Countering Major Time Wasters

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Do you sometimes realize your own behavior is the biggest barrier between you and success? You can discontinue bad habits and cultivate good ones if you teach yourself to counter the major time wasters in your life. 

  1. Spreading yourself too thin by trying to do too many things at once. 

    Solution:Ask yourself what results you want to accomplish and what you have to do to achieve those goals. Set priorities for each day and get the most important things done first. 
  2. Trying to be so organized that there is no time left to do the job. 

    Solution: Sometimes we work so hard at organizing and prioritizing that we hardly get anything accomplished. It can be far more productive in the long run to briefly sort out the work, grab the job on the top of the pile and get it done. Once the task is completed, take a minute or two to recognize your accomplishment, and then move on to the next job on the stack. By the end of the day, it can be extremely rewarding to see how much has been accomplished. 
  3. Not saying “no” to unreasonable requests. 

    Solution:Realize that you can’t say “yes” to everything without spreading yourself too thin. Decide what you must do and say “no” to the rest. Then decide when you can do each activity. Developing a schedule may take a few minutes more but you are unlikely to get much accomplished if you don’t schedule time to do the job, and then make a commitment to follow-through. 
  4. Being a slave to the telephone. 

    Solution: Have others screen your calls or use an answering machine when you are required to accomplish a project within a specific time-frame. When the project is finished, promptly arrange a specific time to return the telephone calls in a productive and efficient manner. 
  5. Procrastinating. 

    Solution: Complete unpleasant or difficult tasks first. Divide large tasks into smaller ones, then decide how much time each activity will require. Allow yourself a little more time than you think you will actually need. This gives you flexibility if unexpected problems develop. When the project is completed, briefly recognize the accomplishment and move on to the next challenge. Once you’ve set the pattern, don’t let your work habits become too routine. Instead, remain spontaneous and solution-oriented. This keeps your activities from becoming too unstimulating and boring.