“I do not want to waste any time. And if you are not working on important things, you are wasting time.” - Dean Kamen
Managing energy is more important than managing time (See: Is it more important to manage time or energy?). However, this doesn’t diminish the importance of managing time because the reality is both time and energy are important to our success. What’s apparent though is ineffective workers consistently demonstrate that wasting time is the proven way to fail.
You might question if much time is really wasted at work? A study by SEEK reported that 10% of Australian workers acknowledge to wasting 50% of each working week. So, we’re ok aren’t we because that’s only 10% of the workforce? Maybe not if we look through a different lens that considers how much time is wasted unintentionally due to poor workflow and work habits. For most workers time sneaks up on them and that’s why it’s wasted inadvertently more so than it is on purpose. This is where the biggest opportunity is to claw back time.
The 3 most common aspects where time gets away from us at work are due to the:
Level of interruptions
Volume of email
Number of meetings
The good news is there are strategies that can be applied to reduce and save time in these areas. In fact, higher levels of productivity are a key difference between effective and ineffective workers. High performers differentiate themselves by achieving results through getting more done of the work that matters most.
To be effective in your role ensure you:
Plan and prioritise – focus on the work and initiatives that make the biggest impact
Schedule – have a realistic and effective schedule to make execution possible
Execute – action the plan and the schedule
Wasting time is a proven way to fail. Alternatively, allocate enough time and resources to what’s important provides a way to success. Decide which path you’d rather be on.