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Deal with Time Wasters for Effective Time Management

Shafir Ahmad
 


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There are two main categories that time wasters or time bandits can fall under. The first category is self generated internal time wThere are two main categories that time wasters or time bandits can fall under. The first category is self generated internal time wasters. These are the things that you do yourself to waste time and are the easiest to control. The second category are the external time wasters. These are the things other people do to waste your time. This can be more diffucult to control, though it can be controlled with a little bit of effort and ingenuity.

Let's look at the self generated internal time wasters and some possible solutions:

1) The lack of planning and priorities. Many people never get anything accomplished because they don't know where to begin or how to proceed once started. It is important that you keep a weekly schedule. List your priorities in order of importance. If needed, discuss the priorities with your boss or coworkers. Make a schedule that starts at the beginning of each week and incorporates all of your priorities into the schedule with goals for completion dates. List every hour and what you should be working on for that hour. Schedule tight so there is not a lot of time in between projects. Too much time between projects is wasted time.

2) Disorganization. Disorganized people spend way too much time looking for lost items. Keep your office neatly organized and free of clutter. If you can't do this yourself, recruit a friend or hire someone to help you.

3) Procrastination. This is a big time waster. Set a deadline for those projects that you don't want to do. Plan a reward for yourself when finished. Work on the project in small chunks until completed. Sometimes it helps to work on it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.

The second category of time wasters is the external time wasters. These are not as easy to control since they involve external factors. Here are some solutions to help control or at the very least, keep them to a minimum:

1) Visitors. If you get a lot of visitors dropping to your work area this could be a huge time waster for you. The solution is to move your desk so that your back is to the door. This will make you seem less approachable. When someone stops in to talk, stand up. This will send the message that you don't have time to chat. If all else fails be honest. Tell them thanks for dropping by, but tactfully let them know that you need to get back to work.

2) Telephone calls. Screen your calls. Let the voice mail take your calls during the day when you are busy. Schedule time during each day when you will return the calls and let your clients know when that time will be. Keep your answers short and to the point and end the conversation politely when it has achieved it's purpose. With a little practice you can be personable and still keep the conversation short.

3) Mail. It can flood your desk and take it over before you it. Schedule time each day to go through your mail. Make it a rule to handle each piece of mail only once. Throw out the junk mail immediately, file" information only" mail in a file box to be read later and respond to the others by telephone or fax. Faxing a response is a great idea because the response is immediate and takes very little time.

4) Email. Clean out your email box daily and don't use your business email address for personal use.

Using these solutions, your productivity will increase and your stress level on the job will decrease. The best part is, you can say goodbye to the time bandits forever!asters. These are the things that you do yourself to waste time and are the easiest to control. The second category are the external time wasters. These are the things other people do to waste your time. This can be more diffucult to control, though it can be controlled with a little bit of effort and ingenuity.

Let's look at the self generated internal time wasters and some possible solutions:

1) The lack of planning and priorities. Many people never get anything accomplished because they don't know where to begin or how to proceed once started. It is important that you keep a weekly schedule. List your priorities in order of importance. If needed, discuss the priorities with your boss or coworkers. Make a schedule that starts at the beginning of each week and incorporates all of your priorities into the schedule with goals for completion dates. List every hour and what you should be working on for that hour. Schedule tight so there is not a lot of time in between projects. Too much time between projects is wasted time.

2) Disorganization. Disorganized people spend way too much time looking for lost items. Keep your office neatly organized and free of clutter. If you can't do this yourself, recruit a friend or hire someone to help you.

3) Procrastination. This is a big time waster. Set a deadline for those projects that you don't want to do. Plan a reward for yourself when finished. Work on the project in small chunks until completed. Sometimes it helps to work on it first thing in the morning to get it out of the way.

The second category of time wasters is the external time wasters. These are not as easy to control since they involve external factors. Here are some solutions to help control or at the very least, keep them to a minimum:

1) Visitors. If you get a lot of visitors dropping to your work area this could be a huge time waster for you. The solution is to move your desk so that your back is to the door. This will make you seem less approachable. When someone stops in to talk, stand up. This will send the message that you don't have time to chat. If all else fails be honest. Tell them thanks for dropping by, but tactfully let them know that you need to get back to work.

2) Telephone calls. Screen your calls. Let the voice mail take your calls during the day when you are busy. Schedule time during each day when you will return the calls and let your clients know when that time will be. Keep your answers short and to the point and end the conversation politely when it has achieved it's purpose. With a little practice you can be personable and still keep the conversation short.

3) Mail. It can flood your desk and take it over before you it. Schedule time each day to go through your mail. Make it a rule to handle each piece of mail only once. Throw out the junk mail immediately, file" information only" mail in a file box to be read later and respond to the others by telephone or fax. Faxing a response is a great idea because the response is immediate and takes very little time.

4) Email. Clean out your email box daily and don't use your business email address for personal use.

Using these solutions, your productivity will increase and your stress level on the job will decrease. The best part is, you can say goodbye to the time bandits forever!

Shafir Ahmad is the author of “The Experts Guide to Managing Your Time". If you are not managing your time, then you are wasting it. Don't waste time! Get your 7-Part eCourse on Secrets To Better Time Management at http://www.PlanYourTimeNow.com

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