5 Ways to Stop Time Thieves in their Tracks

We’re now in the second month of the New Year and many of you are scratching your heads in amazement wondering, “Where did the time go?” Chances are you’re probably a victim of time thieves, which are habits and interference that waylay progress and take away from your productivity. Whether you’re losing valuable time at work or in your personal life, here’s 5 ways to stop time thieves in their tracks.

1.) Social Network Slowdowns: Lovers of Facebook and Twitter can all agree you can’t just check one message. For many, it’s almost impossible to get anything done when you’re stuck surfing your newsfeed or responding to messages instead of getting your work done. Because it’s so easy to lose track of time online, shutting down these windows while you work can help eliminate distractions.  There are even apps for your smart phone that can help block online disruptions.

2.) Email Time Eaters: Find yourself constantly drowning in your inbox? Don’t waste time wading through messages. Gmail lets you organize and sort your emails so you know which ones need to be addressed immediately and which ones you can respond to later. You can even set up reminders so you don’t forget to send out replies. There are also apps to block emails during certain hours of the day so you can focus solely on the task at hand.

3.) Communication Commotion: So much time is wasted when unclear communication is used. Responsibilities are so much easier when you’re not having to unravel blurry details from multiple sources or fixing mistakes as a result of receiving the wrong information. When you’re getting ready to start a new task or project, be sure you have all the details you need before starting. Delegating a duty? Convey your needs and expectations clearly. Nothing wastes more time than having to redo something due to lack of communication.

4.) Goal Getter: If you don’t start everyday with clear intentions, it’s easy to forget what needs to be done. Set goals to help keep you focused and best succeed. Doesn’t matter how you do it: Task lists, post-it notes, memo apps, calendars. When you write down your goals, you focus your full attention on your assignments and are more likely to complete them. And what a great sense of accomplishment you feel when you get to cross something off your to-do list.

5.) No’s the Way to Go: Most of us want to be friendly people pleasers, but saying yes to every request leaves you with no time to finish your own projects. It’s important to understand how and when to say no. If a request is an obvious time waster or doesn’t contribute anything to your important tasks and goals, practice some polite ways to just say no. Your task list will thank you for it.

Time is money, so don’t let time thieves keep you from being your best self.

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