7. Block Out Distractions
Distractions can be a wide range of things – from work-related notifications or social media sites to noisy colleagues in the office. It’s not your fault that aspects around you cause you to waste time while working, especially social media. A good way to stop wasting time is to block out these distractions, which is easier said than done at times. You can start by blocking the websites you know you’re likely to go on, silencing notifications or putting your phone in ‘do not disturb’ mode, working in a quieter area, or even putting on headphones to drown out any noise.
8. Minimise Meetings
Although meetings and collaborations with colleagues can boost productivity and creativity, having too many or unnecessary meetings can have the opposite effect. Meetings can take a long time – especially if you have to spend time preparing for it before and then recovering afterwards. It can drain your energy for when it comes to working. So, on the days that you do have long meetings, try to space out your time with smaller tasks.
If you feel like your time is being wasted on unimportant meetings, it’s a good idea to cut down on the meetings you attend. Look to see which meetings need to be attended; managers can always take notes and feedback to the team if need be. This will help everyone to stop wasting time in meetings and allow more time to do important tasks that fuel the goal. A good idea is to organise meetings online, which can streamline focus for the team.
9. Use The Pomodoro Technique
A great time management strategy is the Pomodoro Technique, which forces you to focus for a time period and then take a short break. You can set timers yourself or find videos to play in the background, which does this for you.
This technique to stop wasting time is usually a 25-minute session which allows you to work without any distractions. Then after the session, you have a 5-minute break followed by another 25-minute session. After 4 sessions, you can take a 25-minute break. You can repeat as many times as you’d like or adjust the timing to better fit your work schedule.
Breaking up the time that you are working and including breaks can help to improve your focus and stop you from wasting time, as it stops you from procrastinating for too long.
10. Clutter Free
Messy and unorganised workplaces can lead to distractions, time-wasting and are just an overall productivity killer. Clutter in your surroundings can compete for your attention and divert you from the task at hand, leading to stress. Whether you work in the office or at home, it's good to get into a habit of getting rid of the clutter in your workplace. Set reminders, either daily or weekly, to declutter your surroundings. This can be physically or digitally, like all your browser tabs or a mountain of files on your desktop. Having an organised space keeps your mind calm and at ease while working.
11. Take Care Of Your Energy
While working, don’t forget that you are not a machine, and you need time for yourself. One of the biggest reasons for wasting time is not managing your energy well. You need to give time to your brain and body to rest, so when mapping out your day, make sure you incorporate time to match your energy levels. For example, if you’re not a morning person, give yourself easier tasks in the morning, or if you burn out in the afternoon, don’t plan on working on intensive tasks after lunch. Make sure that you take regular breaks throughout the day; this will allow you to recharge. A good idea is to step away from your work and go for a walk to refresh.
12. Balance Work And Home Life
To stop wasting time in the office or procrastinating, which can cause us to work longer hours, it’s important to balance work and home life. The less often you spend working outside of office hours, the less you will waste time in the office. Similar to revenge procrastination at bedtime, which is staying up later to make up for time worked, you will use your office hours for personal time.
Another reason you might waste time at work is because you didn’t schedule in any of the good activities or hobbies that you enjoy outside of work. Doing activities that you enjoy outside of work will make you value your time more and help you be more productive day to day. You’ll be wasting less time at work as you won’t be distracted by the things you could be doing because you know you have the time for that later.