woman checking time on watch

Try These 3 Tricks to Stop Wasting Time at Work

There’s almost nothing as irritating and disheartening and sitting down to get some work done, and then having the minutes and hours unproductively slip away, as you lose the fight against distraction and procrastination and let all your plans for the day fall apart.

There are many reasons why people waste time at work, but the consequences are equally negative in every case; recurring poor performance in the office (potentially leading to your termination from the job), a blurring of the work-life boundary, as you have to play catch-up out of hours, and the inevitable damage that gets done to self-esteem.

While certain modern technologies and services, such as Agentdraw, can help to streamline your business in general and prevent wasted time, personal issues with procrastination and time-management need more personalised solutions.

Here’s a look at some strategies for stopping wasting time at work.

Keep a record of all your projects and next task actions, remove any which are redundant

A lot of procrastination and time-wasting occurs due to a lack of clarity as to which tasks should be done next, what project is the most important at any given time, and so on.

If you don’t have a good, functional, and well-formulated system in place for recording and managing all your projects and tasks, it’s all but inevitable that you’ll find yourself losing massive chunks of time trying to make sense of things, on a regular basis.

The task management system you employ can be as simple or complex as you like, but should enable you to accurately track all of your obligations and make sense of how everything stacks up.

Track how you spend all your time during the day, for at least a week

There’s a saying, popular in business, that “what is measured, improves”. You may not be aware of the specific ways in which you’re wasting time — or even the degree to which you are, in fact, wasting time — but just have a sense that things aren’t exactly as they should be.

Tracking how you spend all of your time, throughout the day, for at least a week, will give you a clearer sense of what negative patterns of behaviour you regularly engage in, as well as identifying areas where improvement can be made.

Even without making a dedicated action plan, the mere awareness of how you’re spending each moment throughout the day can lead to you making automatic changes.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

Procrastination is sometimes driven by mental resistance to beginning a task that is perceived to be dull, time-consuming, difficult, or otherwise unpleasant. If you know that you have about 3 hours worth of assignment to do, you may well find that you’re increasingly reluctant to get started.

One great trick here is to use what’s known as “Pomodoro Technique” in order to get yourself started. The technique works by having you do 25 minutes of timed work, followed by a timed 5-minute break, and then repeating the process.

The genius here is that your work-sessions are broken down into psychologically manageable chunks, and momentum is allowed to build.

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