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Tame Your Time Stealers and Achieve More!

Posted by Adrienne Johnston on

Ever heard the phrase, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion?” Meaning that if we allow a week for a task that should take one day, being human, we will automatically make that task more complex (or waste more time), so that it really does take a full week to complete it.

So keeping that law in mind, you should do the reverse. List your daily or weekly tasks; then cut the time estimated in half. Chances are, you will find yourself unable to procrastinate because you will be more focused on completing each task.

The result? You’ll end up with free time at the end of the work week—when you can properly enjoy it, guilt-free!

Keep an eye out for specific “time stealers”—small tasks that nibble away minutes and eventually hours from our days. These usually turn out to be tasks such as checking email, checking Facebook, answering the telephone while you’re working, answering the door, getting up to make a cup of coffee… It doesn’t matter what you stop working to do: Record it!

Keep a log for a few days, and see where you are spending too much time on one particular distraction (for example, you may discover you actually get up to make six or seven cups of tea or coffee during the day, when you were sure it was only three or four).

Repetitive behaviors can become procrastination habits. Tame them by setting a limit to how many times per day you can indulge in that particular activity; or set a time limit—for example, “ten minutes only for checking email”.

If you know that you struggle with this, set a simple timer with an audible alarm such as CookTimer to help you to stick to your new time limits.

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