to you. What would you add to the list?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bernard Marr is a best-selling business author, keynote speaker and consultant in big data, analytics and enterprise performance. As the founder and CEO of the Advanced Performance Institute he is one of the world’s most highly respected thought leaders anywhere when it comes to data in business. He regularly advises companies and government organisations on how to improve their performance and gain better insights from their data.