It’s easy to waste time if you aren’t focused on its passage. The problem is that time keeps ticking, whether you notice or not.

Time constraints are a crucial part of an organization, and they can be costly if you aren’t careful. To improve your time management skills, you may opt to focus on the big, important tasks first. However, sometimes these tasks may take more time than they should. And while they help you make a big difference quickly, if you want to be more effective, you’ll also need to clear the little time wasters that steal your time.

If you don’t manage these time wasters efficiently, they’ll soon eat up your time and you won’t be able to focus on the bigger tasks. 

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Poor communication can be one of the biggest time wasters. Fortunately, the following tips can help you eliminate most of the time-wasting that occurs because of ineffective communication.

#1. Inform in Advance

Chances are that many of the queries you receive regularly are looking for the same information repeatedly. If you avail this information to customers through your FAQ section on your website, you’ll reduce the number of queries you receive.

#2. No Agenda, No Meeting

Don’t hold meetings that don’t have a clear agenda.  

Meetings with a clear agenda and a strong chairperson are swift and highly productive. They have clear topics for discussion and there’s allocated time for each item together with strict start and finish times. 

In contrast, if there’s no agenda, there’s more chance of meetings taking too long because you’ll spend most of the time bouncing from topic to topic. 

#3. Protect Your Workspace

Don’t allow your employees to drop by your office anytime they feel like it. Conversations take more time than they should and you won’t be able to add up how much time you wasted.

Your workplace should be a highly productive area. If employees feel like they can interrupt you anytime, they will. They may not mean any harm, but they’ll disrupt your schedule.

If employees drop by your office, you can:

* Inform them you’re busy and ask them to email their query.

* Inform them that you’re busy but you have five minutes to deal with their query now. But if you do this, you must stick to the five minutes.

* And if it’s important, arrange a time to discuss it properly later.

Many of the time wasters which eat up our time revolve around our interaction with others. To adopt the most effective processes for your time management, train yourself to use your time more effectively. And through your behavior, train your employees to conform to your new practices. 

At first, some employees may be resistant to the new practices but these are usually the biggest time wasters. Remind them that you’re improving your effectiveness so that you can be more productive and serve your customers better.

Another potential time waster is unnecessary micromanaging. We'll look at that next time.

Until next time,