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4 Critical Ways You Can Stop Wasting Time Today

4 Critical Ways You Can Stop Wasting Time Today


    By the end of this time management article you will have an important gift – a bundle of time to get more things done today.

    Sound too good to be true? Well, it’s a simple fix — all you need to do is eliminate four bad time management habits and stop wasting time today.

    1. Stop random email checks

    Popping in and out of your inbox creates a “start-stop-start” pattern of work activity. Your wasted time quickly adds up when you consider the time it takes to refocus after each stop. A dozen email trips each day can cost you one completed product each week.

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    Unless you are expecting an important task-related message, each day you should schedule the 3 specific time slots for checking email: mid-morning, after lunch, and mid-afternoon.

    For that matter, the same goes for your voicemail, text messages and other smartphone-related activities. Reduce these harmful interruptions by sticking to a set schedule.

    2. Quit “winging-it”

    Quick story alert: There was a time in my life when I would get lost while driving. A lot. For a while I thought I was a hopelessly directionally-challenged individual. But then it finally dawned on me that I was usually just “winging it”. I was setting off without a plan or direction. 

    Most people start their days without a roadmap and end up aimlessly wandering around what’s important, wasting time along the way. Sadly, those who choose to skip planning mistakenly believe they are saving time, a folly obvious to your boss, co-workers, and clients.

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    Honestly, 5 minutes is all you need to establish a short list of tasks, create a daily schedule, and prioritize your activities in the order of importance. By creating a plan each morning you’ll have much more success in follow-through on what matters most.

    3. Don’t be an interruption magnet

    Let’s face it, some people are more open to distractions than others. Do you find yourself beginning work on a priority task only to be interrupted by a passing co-worker?

    It’s possible that you are inviting distraction into your world like a magnet.

    The good news is you’re not alone. This is a common form of procrastination, not following through on your priorities, and time being wasted. Fix it by learning to close your door, both physically and figuratively:

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    • Each day, choose two separate “task hours” where you can close your office door.
    • Identify important tasks where undivided attention is a priority.
    • Communicate your limited availability to your co-workers by email or sign on the door; specify options for reaching you with urgent matters during this time.
    • Silence your cellphone – shut off your ringer and create a custom voicemail greeting that details your availability.
    • Close your email client to avoid the temptation to check-in.
    • Unplug from the Internet — shutting down any potential distractions.
    • Once you’ve found success, try adding a third task hour to your routine.

    Learning the self-discipline to stay on task doesn’t always come naturally. But remember — when you prioritize a task as highly important, you’re giving yourself permission to shut yourself off from interruptions.

    4. End your silent procrastination

    Procrastination is usually easy to spot, especially when you’re playing solitaire, scrolling Facebook or gazing out the office window. But there’s another type of procrastination that involves “busywork” — working on non-essential tasks. I call it the “silent killer” because you may not even realize you’re doing anything wrong.

    Any time you spend on less important activities is a step backward, especially when time-sensitive priority tasks and goals are concerned.

    Stop this time-wasting sinkhole by giving your priorities some teeth:

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    • Don’t just take time to put your task list in order — understand why it is important to you and your goals, this makes easier to stay disciplined and follow through.
    • Use Time Boxing, a reliable time management practice that consists of scheduling your tasks in fixed time segments, or boxes, with specific start and finish times.
    • When you tell yourself what you should be doing and when, it reduces the intimidation factor of having large projects and open spaces of time.
    • Create task reminders using your day planner, Outlook, or by simply setting an egg timer and working until it rings.

    Structuring your task time works because it provides an appealing set of instructions in your mind about when to start and when to stop.

    (Photo credit: Stop Sign via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 7, 2018

    10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

    10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

    How big is the gap between you and your success?

    What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

    It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

    So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

    Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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    Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

    You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

    When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

    This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

    Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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    Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

    This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

    Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

    A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

    Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

    …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

    Step 4: Backwards planning

    See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

    Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

    Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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    Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

    See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

    Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

    Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

    Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

    Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

    Step 9: Relax your mind

    Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

    Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

    When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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    Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

    Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

    To your success!

    Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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