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5 Time Wasters to Get Under Control

(Photo Credit: www.fitlike51.com)

(Photo Credit: www.fitlike51.com)

I go to a lot of conferences and meetings and when I ask people “how have you been?” they often say “busy.”  I get it – we are all busy but some people are addicted to this idea and this mentality.  They say busy as a place holder and it becomes their story.  But when you really think about it — all that busy time could probably be a lot more productive if you canceled out the time wasters.  While those extra commitments can help fill up your time, it doesn’t always mean that you’re using your time wisely. Most people waste time each day without even realizing that they’re doing it!

Here’s a list of time wasters that tend to sneak up on us:

1.     E-mail: While e-mail can be a quick and easy way to communicate, there are times when a phone call can get the job done quicker. I love e-mail, but sometimes it can be a pain waiting around for someone to respond—and sometimes people forget and never do! When needed, it can be more effective to pick up the phone or meet in person to get a question answered faster.

2.     Multi-tasking: It’s great to be eager and take on as much as possible, but there comes a point when enough is enough. When you take on too many projects at once, it often results in nothing getting done. By prioritizing your tasks (with a to-do list!) you’ll be able to focus and plan out what task to do when to make sure it gets accomplished. Plus, I don’t believe in multi-tasking, it’s impossible.

3.     Meetings: Nothing is more frustrating than unproductive meetings! There are so many times when meetings lose focus and nothing gets accomplished. It’s important to make sure there is an agenda that is being followed at all times. If you’re going to be using any kind of technology in the meeting, be sure to set that up ahead of time so people aren’t waiting around. Plus, write down a few key points that you hope to get across so when it’s you’re time to speak you can be succinct and efficient.

4.     Using your computer mouse: Who knew that something as simple as reaching for the mouse can waste your time! By using keyboard shortcuts, tech experts say you can save two seconds per minute. While it may not seem like a lot—believe me, it can add up! When the clock never stops ticking, even the smallest things make a difference.

5.     Social Media: Probably what we’re all most guilty of– wasting time on the Internet. Quickly checking your notifications on Facebook or Twitter can lead to hours of wasted time—even when we don’t mean for it! It’s natural to click from one thing to the next and end up with no progress on your work at the end of the day. If you find yourself guilty of this, there’s an app called SelfControl that lets you block specific websites for up to 24 hours.

What’s your biggest time waster?

Use Your Five Senses to Get More Done

The five senses (Photo Credit: Onefleshmarriage.com

The five senses (Photo Credit: Onefleshmarriage.com

I’ve recently started meditating using the HeadSpace App and one of the exercises is to really pay attention to everything around you. Close your eyes and tap into what you’re hearing, how you feel, what you’re smelling and what your feet feel like on the floor. It’s a tedious practice at first but this attention can really do wonders in the long run. The same idea goes for your workspace.

We all have our favorite places to work, but have you ever thought about why? Whether you realize it or not, the five senses do more than just provide us with nice smells and pleasant tastes—they actually influence our productivity habits.
Next time you go to sit down in your office, here’s how you can use the five senses to impact your productivity:

1. Sight: Next time you paint your walls, remember that blue is the most productive color. Moredays.com says it stimulates a high work performance, which can keep you plugging along for long periods of time. Blue provides a calming and soothing effect, which helps to improve the mind too.Blue is even the recommended color to wear on a job interview because it symbolizes loyalty!

If you can’t change the color scheme in your office, add a small desk plant. While desk plants help to spruce up a workplace, two recent studies show that plants actually help to improve productivity, as well. Nature helps brighten moods and regain focus, but if you don’t have time in your schedule to go for a walk outside, a desk plant will do the trick.

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Outsourcing Your Life

Help Wanted?

Help Wanted? (Photo credit: brizzle born and bred)

I’ve written a lot about how important it is to remember that you are just one person.  Give yourself a break sometimes! It’s not always possible to get everything done on your own, which is why sometimes, you have to ask for help.  I finally took my own advice and enlisted the help of some interns — wow has my life gotten better.  It’s really amazing what giving up a little control can do.

I haven’t always found it easy to let someone else help me out, but when I went to the BlogHer ’13 convention in Chicago, I sat in on a session, run by Meagan Francis, about outsourcing and why you should do it…and I’m so glad I did.  There are major benefits that come from having an extra set of hands: Read more

Revamp Your To-Do List to Stop Procrastinating

You know how I love lists…but I realize that sometimes they can overwhelm us.  Even I’ve been a little stressed by all of the things on my to-do list from time to time.

This panic can lead to putting off what you need to get accomplished –- but it doesn’t have to!  By simply modifying HOW you make your lists — you will cut down on procrastination.

Here are 5 ways to revamp your to-do list and be more productive:

1. Break up your list into sections. By making lists in categories like “job, family, home” — you will be less overwhelmed and be able to tackle each one individually. Read more

How to be a Productivity Junkie

To-do ListYou already know that I’m a compulsive list maker — but I’m also a productivity junkie. With a to-do list in my hand — it’s pretty hard not to be.

I have my days of course when I feel like I haven’t gotten anything done but for the most part I’m extremely efficient and I have my to-do list to thank.

I was lucky enough to be able to guest blog for the “Life…Your Way” blog this week. Check out my post about Ways a To-Do List Will Help You Do More.

What are your productivity secrets?


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