Idea Box: Get Rid of Time Wasting Activities
By eliminating common time-wasting activities, you can make a lot more time in your work day.
Date Posted: 1/1/2013
Do you ever feel like you are always playing catch up? Do you feel as if there just aren’t enough hours in the day? There are some things that many business owners and managers do that add up to a lot wasted time. Try cutting some of these activities out of your work day and see how much time you save.
• Multi-tasking: While this may seem like a time-saver, jumping from one task to another without completing the first one, or trying to focus on several different tasks at once is inefficient and often results in many unfinished projects. Instead, prioritize your to-do list and work through it, moving onto a new task only after you have finished the previous one.
• Doing things others could do: Delegation is a wonderful thing. If you perform many tasks that could be done by members of your staff, start delegating responsibility to them. By doing this, you will free up your time to focus on tasks that only you can do and have time to do them more effectively.
• Signing checks and documents individually: If your office staff comes to you multiple times a day to sign checks or other documents, it can interrupt your work flow, costing you time. Instead, either have a designated time to take care of this task or use a printed signature.
• Answering all phone calls: Just like stopping to sign checks, if you take every phone call when it comes in, you will be constantly interrupted and distracted for large chunks of time. Have calls that are not time-sensitive held and return them later at a scheduled time.
• Attending unnecessary meetings: Do you have a team meeting every Monday – just because it is Monday? If something is not actually being accomplished during a meeting, it is likely a waste of time and is not needed.
• Meetings without ending times: If you go into a meeting that does not have a scheduled ending time, you could be there all day. Plus, knowing that you only have a set amount of time to accomplish the goal of the meeting can help you stay focused and actually accomplish something.
• Searching through a mess: Disorganization can be a big time drain. If you find yourself digging through piles of clutter trying to find an important paper, you need to organize your office. Knowing where something is when you need it can save you hours of shuffling through papers.
• Answering the same questions: Do you tend to hear the same questions over and over from employees or customers? Take a proactive approach and find ways to make that information easily available. You can post pallet specifications, prices or other frequently asked questions on your website as well as having them saved as computer documents that can be quickly attached to emails or printed out for customers. For employees’ questions you can include them in an employee handbook. You can distribute these to workers and also keep copies available on-site for quick reference.
• Repeating failed contact methods: If you have tried to contact someone by phone but have not heard back from them, do not keep calling them. Instead, try a different contact method – such as email or text message. Most people have a preferred communication method and respond more quickly to it than other methods.
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