Do Humans Seek and Create Meaning (Part 4)?
November 11, 2016 – 4:29 pm | No Comment

Article #918
It is through our perception and connection with all life that we can experience meaning and have a fulfilling life.

Read the full story »
Confidence Building

Articles to help you learn to build and keep genuine self confidence.


Articles that will help you motivate yourself and others.

Getting Organized

Articles that will help to organize and bring order to our chaotic lives.

Boosting Creativity

Articles and tips that will help you boost and improve your personal creativity.


Articles to help inspire you each and everyday.

Home » Decision Making, Featured, Getting Organized, Goal Setting, Headline, Problem Solving, Time Management

50 Fast Ways to Waste Less Time

Submitted by on April 4, 2013 – 12:01 amNo Comment

wasting time2images

Author: R. Dodge Woodson

R. Dodge Woodson


Are you always fighting the clock? Is there never enough time in the day to complete your projects? Have you tried time-management techniques that didn’t work. Do you feel you don’t have time to make a viable time-management plan? If so, you are not alone.

Business owners and managers are constantly racing against time. Mistakes are often made when working in haste, and mistakes only put you further behind your deadline. Is there anything you can do to change these problems? Yes, and you have taken the first step to finding valuable solutions to all your time management problems.

The Time Terminator attacks everyone. This evil creature sneaks into your day and steals your time. It is a wary adversary and one that deserves respect. If the Time Terminator is terrorizing you, you need help, and you need it fast.

What can save you from the terrible Time Terminator? There is only one sure cure: better time management skills. But good time-management skills elude you as you battle the Time Terminator. Only one super-hero can help you beat the beast: Time Checker.

That’s right, the terrific Time Checker can save the day, and much of the time lost during it. What is this mystical Time Checker? Never fear, for you are about to find out. Welcome to the world of better time management.

Getting To Know Time Management

Time-management skills are critical for running a successful business or a busy personal life. It doesn’t matter whether you own the business, are an executive, a middle-manager, or an employee, good time-management skills make your work easier and more productive. The same rings true for busy parents.

Everyone benefits from organized time management. Customers appreciate dealing with people who are efficient and punctual. Supervisors pay close attention to the time-management habits of workers, and business owners draw clear correlations between time management and profits.

Time is money. Whether your time is charged out by the hour or by the job, time is money. If you waste time, you are wasting money. When it is not money, you may be giving up quality personal time due to a sloppy schedule at home.

To get the most out of your productive hours, you must develop strong time-management skills. Everyone complains how there is more to do than there is time to do it in. This is generally a cop-out from people with poor time-management skills. Do you find yourself complaining about the ratio of duties versus time available? If you do, you can improve your productivity with what you are about to read.

Do you rush around to get everything done, only to be frustrated that you didn’t accomplish your goals? The lack of good time management is usually a factor in these circumstances.

Making Time

Making time for the tasks at hand is a skill than can be learned. While you can’t put more hours into a day, you can get more out of the hours you have to work with. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of the Time Terminator, set your sights on realistic goals and achieve them.

Get an Earlier Start

If you get an earlier start on what you have to do, you can get it done sooner. Try getting up an hour earlier each day.

Getting out of bed is easy for people who are energized and excited about what their new day holds for them. People who are frustrated with their lives or bored with life find it difficult to face a new day. Learn to change your attitude about what you do with your time: your life.

Getting out of the bed an hour early isn’t likely to harm you, but it will give you extra time to work with. Once you become acclimated to your new schedule, you will no longer feel that you are getting up earlier; you will just be getting up on time. This is one sure way to put more time into your productive day.


Goals are an essential element to effective time management. If you don’t have a predefined goal, you will have no way of knowing if you are getting your work done on time.

Goal setting seems foolish to some, but it is an important piece of the time-management puzzle. Write your goals on paper. Written goals are more authoritative and are less likely to be ignored than mental aspirations.

Budgeting Your Time

How well do you budget your time? Many people have trouble setting time budgets. These individuals may do a fine job of budgeting their money and a terrible job allocating their time. They react rather than act. This is a major mistake.

Let’s draw a comparison between acting and reacting with time management to professional sports.

Look at professional athletes. The ones who get off their mark first or are in place to recover a rebound are the winners. They are winners for a reason. They act, rather than react.

In boxing, the person who throws the first punch has a better chance at victory than the opponent who is forced to defend himself.

If we still lived in the age of gunfighters, would you wait until your challenger cleared leather to draw your gun? While business isn’t a gun fight, poor planning and slow reactions can end your career just as quickly as a speeding bullet.

List your normal activities and see which ones can be reduced or eliminated. Document all of your duties and assign time segments for each to be completed in. Monitor your time budget daily. How are you doing? Expect it to take a couple of weeks for you to get fully into the swing of things. Once you do, your goal of enjoying more personal time is closer at hand.

