It's About Time
Wasted time never can be recaptured
I recently consulted with an engineer who said he regularly worked long hours yet lagged further behind in his work. While I wish I had a magic wand to solve his problem, I felt that by eliminating time wasters, he could reclaim more hours in his day.
» What: Class taught by Ruth Wong on "How to Manage Time and Get Things Done"
» When: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 16
» Place: University of Hawaii-Manoa Shidler College of Business (sweater suggested as the room is cold)
» Cost: $45
In looking over my client's workspace, one time waster was obvious: piles of papers, files and building plans covering every horizontal surface. He realized he was wasting precious time looking through the piles to find what he needed.
He also said that he would be working on one project and glimpse something of interest and jump onto that, leaving the first unfinished. Showing insight, he concluded that he was probably his own biggest time waster.
What about you? In what ways do you waste your time?
» Do you set things down here and there, anywhere?
» Do you hop from one thing to another, leaving a trail of unfinished tasks?
» Do you let stray thoughts interrupt your concentration?
» Do you obsess over minor details?
» Do you work and rework something unnecessarily?
» Do you write notes on scraps of paper that get misplaced? Or worse, rely on memory?
» Do you handle paper repeatedly without taking action?
» Do you work at a cluttered desk?
» Do you walk away physically or mentally from a distasteful task?
» Do you allow upward delegation (doing work a subordinate should be doing)?
» Do you surf the Internet aimlessly?
» Do you watch the boob tube mindlessly?
Thinking back over today, in what ways did you waste time? About how much time was lost?
If you have nothing better to do, wasting time might not be a concern. But if engaging in time wasters means you can't get important things done, it's time to reclaim your time.
A recent e-mail I received stated four things that can never be recovered: 1) the stone after the throw, 2) the word after it's said, 3) the occasion after it's lost and 4) the time after it's gone.
Time spent on people and things important to you is time well spent, but time dissipated by time wasters is simply that -- a waste.
I encourage you to see how many time wasters you can identify, then see how many you can eradicate. Now, what can you do with that reclaimed time?
See you in two weeks!
Ruth Wong owns Organization Plus. Contact her care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813, call 488-0288 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org