We are all victims of it. We have a million things we need to do and there isn’t time in the day to actually accomplish it all. Yet, we seem to have an uncanny knack of finding ways to be inefficient. We waste our own time without even realizing it’s happening.
Here are 5 tried and true methods to ensure you are being unproductive:
- Procrastination – Everyone of us has unpleasant, mundane tasks that we need to complete. Unfortunately, when you are running a small business or law firm if you don’t get the task done, no one will. What ultimately winds up happening is blown deadlines, missed opportunities, increased stress, late nights, time away from family / friends, etc. Procrastination is a great way to be unproductive.
- Poor Time Management – Have you ever started a project that was supposed to take an hour only to find yourself wrapping things up 5 hours later? Sure you got it done, but everything else scheduled for the day didn’t get touched. Go ahead and do this for 3-4 days in a row and see where it gets you. I admit I am one of the worst offenders when it comes to this one. Setting time allotments for activities and sticking to them is key.
- Checking Email Too Often – Everyone knows if you don’t respond to that email within 30 seconds the whole ship is going to sink…..right? It’s important to be on top of the day’s emails and activity, but everything in moderation. Checking email obsessively leads to wasted time in your work day.
- Reading Blogs and Articles Online – I know what you’re thinking. Hey, I’m not on Facebook or CNN….I’m reading about the latest legal updates and checking my favorite law firm marketing blogs. I’m doing “stuff for work”. 2 hours later you realize just how much time you wasted on “stuff for work” that probably should be done in your off-hours. I know I’m blowing your mind here, but it is amazing how quickly you can kill productivity in the name of “learning stuff online”.
- Putting Out Fires – There are incidents that arise from time to time requiring immediate attention. However, there are lots of other situations that don’t have to be treated as such. If you spend all your time “putting out fires” you will quickly find that your firm owns you instead of the other way around. Fires should be prioritized and handled accordingly. Proper expectation setting with clients and vendors is a good place to start.
What are your biggest time wasters at the office?
Photo by bjornmeansbear