No, not YOU! I’m talking about all those calls and interruptions that keep happening every day, stopping you when you’re in mid-flow on something and making it really tough for you to concentrate on getting stuff done. But you can have better time management, with just a little effort.
Most people tell me they don’t have time to do all the things they want to do in business. But, I can comfortably bet £20 with everybody who tells me this because I know you have around 1-2 hours of wasted, dead time per day that achieves nothing. I might lose the odd £20, but for every 100 people, I reckon I’ll win at least 90% of the time.
How do I know this? As a business coach I see the symptoms in new clients all the time. Here’s my top 10 list of time-eaters – because by stopping you getting stuff done, you’re never going to get where you want to be…
- Taking unsolicited calls any time of day – letting others dictate when you can do work is never a good policy. Schedule meetings with yourself in your diary to keep some time free for project work and business development.
- Reading junk mail – that’s why we call it junk mail – throw it away!
- The News. What real impact does it have on your life and how do you change as a result? Exactly – it does not help you live your life or achieve more.
- TV soap operas – don’t kid yourself that it’s "unwinding" or "relaxing" – they’re not – they are full of bitterness, despair and pity. Listen to some great music, play a sport or read a book to unwind.
- Responding to emails as soon as they come in. Why? Set aside a few times during the day when you can follow up your emails and discipline yourself to use time more wisely.
- Not having a daily To-Do list – if you don’t know what you need to do, you will go around in circles all day long.
- Not taking care of yourself first – you’re the boss, you need to look after yourself – exercise, walk the dog, go jogging. Never let yourself get squeezed out of your schedule.
- Instant messaging to friends on the Internet – talk to them properly later, don’t be distracted by interruptions every five minutes!
- Browsing the Internet – too easy to become engrossed in something that has no value to you – probably my own worst distraction. Close your browser window when you’re done to signal to your brain that you need to concentrate.
- Doing 2 things at once. While the female of the species is better than the male at multi-tasking, doing your most important task with your full attention will always get it done faster.
Make a plan to eliminate 1 of these time wasters from your life today and get more done.