Early this week, in my post “When are you most productive?” I shared some of Salary.com’s survey findings regarding how people waste time at work. However, the activities that kill our productivity aren’t always as obvious as surfing the web.
A close look at what we do on a day-to-day basis, shows plenty of room for improvement. We can waste nearly three-quarters of our workweek. However, if we learn to recognize the time bandits, we can take action to stop them. Recapture this time:
- 12 hours a week. Mangers spend about a quarter of their time on administrative work, completing reports and shuffling paperwork, according to Pace Productivity Inc. Hardly the best use of an executive’s time. Take a close look at those administrative tasks. What can you eliminate? What can you delegate? Limit reporting to what is necessary to reach your organization’s goals, and grant your team members greater authority to act without your review.
- 10 hours a week. Workers admitted wasting about two hours a day, in a poll by AOL and Salary.com. The biggest culprit: personal Internet use. What you think will be a quick glance at Facebook or email to your buddy can turn into a lost hour. Build a wall between your personal and work time, and you will complete your work, leave on time and have the rest of the day for emailing friends and browsing your favorite sites.
- 4 hours a week. People spend about half a day each week on unimportant email, another Pace Productivity Inc. study found. That’s not all email, only the messages that are unrelated to work priorities, such as FYIs and unrelated questions from co-workers. Before you hit the Delete button again, take a moment to stop the problem at its source. Ask to be removed from distribution lists, set rules that automatically filter low-priority messages into a folder and talk with team members about the best ways to use email.
- 3 hours a week. Estimates of the time U.S. workers waste searching for lost documents range from 150 to 400 hours a year. Thirty percent of business professionals in an Office Depot study admitted that they have lost a document because of their messy desks. While whipping a disorganized office into shape could take an entire day, you can spread that out as an hour a day for a week, and then maintaining the organization takes only minutes a day.
With one step a day you can make huge strides toward improving your productivity, reaching your goals and leading your team to greater success. Order this book today for a tip-a-day plan.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/vadala