Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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.

    Advertising

    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:

    Advertising

    • 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:

    Advertising

    • 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)

    More by this author

    8 Productivity Hacks to Get Out of To-Do List Purgatory 4 Critical Ways You Can Stop Wasting Time Today

    Trending in Productivity

    1 How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 The Surefire Method to Set Long Term Goals and Reach Success 4 17 Smart Tips on Setting Goals to Accomplish More in Life 5 Smart Goals Template to Help Leaders Attain Success Easily

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on February 15, 2019

    7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

    7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

    There’s nothing more fulfilling than the sense of accomplishment you get by achieving your business goals.

    Gone are the days when you used pen and paper to take notes and manage your work day. As millennials are relying heavily on technology to manage almost everything from finances to their personal fitness, goal tracking apps are also becoming increasingly popular.[1]

    In this piece, we will shed some light on 7 such goal tracking apps that you can use to streamline your operations.

    I have handpicked these apps from a software rating web services site Best Online Reviews. Industry experts review software on these websites and help businesses to find the right solutions to meet their various, unique business requirements.

    1. Aha!

      Aha! is a California-based roadmap software provider and offers excellent goal tracking app that lets you define goals and objectives for projects. The app also lets you list out primary tasks and allows you to focus on them.

      Hosted securely on the cloud, the app offers enhanced communication tools for sharing updates through emails with select colleagues or the entire organization.

      Aha! is available on multiple platforms such as the web, Android, iOS, Windows, etc. and starts from $59 per month per user.

      Available for Web

      Advertising

      2. Asana

        Asana is one of the more popular project management apps available for businesses. It lets you organize all your team’s work, such as setting up and tracking goals, creating tasks, sharing files and notes, etc.

        Asana also allows your team to organize all their tasks and focus on urgent priorities. Moreover, the app offers a delightful user experience that makes task management simple and easy.

        Asana is available on multiple platforms from PCs and Mac to iOS and Android. Multi-channel adaptability makes Asana the perfect choice to track your goals anytime, from anywhere.

        Available for iOS | Android | Web

        3. Basecamp

          Basecamp is an excellent tool to manage all your team’s projects and keep your activities organized. It opens a new thread for every task and that task is visible by the whole team.

          With Basecamp, you can schedule tasks, add to-dos, discuss tasks by adding comments, add files and attachments, and much more.

          The app is available on both mobile and desktop platforms and costs $99 per month. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS platforms and offers excellent multi-channel access.

          Advertising

          Available for iOS | Android | Web

          4. Forecast

            An efficient tool for successful task management, Forecast is also a popular goal tracking app. Apart from effective milestone tracking, the app also offers convenient status reporting.

            Forecast uses project history to let you know the status of your current work. Moreover, it uses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to provide high-quality assistance. It is a robust app for small teams to track goals and time.

            Forecast is available for free and comes with Android and iOS app support. The premium version of the app starts from $19 per month per user.

            Available for Web

            5. Wrike

              Wrike is a cloud-based collaboration and project management app that successfully manages projects from start to finish. It lets you create tasks, track work progress and retrieve reports with ease.

              The app also gives real-time work updates and helps team members to understand their work priorities. A custom report builder helps you to generate in-depth reporting.

              Advertising

              Wrike’s premium version is available from $9.80 per month per user and is available on multiple platforms.

              Available for iOS | Android | Web

              6. Todo.vu

                Todo.vu is a unique platform that delivers enhanced customer relationship management (CRM), task management, time tracking, and billing functionality in a single app.

                According to Capterra, it’s an ideal app for freelancers and consultants, who are looking for tools to improve efficiency and transparency.

                Although the app is free to use with basic features, the premium plan starts from $5 per month per user. The app also comes with calendar sync and task reminder functionality to keep you on track, always.

                Available for Web

                7. Flock

                  Looking for a tool to simplify task management? Try out Flock.

                  Advertising

                  Flock comes with enhanced goal tracking and additional features like instant messaging.

                  Moreover, Flock offers tons of integrations with tools such as Google, MailChimp, Jira, Dropbox, etc. It is a powerful tool that’s packed with robust features such as reminders, notes, polls and to-dos.

                  Even though you can use the tool for free, the paid version of Flock is available from $4.50 per month per user.

                  Available for iOS | Android | Web

                  Conclusion

                  Businesses need high-quality project management tools to streamline collaboration and operations. Enhanced goal tracking apps make it easy for your team to improve productivity by keeping its tasks organized.

                  But it’s essential that you choose an app that meets your unique business requirements. You can choose from the above-mentioned apps to streamline operations and improve the productivity of your team.

                  Featured photo credit: Alvaro Reyes via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next