How much time do you waste each day doing routine things?

Self-ImprovementStress Management

  • Author Marc Weiner
  • Published March 24, 2013
  • Word count 749

So what is time management?

Well, it is basically how you organize your time. It involves planning your day out and allocating certain times of the day and a certain amount of hours or minutes to doing an activity. We all have daily time wasting habits.

Here are examples of actual (and funny) ways that we waste time each and every day - how many apply to you?

  1. Toilet Training

That's right! Going to the toilet, is a really huge time waster. Now, obviously you have to go to the toilet! But, most people take much longer than they need to, and do we really need to say it - yes, women are the main culprits unfortunately! The constant hair and make-up checks, primping, preening sessions actually cause you to spend much longer in the bathroom than you need to.

Bathrooms are also great places for daydreaming! Men and women take longer in the bathroom because they often sit (or stand) and day dream, thinking about anything other than work. You might be thinking about what to do for supper, the awesome weekend you have planned, and more.

Here is a quick tip! Allocate no more than 5 minutes to each bathroom break. If you need to go to the bathroom for a longer break, then allocate the shortest amount of time you would normally need, minus all the daydreaming.

  1. Coffee, Tea or ....... ?

It is hard to believe, but coffee and tea breaks are time wasting habits. Think about how often you get up and make yourself a cup of coffee or tea during the day. This is far more often than you need to, and aside from wasting time, actually distracts you from your work. Aside from that, you are likely to run into someone and chat for a few minutes here and there. Or, you might be eyeing that yummy piece of cake you were going to keep for later and decide to have a quick snack. Coffee and tea breaks are notorious time wasting activities that usually involve more than just getting your cup of coffee and heading straight back to your desk.

The solution? Limit the number of tea and coffee breaks you take. Aside from improving your work productivity, you will also improve your health, as well all know how bad it is to drink too much coffee. Plus, curbing this time wasting habit will help you with the first one, as you will not require as many bathroom breaks if you drink less. Other than limiting breaks, keep a bottle of water on your desk to sip instead. Much healthier and more productive!

  1. Sign ... Sign .... Everywhere A Sign .......

Many people read their horoscope every single day. This wastes valuable time that could be spent doing something more constructive - if it is being done at the wrong time of the day. So, what can you do? Well, for starters you can keep your horoscope reading for your free time. Note: The "secret" here is to do "low energy" type tasks during your "low energy" time of day.

  1. I Coulda Been A Sports Star

This one is predominantly for the men! Think about how many times you get into the office and start talking about the game. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour depending on the game and which teams everyone supported. Aside from getting quite heated, this obviously wastes so much time. You cannot change the outcome of the game, and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so what is the use? OK, so it is fun banter, but this can wait until later when you meet for a drink after work.

  1. Facebook Is Your Life

This one has made such a huge impact on work place productivity that most offices have prohibited employees from checking their Facebook at work. Why? Well, this social site is simply too addictive with people spending hours checking messages, chatting to friends, liking posts and pictures and checking out pages. So, what to do? Allocate 10 minutes to check your Facebook in the morning before work, perhaps check it once during your lunch break, and check it again in the evening when you get home from work.

So, what is time management? Well, it is how you allocate your time so that you don't waste your day and get as much done as possible. By being able to manage these time wasting habits above, you can really see a huge difference in your work ethic.

Marc provides Executive Coaching, business consulting and advisory services to Chief Executive Officers and Boards of Directors in the areas of strategic planning, business growth and development, complex business challenges, time and process management, turnarounds and senior executive career/life transition.

Read more time management tips, secrets and techniques at

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