We’re busy people. We fill every hour of every day with tasks to the point that we cry, “If only I had more time!”
One way to get more time is to become more efficient at what we do. There are a few activities that suck us dry that could either be eliminated from our daily activities, or we must change our behavior surrounding them.
Social Media. While social media is a fabulous way to stay in touch with friends, family, and clients, it can also drain away valuable hours without our even noticing it. Even if you’re using social media for business, allocate specific times you will update your status, search for tweets to retweet, or otherwise promote your business.
Cell Phones. Many people justify a smartphone by saying that it allows them to stay productive by staying on top of things for work. But after reading the previous paragraph, you might want to limit your cell phone usage because most people use it to stay in touch via social media with friends. Turn the phone off or set it on airplane mode because even a vibration indicating that you some kind of message will distract you from a given task and every distraction takes time to recover from.
Work Distractions. Studies have shown that when an individual is working on a project that consumes their entire focus they are very productive. Interruptions in the form of a phone call, a smartphone vibration or just a knock on the office door will pull that individual out of their laser focus. And even though your colleague says, “It will only take a minute,” getting back into that original groove of focus can take as long as fifteen or twenty minutes. Is it any wonder we feel that we work really hard every day and have gotten very little to show for it? Establish set hours where you will work alone and uninterrupted in order to accomplish tasks and then have regular office hours where you are available to collaborate with coworkers and team members.
Internet connection. This is just as bad as the smartphone problem, and considered one of the top time wasters in today’s world. Having your computer continuously connected to the internet is no good if you’re constantly refreshing emails, googling things that have nothing to do with your project, reading news headlines or just watching YouTube videos of cute animal antics. Again, to manage your time here, set up specific hours where you handle email and do your online research. The rest of the time, keep your internet connection on your computer turned off.