Stop Wasting Time

The first step to making more time is to stop wasting time. Do you know when you are wasting time? Effective time management requires you to know what you are doing with your time. If you don’t know how your time is being spent, you can’t know if you are wasting time that could be put to better use.

How can you determine how much time you are wasting? One of the best ways to pinpoint your wasted time is to spend time making a time log. The log can expose how and where you are losing time.

A daily log of your activities will reveal more about your actions than you may want to know. However, creating a time-checker is one very effective way of putting your finger on the pulse of your Time Terminator.

I know you don’t have time to make a time-checker, right? Well, let me show you how to do it with minimal effort.

The time-checker can be as simple as an appointment book. You can even record your time patterns on a tape recorder. Keep track of your actions on your PDA. None of these methods consume much of your time. Use your daily entries to create a full-blown log or spreadsheet that makes it easy to see where your time is being spent.

To be used as an effective tool, your time-checker must be accurate and complete. This means tracking your time from the time you crawl out of bed until the time you shut down for the night. You should include not only your business activity, but also your personal behavior.

Track every activity you undertake. Whether it is combing your hair, taking out the trash, going to the coffee shop, or making business calls, enter all of your activity in the time-checker.

Make your entries for at least two weeks. When the two weeks have passed, review the time-checker. Examine your entries for wasted time. There will probably be more occasions when you wasted time than you would have imagined. It can be downright embarrassing.

How long did you spend on each of your business calls? If you talked on the phone for more than five minutes in most of your communication you were probably wasting time. What were you discussing? Were the calls complex, or do you recall rambling about the sports page? Some business calls deserve thirty minutes or more, but most can be accomplished in five minutes or less.

Dig deep into your time-checker for clues. The answers to your time problems are there, if you kept it accurately and thoroughly. How much time did you spend in the coffee shop? Do you remember all the time you spent talking to the regulars at the counter? Sure, networking is a part of business, but were the people you talked to for so long in the coffee shop people who will help your business or career?

Many people have habits that steal their time. Most of their routines have little importance in their lives, but the routines continue, because they are habits. Bad habits can be broken, but first they must be identified

Bad Habits

Bad habits are easy to get and difficult to rid yourself of. Any habit that has existed for long will be hard to break, but you can break it. Your time-checker will help expose the bad habits in your life. It doesn’t take long when looking through your entries to find plenty of occasions when bad habits broke into your day and stole your time.

Appointment Pointers

How you set your appointments has much to do with your success in effective time management. With the proper appointment protocol you can see increased time in your day. Extra time can be converted to money. The time you generate with efficient appointments can be pledged to hobbies or being with friends and family. The bottom line is: you will have more time to do with what you like.

How can you make your appointments more efficient? You can set them by arranging your meetings in logical order and by scheduling as many of the meetings as possible in your office. Some positions require individuals to make meetings outside of the office. This could be the case for a contractor giving in-home estimates or a real estate broker showing property.

In-office appointments are the most efficient. You save time and gain control when meetings are scheduled on your own turf. How do in-office meetings save time? They do so because you can continue to work on projects in your office until the party you are meeting with is present.

It is not uncommon for people to arrive late for meetings. If you are sitting around waiting for someone to show up, with no ability to be productive, you are losing time. However, if you can proceed with your work until the scheduled party arrives, you have no downtime. Over the course of a year the time saved by scheduling in-office meetings could amount to a pleasurable vacation.

On occasions when you cannot arrange meetings in your office, take a project with you to planned meetings. At least take something to work with, so you can record your thoughts while you are waiting for your meeting partner. If you plan your meetings carefully and always have some worthwhile work to do while you are waiting for others, you will waste less time.

Lost Time in the Office

Lost time in the office may go unnoticed until you create your time-checker. It is truly amazing what you can learn from reviewing a documentation of how all your time is spent.

Many people believe that if they are in their office they’re working; this theory doesn’t always hold water.

Delegating duties is something of an art. Some people are very talented at it, and others lack the ability or confidence to delegate effectively.

Do you feel there is no one available who can do a job as well as you? Many managers and owners feel this way. Unfortunately, this is a bad attitude to have.

While you may, in fact, be the best qualified person to do the job, you may not be the right person for the job. How can this be? Your time might be more valuable in another function.

Fifty Fast Ways to Waste Less Time

Can you think of fifty ways to waste less time? Do you believe there are fifty ways to reduce wasted time? Well, this chapter is going to show you a full fifty ways to improve your productivity and waste less time.

1) Plan your day in advance. Make a schedule for every day and live by it.

2) Learn to delegate duties to competent people.

3) Resist temptations for long, drawn-out gossip sessions.

4) Keep your business calls brief.

