The top ten time wasters

When you don't know what to do, you keep on doing whatever comes to you, and in the process waste a lot of time. Here are a quick short tips to help you identify the common top ten time wasters:

1. Clarity of Priorities
Not knowing one's priorities is the biggest time waster! Know your priorities and you'll have a road map to guide your behavior.

2. Investment of Time
Not putting enough time into "A" and "B" activities wastes time. It's been said that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. Maximize your efforts by investing 80% of your time into the essential "A" and "B" activities.

3. Interruptions
Interruptions, distractions, drop-in visitors, unplanned telephone calls are all potential time-wasters. Schedule "open hours" during specific time frames in order to accommodate those who need to contact you.

4. Conflict
Conflict takes up energy and drains us of our ability to be enthusiastic, focused and productive. Handle whatever conflicts are in your life so as to minimize the "drains" in your life. You'll have more energy and focus as a result.

5. Personal Concerns During Business Hours
Whether one works for a business or in one's own business, it's important to respect the boundaries between personal concerns and business. Boundaries help you to stay focused on the present task at hand while also minimizing distractions.

6. Procrastination
Indecision, daydreaming and delay on taking action impede progress. Consider creating supports that can help you in your decision-making. Create an accountability system with a colleague or friend, or better yet, consider working with a professional coach!

7. Lack of Self-Discipline
Lack of structure can be a problem. Structure supports our creativity ­ it doesn't impede it! Self-discipline is knowing what to pay attention to and living from this awareness. It's also about creating the supports and structures that help us "stay on track" so as to fully honor our commitments.

8. Unfinished Projects
Jumping from project to project without resolution of the previous project, leaving tasks partly done, constantly switching priorities all contribute to wasting time. Treat every day like the day before vacation ­ tie up loose ends! You'll have more energy, less stress and renewed focus the following day.

9. Socializing
Too much socializing with our colleagues or customers can be distracting. Understand the difference between productive socializing and wasting time ­ there's a fine line and balance between the two.

10. Guilt and Shoulds
"Shoulds" come from the unexamined beliefs that unconsciously guide our behavior; guilt is the outcome of these "shoulds." Identify your pre-existing beliefs to see whether they make sense to you ­ whether they're still worthy of orienting your life around. Unexamined beliefs create guilt when we don't live up to them. Explore what's really important to you NOW as you deconstruct outdated beliefs.

Time Management is one of the most important soft skills training one must work to overcome the above time wasters.

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