There are only 7 and a half weeks left until Nevada Grand Assembly. Do you feel time creeping up on you? There’s just NEVER enough time to do all you need to do, is there?
What if I told you that not having enough time isn’t the actual problem? I mean, everyone has the same 24-hours in a day, right? And we all accomplish things within that 24-hours… sometimes 5 things, sometimes 25 things. So, what separates the people who seem to accomplish twice as much as everyone else?
The amount of time is not the problem. It’s how you use it! We all do things every week (heck, every DAY!) that waste time or make us pretty inefficient. This can really reduce productivity!
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t suggest that really productive, successful people NEVER waste time. Many things that are considered ‘time-wasters,’ are very beneficial. Watching a tv show you’ve already seen a hundred times can help you relax. Chatting or texting friends can help you re-energize. Reading your favorite comic book can help you re-focus. All of these personal activities can leave you more productive afterwards!
When I think of time-wasters, I’m not talking about how you spend your personal time. I’m talking about things that slow you down or distractions that are disorganized and not beneficial for you. Here are some major offenses many of us commit, that really drag down our days and make us less productive.
1. Too much multi-tasking
Studies have shown that multi-tasking can decrease your productivity and the quality of your work. That’s because it takes you a few minutes to adjust your focus each time you switch tasks. You may consider yourself good at multi-tasking, but how much time are you wasting when you have to re-focus over and over again? ‘Too much’ is the answer!
Perfectionists sometimes toss aside very good work for the sake of something ‘perfect’ that doesn’t even exist yet! Then they spend hours or days trying to achieve something ‘perfect’ and miss deadlines along the way, only to end up using the ‘good’ thing they originally tossed aside. Take a word of advice from General George S. Patton on this topic: “A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
3. Too many windows open
The bottom line here is CLOSE FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM OR SNAPCHAT (OR WHATEVER) and TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. When you’re working, be working. When you’re browsing/playing/chatting, be browsing/playing/chatting. Switching back and forth just wastes time to figure out “Where was I?” when you get back to that assignment you were on. If you like little breaks, schedule them. Work for 30 minutes straight, all other windows and devices closed. Then take a 3-minute break doing whatever you want. Stick to the time limits you set for yourself and set a timer.
4. Not responding to messages right away
I realize it isn’t always possible to respond immediately because sometimes you don’t have time to answer a complicated email or text right now. However, most of your emails and texts are not that complicated. The topic is in your head and on your screen right now. Coming back to it a 2nd or 3rd time is just going to waste your time reading it again, and running through the same answer in your head that you already did the very first time you read it! Just do it now.
5. Getting overwhelmed by the really big tasks
Many of us fall for this one. When you get overwhelmed you tend to sit and think and fret and stress, and that just wastes your time. Break down something really big into small, manageable pieces. Start on those small things so you can feel a sense of accomplishment that will carry you through the entire thing!
6. Poor prioritizing
If you have a list of things to do this week, write them down and prioritize them all at once. You’ll waste time if you look over your list and decide the most important thing to do, then go do that, come back to your list and look it over again to find the next most important thing to do, and so on, and so on. Just do it all at once so you can begin working and keep working. For help, check out this blog post from 2 weeks ago!
7. Getting burnt out
Rainbow Girls really seem to understand this one! There’s always some more work to do, someone to help, or some extra item you need to make before Grand. However, if you say “yes” to everything, you’re going to get burnt out and you won’t be able to function at your best when you need to. Burn out also means you risk throwing yourself out of balance by over-working, and then needing long breaks you’ll feel bad about later. Creating the right balance of work and rest will help you be your best!
Which of these are you guilty of? I’m sure most of us can even think of other things to add to this list! Figure out what are your top 2 or 3 time-wasters and practice eliminating them to increase your productivity this week!