10 Common Things That People Waste Time Doing
by Prakash V. Rao
Statistically, more people lose time through wastage than they do in doing the wrong things. Still, it is important to know where the time goes.
1. Worrying. Why worry about things we have no control over? Worrying is an absolute waste of time.
2. Thought inertia. After a heated discussion, have you found yourself thinking to yourself, “I should have said this” or “I wish I had said that?” Your mind is lingering over the last task even as you move on to the next task. This inertia is due to the emotion that went into the task – the more you get attached to your task, the greater the inertia.
3. Indecision. Results are produced by actions, and decisions trigger actions. Sometimes it is the fear of making the wrong decision that causes the indecision. Other times, one may hide behind indecision as the reason not to take action.
4. Not thinking things through. Every solution breeds problems. Actions have consequences, and the consequences of actions must be identified and evaluated before deciding upon the course of actions.
5. Insufficient separation of thought and action. You cannot think and act at the same time. The thinking gets in the way of the doing and the doing gets in the way of the thinking. The best approach is to think first and act afterwards.
6. Lack of predetermined response to possible situations. Do you have a Plan B? When things do not go as planned, if you don’t have a backup plan, you react. On the other hand, if you have considered possible scenarios and thought about what you would do if they occurred, you don’t react but respond.
7. Do-overs. When you do a task wrong the first time and get to attempt it again, time is a-wasting!
8. Unused wait time. Waiting is a fact of life. There are things we could be doing in this time. At the least, there may be some reading to catch up with. At the most, work that lives in the "pending" column could be put paid to.
9. Parking on a task (Tinkering). Some people cannot leave a completed task well alone. They re-open the task to tweak it.
10. Poor recovery from interruptions. Much as we would like to avoid being interrupted while focusing upon a task, we cannot ignore all calls on our time. Interruption is a choice.
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