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Recognizing Self Generated Time Wasters

written by: Mary White•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 6/28/2011

Are you wondering why other people seem to be able to get more done than you? It's not because they have more time. It's a fact that we all have the same 24 hours in every day and the same seven days in every week. Learn how to make the most of your time by recognizing common time wasters.

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    Recognize Behaviors and Habits that Waste Time

    If you're not sure why you never seem to have enough time in the day to get everything finished, one of the first things you need to do is to evaluate your own behaviors and habits. While it's not likely that you waste time on purpose, it's a fact that most people tend to do things that keep them from being able to get as much work done as they like. The good news is that once you recognize the self generated time wasters that zap your productivity, you'll be able to take steps to reduce – or even eliminate them – from your daily routine.

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    3 P's of Wasted Time in the Home Office

    Putting Too Much Stock in Memorysavetime 

    As a busy home business owner, there's a good chance that you cannot keep track of everything you need to do simply by relying on your memory. To make the most of your time, start keeping a to-do list of the things that you need to accomplish rather than trying to remember everything on your own. Whether you use a written task list or a computerized organizer like Outlook or Google Calendar, you're much more likely to get things done when you have a system in place for keeping up with what you need to get done.

    Procrastination

    Putting of things that you need to do is one of the worst self generated time wasters there is. Having something hanging over your head causes you to spend a lot more time on it than if you just took care of it in a timely manner, because you'll end up spending time worrying about it and possibly even having to ask for an extension. Additionally, when you end up delaying tasks until the last possible minute, there's a significant risk that things will go wrong that will result in poor quality work or missed deadlines.

    Poor Organization

    Many busy home business owners think they don't have time to get organized. However, it's a fact that disorganization can cause you to waste a lot of time. Instead of having to stop in the middle of the day to search for contracts or supplies that you can't find because you have piles of paper and jumbled drawers in your office, you'll be much better off if you take a time out and put an organizational system in place.

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    Making the Most of Your Time

    By taking the time to keep – and use -- a to-do list, along with setting aside time each week to get organized will truly help you manage your time better. When you do follow these time management tips and take steps to stop yourself from procrastinating when the temptation sets in, you'll be on the way to mastering the skill of effective time management. The next time you want to put something off, remind yourself that the only way to eliminate the stress and make the best use of your time is to go ahead and take care of the task. That way, you'll be better able to manage your time effectively.

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    Resources

    References:

    • Business-Personal-Coaching.com: Top 10 Time Wasters (www.business-personal-coaching.com/top10timewasters.html)
    • Mindtools.com: Time Management (www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newMN_HTE.htm)

    Image Credit: Sxc.hu (lusi)