We are surrounded by things and people that steal our time

We are surrounded by things and people that steal our time

One of the key points of increasing productivity is the degree of engagement in work. In many companies, people work full time, but numerous studies show that over 37 percent of most people’s working time is not used efficiently.

We are surrounded on all sides by things and people who steal our time. They steal our minutes and hours preventing us from reaching our maximum productivity. And they will always do that if we allow them.

When we choose to do one thing, at the same time we choose not to do something else. Productive people do more high value things and unproductive people do more low value things. We are surrounded by time thieves and for this text we will single out the three most common in the business environment:

Telephone – This little gadget is a terrible time thief and a breaker of focus. The latest research on the impact of the phone on focus, which I read about, showed that the average business person at the level of top management, cannot be focused on one thing for more than eleven minutes without distraction. When the mind is fully focused on one important thing and when the attention wanders to the screen of a mobile phone due to a text message or a call, it takes the brain between three and five minutes after that to regain the same level of focus.

That is why the recommendations are as follows:

– Put phone calls on hold during periods when you don’t want to be interrupted. Then group your conversations and answer calls and messages at once.

– Make a short agenda for the call if you are at the table and get to the point quickly. This will send a message to the other party that you are busy and the conversation will be shorter.

– Treat your phone during business hours as a business rather than a social tool.

Dear people – one of the biggest time wasters at work and often in private life are other people who are bored or have nothing to do. At work, this also includes unexpected visitors to your office. There are several ways to take care of them:

– If someone asks you if you have some time, feel free to tell them, “No, I need to finish the job.”

– If someone visits you unexpectedly, get up and continue to stand while you speak until the person leaves. If the person already entered the office, then head for the door in order to see the person off. You can also add: “One more thing before you go…”

– Put a sign that says “Do not disturb” on the door of your office. You have such signs in any hotel. If someone needs to bring you some documentation from time to time, put the documentation tray on a table in front of the door.

Inefficient meetings – an average business person spends three to five years of business life at various meetings. As much as 50% of that time is used inefficiently. Poorly prepared meetings with unproductive topics and participants who talk and talk and talk are big time thieves in many companies. One of the tips for management is to calculate the price of a meeting. If a meeting should be attended by 10 managers and if it should last half a working day, and many of them need to travel from different parts of the country, then it is a very expensive meeting. Add up all their gross salaries and divide by the number of days in the month to calculate the total price of the day, then add to all that per diems, fuel and depreciation on company cars and then accommodation for individuals if needed. Also, consider what these people are not going to do at their workplace today since they are here for the meeting.

This is very important because the value of what you do or conclude at the meeting should be greater than the cost incurred by the meeting.

In order to improve the efficiency of meetings, the recommendations are:

– Define a clear purpose and precise agenda of the meeting before you hold it and share it at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours before the meeting. The start and end times of the meeting should be clearly stated on the agenda.

– Assume that those who are late are not coming and always start on time. If possible, allow those who are no longer necessary to leave or ask to leave if you are a participant in the meeting and if you feel that your presence is no longer necessary.

– Let the meeting be accompanied by notes with precise conclusions that will be distributed to the participants after the meeting with clear instructions on who should do what and by when.

Time is the only resource in our lives that is not renewed and that is why it is very important how we use it and with whom we share it. If we are not busy with our duties, we will probably be busy with someone else’s.

The text was taken from www.blic.rs

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