The Biggest Time-Wasters at Work (and How to “Seize the Day”)
Imagine taking part in the cooking competition "Master Chef", and you're tasked to whip up a dish in 30 minutes. However, there is 1 problem: you are given less ingredients to work with than your competitors.
The fact is a lot of people, both employed and self-employed, face the same dilemma in today's hyper competitive market. Might as well alter your job title from "Supervisor" to "Superman/Superwoman", or swap it out entirely for "Miracle Worker" - because, frankly, it is true.
Nevertheless, we are left with no choice but to make the most of what we are given. We cannot often control what resources are granted, but we can control how we spend our time.
Top Time-Wasters For Employees
According to Forbes, there are hidden time-wasters that occur in a typical work week. These do not include the additional 30 minutes wasted to watercooler talks or the occasional escape into social media that has been observed in 31% of employees.
Here are the top 6 time-wasters mentioned by Forbes so you can try to avoid them entirely:
Unnecessary Meetings: It's essential to recognize that not all meetings contribute significantly to productivity, often leading to time wastage and a loss of focus among team members. To address this issue, consider structuring meetings in advance, setting time limits, and prioritizing discussions to ensure they remain efficient and purposeful.
Multi-tasking: Despite the perception that multitasking saves time, it is, in fact, an ineffective approach that can result in errors, reduced work quality, and employee burnout. Encouraging a focused approach where team members concentrate on one task at a time can significantly improve overall productivity.
Micromanaging Employees: Micromanagement can be counterproductive, consuming valuable time for both business owners and employees. To overcome this, establish clear expectations and goals, foster open communication, delegate tasks effectively, and encourage employee autonomy and initiative.
Disorganization: The lack of organization can lead to considerable time consumption and unnecessary stress. Implementing robust organizational systems, keeping workspaces tidy, and using schedules and checklists can streamline workflow and enhance efficiency.
Irrelevant Emails: Inefficient email management can be a major time drain for business owners. Reducing time spent on emails can be achieved by using alternative communication methods when suitable, setting specific intervals for email checking, and prioritizing essential tasks.
Lack Of Delegation: Failing to delegate tasks can result in wasted time and energy that could be better utilized elsewhere. Learning to trust and empower team members to handle responsibilities independently can significantly boost overall productivity and growth.
For managers, you are further tasked with monitoring the performance of others. If employees seem to be distracted or disengaged, it could mean either they have too little on their plate (so give them more exciting or challenging projects catered to their strengths and interests), or too much and risk burning out (this puts them in "avoidance mode" due to overwhelm). Therefore, it is crucial to find the right mix of tasks and objectives for each employee.
Top Time-Wasters for Entrepreneurs & Business Owners
Being a business owner isn't as glamorous as popular media makes it out to be. The role entails constant time constraints, critical decision-making, and stress related to the company's financial performance.
While some entrepreneurs believe multitasking to be the key to productivity, numerous studies have debunked this notion, showing that it hampers efficiency.
While some entrepreneurs believe multitasking to be the key to productivity, numerous studies have debunked this notion, showing that it hampers efficiency. Moreover, multitasking has been linked to impaired decision-making, decreased short-term memory, and even weight gain (yikes).
Margie Lawless, Senior Vice President of Small Business Banking at BMO Harris Bank, recounts, "I haven't met a business owner yet who doesn't wish there were more hours in the day." The constant juggling between work and family responsibilities can be overwhelming, but adopting effective time management practices can alleviate much of this stress.
To work more efficiently and optimize their resources, Lawless offers the following recommendations for business owners:
Prioritize tasks by distinguishing between must-do, should-do, and can-wait items. Tackle each task accordingly, while being realistic about what can be accomplished in a day.
Emphasize focus by avoiding sporadic shifts between tasks. Allocate specific times during the day for responding to emails and phone messages, rather than addressing them throughout the day.
Delegate tasks whenever possible, utilizing the talents and skills of your staff effectively. Recognize that your task list may always exceed what you can handle personally, making delegation especially crucial.
Leverage external resources by collaborating with business partners such as bankers, CPAs, and lawyers. Engaging in brainstorming sessions with these groups can provide valuable external perspectives on potential business improvements.
Learn to say "no" when necessary. Realistically assess the constraints on your time and determine which tasks truly require your attention. Although challenging initially, an honest assessment benefits both you and your colleagues.
Carve out time away from the office. Avoid falling into the belief that more hours at work automatically lead to success. Everyone needs opportunities to recharge, and taking breaks allows your mind to relax and refocus.
Tip: Use Beep to Save Time & Increase Your Productivity
Perhaps you are a highly-productive worker who already knows about these time-wasters and have already tried out the solutions mentioned.
We were the same. We sought whatever means to be hyper productive; adopting best practices and trying out different tools. In the end, we were left wanting more - so we decided to build one ourselves.
Still in development but already available-for-use with a growing userbase, we're proud to introduce you to Beep, a tool that could boost your potential to deliver on results even further.
Watch the video below to learn more about how it is used:
Beep helps you avoid unnecessary meetings
By allowing you to easily send comments with automatically generated screenshots, your messages are understood both textually and contextually - making it 2x clearer to the receiver. Actually, since a "picture paints a thousand words", we'd push that up to 2000x clearer.
If you are a user experience expert and want to ask editors to change elements of your company's website, instead of wasting time organizing and conducting a meeting, you can use Beep to simply tell the editors what you want instantly. They can reply to your comments and you can collaborate that much quicker as you stay focused on the task at hand.
Beep helps avoid you from multi-tasking
In the same example above, the task of organizing and conducting a meeting to discuss the changes you want made to a website means requires you to open up numerous tabs (e.g., messenger tool, scheduler/calendar, etc.) Doing so slows down your momentum, and scheduling a time that is agreeable for all people involved means even more delays.
Not ideal for efficiency. Fortunately, with Beep, you can avoid setting a meeting and still relay the same message. Perhaps in most cases, the changes and results you want to see will appear much faster. The best part? You didn't even have to leave the page - just point, click, type and move on to the next task.
Beep helps avoid distractions We get it, life isn't all about work. Breaks during the workday are needed to keep the mind fresh and efficient. These breaks are often filled with scrolling through social media or perusing articles on the web. Problem is, sometimes, we catch ourselves going down the rabbit hole of reading article after article because they're just that interesting.
That's where Beep can help you. Beep also allows bookmarking of webpages. Just point and click anywhere on a webpage, and in the comment use any hashtag you want (e.g., #productivity) and you can refer to it later - allowing you to resume work knowing you can revisit that interesting blog later on once you got the task completed.
The video below shows you how it works:
Why not try it out for yourself?
These are just some of the many benefits we have heard from our growing userbase. The old traditional methods work well, but why settle for good when great exists?
Try out Beep for yourself using the link below: