This month it seems like everyone you know is posting vacation pictures from the beach. You’re stuck at the office, with more work to do than ever. Instead of beating yourself up over what you’re not doing at peak efficiency, focus on eliminating distractions. Here are the top three time-wasting habits to break.
Getting Sucked Into the Smartphone Vortex
Most people know they spend too much time on their cell phones. Combined research from Nielsen, Pew Research Center, SmartInsights and other organizations that gather data on screen time shows the average person spends more than four hours a day on their cell.
How do you break that habit? Take these steps right now.
- Turn off notifications for everything you can – That little bubble saying you have something new will suck you in every time. For most phones, go to Settings, then choose Notifications.
- Limit social networking – Don’t allow yourself to check or post on social feeds except during set times like your lunch or at a break. Importantly, understand and abide by your employee’s policy on cell phone use, including texting and social media. Policies vary widely from company to company.
- Switch to grayscale – All those colors are eye candy. When you get to work, make your phone screen and online browsing less rewarding by enabling grayscale while you’re on the clock. To do so, search for instructions by phone model.
- Remove time wasters from your home screen – Shuffle distracting apps so they’re harder to get to. An alternate solution is to remove them from your cell phone altogether and only use them on your phone’s web browser or your desktop. If you make them harder to access, you’re less likely to find yourself scrolling mindlessly when you don’t mean to.
Losing Time to Meetings
Meetings are time wasters when there are too many of them, they take too long, there’s no focus or they’re attended by people who don’t need to be there. If you have a choice, look over your meeting calendar and cancel the unnecessary ones. Try to decline those you don’t have to attend.
For necessary meetings, treat everyone’s time as the valuable commodity it is. Start each meeting with an agenda. Share it ahead of time, and stick to it.
Only invite staff who play an active role in what’s under discussion. If you can cover a topic in 10 minutes, don’t feel like you have to stay for 30 just because everyone gathered in one place.
We all have tasks we dislike. Just thinking about doing them makes you feel like you’re wearing that lead vest they put on when you get an x-ray. You know you should get started, but you go grab a cup of coffee or check your email instead. If you’re serious about eliminating time wasters, try the following:
- Write out your plan. Put your goals and to-do list on your calendar. Mark deadlines.
- Schedule for efficiency. Most people have times during the day when they’re at their best. You have more energy and focus. If you schedule tasks you normally put off for those parts of the day, you’ll get through them more easily.
- Give it five minutes. Don’t make yourself complete the whole task if it’s not necessary. Work in sprints.
At Brelsford Personnel, we connect highly motivated job seekers with top East Texas employers. If you’re looking for your next career opportunity, browse our online job postings today.