Effective time management is a goal that all of us need to strive for, and it is a perfectly attainable goal. However, every day there are forces at work that threaten to thwart our best efforts, and we must be on the constant look out for these time wasters.
The main problem with time wasters is that they can often be so subtle we do not even know about them. Yet they can eat into hours of every day and ruin our attempts at effective time management. In this article I am going to identify some of the chief culprits and what you can do about them.
Television – The biggest time waster of them all. Many people spend 70% of their free time watching television – yes 70%! That’s almost three quarters of our leisure time gone. I encourage you to not allow this to happen to you and instead to think of all the other things you could do with that time. By all means watch your favorite shows. Then once the show you like is over do something else you enjoy, or is productive.
Clutter – This is a much more subtle time waster that can eat up a surprising amount of time. Get your workspace clean and adopt a filing system that suits you. Also try to be neat in your habits around the home. If you do, you will find that everything has its place and allows you to work more efficiently.
Telephone – The telephone is an essential tool for business and enhances our social lives. However, it can also be an unwelcome source of interruptions. Learn to discipline yourself in your use of the telephone. Make yourself available for calls at certain times of a day, use an answering service, and when you do receive calls make them short and to the point.
These are just three of the enemies of effective time management, but there are many more. Also watch out for wasting your time on the internet and on emails; attending time wasting meetings; and failing to delegate.