5) Respond to correspondence with quick notes, often written on the same paper you received in the correspondence.

6) Discourage drop-in visitor while you are working. People wandering in and out of your office will break your concentration and increase lost time.

7) Organize your work space.

8) Avoid long lunches.

9) Make a time-checker, and use it.

10) Schedule appointments in your office, whenever possible.

11) Never be without something productive to do when waiting for someone.

12) Keep a cell phone with you.

13) Carry a tape recorder with you at all times.

14) Schedule dental appointments and similar out-of-the-office appointments near the end of the day.

15) Act–don’t react.

16) Work smarter–not harder.

17) Set goals for yourself, and put them in writing.

18) Get out of bed earlier each day.

19) Adjust your attitude to reflect a positive outlook on each new day.

20) Learn to say “No,” with the confidence to maintain your position.

21) Prioritize your work.

22) Continue to refine your time-management techniques: they are never perfect.

23) Use a Things-To-Do list to document, schedule, and perform all of your tasks. When a task is complete, draw a line through its listing on the list; this will give you a sense of satisfaction.

24) Don’t procrastinate.

25) Develop decision-making skills to reduce time lost pondering problems.

26) Don’t overload your schedule.

27) Match your workload to your body’s production clock. Some people perform better in the morning, while others do their best work in the afternoon. Do your repetitious, mundane chores during your weak periods and concentrate on high-energy work when you are running at full speed.

28) Stay focused and don’t allow distractions to throw you off schedule.

29) Assign each task a specific period of time for completion.

30) Avoid answering your own phone if you have an assistant who can screen your calls for you. Have the assistant take messages for the non-critical calls.

31) Set aside specific times for returning phone calls, and don’t go beyond the time limits you have set for your daily quota of phone work.

32) Plan ahead for all you work.

33) Don’t linger on projects you have completed. Being a perfectionist is a sure way to waste time. Do the job right. Then move on to another task.

34) Have an assistant screen your mail. If you don’t have an assistant, sort your mail into different categories. Put priority mail in one stack, secondary mail in another, and semi-junk mail in another. Read and handle your mail based on priorities and keep your time within the boundaries you establish for each day.

35) Plan your travel routes for maximum efficiency.

36) Avoid meetings that do not have a direct impact on you or your responsibilities.

37) Keep your office door closed, it discourages drop-in visitors.

38) Use an alarm clock, timer, or watch with an alarm to time your work segments.

39) Communicate with notes and email: they are faster than phone calls and personal talks where you are likely to get caught in long-winded conversations.

40) Don’t become known as the person who will help anyone with anything. Let people do their jobs so you can do yours.

41) Use a speakerphone in your office. You can write, work, and talk at the same time.

42) Avoid paper piles. Organize your paperwork with in-out baskets, files, and file folders.

43) Don’t abandon tasks until they are complete. In the case of lengthy projects you should work until a reasonable stopping point is reached.

44) Listen to instructional and educational materials on your way to and from the office.

45) Time and plan your commute to avoid traffic congestion. This may mean getting to the office a little early and leaving a little late, but this quiet time in the office will be some of your most productive time.

46) Cut office clutter to the bone.

47) Create a portable office in your briefcase that can be taken on the road for increased productivity during unexpected waits.

48) Take a break. Working for too long without a break is non-productive. Keep the breaks short, but take them.

49) Overcome crisis interruptions with preliminary planning and execution that avoids them.

50) Most importantly, take time for yourself and your family.

Act, Don’t React

If there are just two points that you remember from this they should be: act, don’t react and delegate duties wisely as often as possible.

Article Source:

About the Author

R. Dodge Woodson and his team at Lone Wolf Enterprises, Ltd.( offering their services to the open market for the first time. Woodson has written over 100 books for major publishers, such as Simon & Shuster, McGraw-Hill, John Wiley & Sons, and others. He is acknowledged as a best-selling, internationally-known author. R. Dodge Woodson got his start writing dozens of magazine articles for such magazines as Outdoor Life. In addition to his personal writing, Woodson’s team has produced dozens upon dozens of books for major publishers.
R. Dodge Woodson’s writing style is conversational. He is skilled at taking complex subjects and making them reader friendly. Woodson has worked as a ghostwriter for celebrities, provided work-for-hire books to major publishers, and written his own titles.
If you are seeking professional writing and editorial services, Lone Wolf can deliver all elements of publishing from writing to editing to layout to proofreading to indexing, and more.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Leave us a suggestion for articles you would like to see. We will do our best to suit your needs! Did this information help? I hope so. Change can be difficult sometimes. Like I always say in my workshops, It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it because you’re worth it! Donations fund Self Esteem Workshops for teens, supply books to schools for the continual support of character education across America, and are tax deductable. Thank you from Self Help Guides!