Are you familiar with the sound of a bundy clock? The clock in our office will record our time in and time out. Do you remember what you doing between your time in and time out?
Every time you change activities, whether it’s opening mail, attending meetings, spending time on the computer, making coffee, gossiping with colleagues, texting and others. Also how you felt doing each activity. Were you alert, tired, flat, energetic? Do this for a specific period of time, analyze your activity log. You might be surprised at the length of time you spent doing unimportant tasks. You might discover when your energy level is high. People function at different levels of effectiveness at different times. Your energy level depends on a lot of things: the amount of sugar in your blood, the length of time since you last took a break, routine distractions, stress, discomfort, and many thing else.
You must identify and eliminate time wasting activities and low-yields jobs. You will also know when is most effective during the day. Knowing when you are most effective will in turn, guide you in scheduling your most important activities.
If we want to make good use of our time, we must first analyze how we currently spend it. When you do it and how you do it. It will show you your tendency to wasting time.
What are these major time wasters? How wasted our time? Mr. Gerard M. Blair has three sources of time wasters in his Personal Time article online Management for Busy Managers.
First source is social. This is what we are doing in relation to others, especially our colleagues. Small things at first sight but in fact, it’s also waste time. This is the telephone, calls, text messages, friends dropping by, conversing around the coffee machine, short of “chika” (chitchats) on comfort room. Not necessary that you remove all of your non-related activities. But if this is a big hurdle in your work, the better decide how you should spend you social time.
Second source is delaying work. Actually not those work that wasting time, no matter how unpleasant it is. But it’s our attitude towards the unpleasant task that causes delay. When we do not want the task, we do not do it immediately. In effect, there are delaying tactics on us. You must learn how to tackle the dull or difficult task. Avoid destruction that will only make you less productive.
Third source is not quite obvious but it is obvious once you keep an activity log. Believe it or not, you also waste time when you change activities. For example, in the morning, you need to do in office. After lunch time, you are going out for a field of work. After your field of work, you come back to the office. Few hours could be wasted by your travel time. Maybe you can end up first all of your work in the office and then you can just go out. After your field of work, you can now go home. The key to saving time is to group similar task together so you can avoid the start-up delay of each activity.
Make sure that you don’t allocate too much time for trivial things. If you have a task to do, decide before hand if how long it should take. Follow your deadline, and then move on to the next task.