Don’t blame your kids, your job, or Instagram for stealing all of your precious hours. These bad habits are killing your productivity and stressing you out. Here are 10 Tips to help you stop wasting your precious time:
Chances are, your to-do list is several pages long and growing. But what about your “never-to-do” list, a list of time and energy-wasters you should try to avoid as much as possible? When bad habits get in the way of your productivity, it might be a good time to reevaluate what you’re doing. Stop wasting time and stay away from these productivity-sucking habits.
We’ve all put off important assignments right up until the last-minute. This strategy often ends with a stress fueled burst of last-minute energy, which is not the healthiest way to operate. The first step of any project is usually the hardest, but once you start, you often find it’s not as hard as you were imagining.
People are often both procrastinators and perfectionists. Fear of making a mistake leads to procrastination, and procrastination leads nowhere good. In order to keep your perfectionism from holding you back, get in the habit of doing drafts of your work. The first draft can be just the core idea, while the second and third can iron out the wrinkles.
Paying attention to detail is a great trait to have, but don’t let yourself get so obsessed with details that it keeps you from finishing projects on time. If you’re proofreading a document, for example, limit yourself to a set number of read-throughs before you send it on. Don’t spend all day staring at the same piece of paper.
Do you know what you want to accomplish today? What about this month? This year? It may seem silly to think about something that seems far away, but taking some time to figure out where you hope to be in the future can help you in your day-to-day. Once you work out your goals and priorities, even for the very long-term, it’s easier to push away unimportant tasks and structure your work.
Not all tasks are created equal. Trying to do every little thing you “should” do is a recipe for stress and disappointment. This may cause you to miss crucial deadlines because you got caught up in non-crucial tasks. Look at your to-do list and slash the non-essential tasks. You’ll have more energy to devote to the things you really need to do, and you’ll end each day feeling like you accomplished what was really important.
It may be tempting to reply to every single email you get, even if it’s just to say thanks. But if you stay stuck in your inbox all day, you won’t have time to get any actual work done. Instead, if you only reply to higher priority emails, you’ll save time, energy, and a whole lot of needless typing.
When you get a new task, it can be tempting to drop what you’re doing and work on it right away. But this interruption can throw you out of your groove, making you unable to complete any task at all. Instead of trying to jump on new tasks right away, mark them down in a “do-later” list. Once you finish what you’re working on, take stock of your do-later list and figure out what needs to come next.
Everyone needs a break once in a while. Make sure you set aside some time every day. Whether it’s ten minutes in the middle of your workday, or an hour when you get home. Be sure to unwind and do something relaxing that you enjoy. Your work — Your life — will be better for it.
Most importantly, you can’t control what others think or how they act. Remember, the only person you have any control over is yourself. Put your energy into being the best you can be and spending your time with people who love and respect you and forget about making everyone else happy.