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How to stop wasting time on useless activities
How to stop wasting time on useless activities

To be more productive, don't force yourself to concentrate. Just make small adjustments to your work day.

How to stop wasting time on useless activities
How to stop wasting time on useless activities

1. Conduct as few meetings as possible

We spend up to four hours in meetings a week. More than half of this is a waste of time. If you can, try to reduce the number of meetings.

  • Consider the number of participants. Don't invite colleagues to a meeting just to be on the safe side. Let them better spend their time doing their jobs more productively.
  • Face-to-face conversations can often be a good substitute for meetings. It is much easier to first discuss the details of the project with the responsible employee and only then present the idea to the whole team.
  • Before scheduling or attending a formal meeting, carefully consider what information you intend to share with your colleagues. Most often, basic information can be communicated in some other way, for example, by linking to a document, writing in chat, or even simply passing it on orally over a cup of coffee. Then employees will be able to respond to your information without disrupting their workflow.

2. Change the interaction with colleagues

Of course, collaboration usually helps to increase productivity. But it's not that simple. According to the data, each employee is distracted on average seven times per hour. And 80% of these distractions are small, insignificant things.

Therefore, instead of asking a question as soon as it comes to your mind, do not rush to distract your colleagues. Make a list, and then ask all at once when the employee is free. In addition, it often happens that after some time we ourselves find the answer to our question or understand that the first three questions simply led us to one big fourth.

If you are distracted, you don't have to develop complex communication systems with colleagues. For example, wearing headphones is usually sufficient to signal Do Not Disturb. If that doesn't work, try moving to a different part of the office where you won't be disturbed. Most coworkers will get used to these signals and won't bother you when you're busy.

3. Reduce email flow

The problem is not with email itself, but with how we use it. Whereas earlier emails contained a large amount of information, now they have become more like SMS. A typical letter now contains between 5 and 43 words - brief information and simple follow-up questions. Such letters quickly multiply in your inbox, threatening to literally drown you in a stream of unread messages.

Before sending an email, consider whether it would be more convenient to use another method of transmitting information.

For example, with the help of various instant messengers, you can quickly send short messages and respond to them without the unnecessary formality that e-mail imposes. And in the comments to documents with open access, several people can immediately leave their proposals on some project, instead of cluttering their colleagues' mailboxes with them.

4. Work from home and get enough sleep

A well-rested employee will often do more in six hours than a sleepy employee in all ten. Therefore, working from home is becoming the ideal option for many. And thanks to modern means of communication, employees do not need to be in the same room in order to resolve any issue.

By freeing yourself from the need to spend several hours on the transport, you can get enough sleep, and this will have a positive effect on productivity.

Of course, in some areas of activity, closer communication with colleagues is necessary, but one or two working days a week spent at home will be useful for representatives of any profession. This will give you the opportunity to focus on your own project and just sleep off. The key is to find a weekly rhythm that is comfortable for you and your team.

5. Take frequent breaks

The breaks are just as important as the work itself. However, a simple change in activity is often not enough. To recharge, you need to get up from the table every hour and a half.

Longer breaks, such as lunch with friends or a walk, are helpful for creative people. This break is what it takes to turn an unproductive afternoon into a creative breakthrough.

You will not rest if you are distracted for a couple of minutes every half hour. It is better to leave the workplace for at least ten minutes several times a day.

While these breaks will actually reduce the number of hours you work, you will be more efficient the rest of the time. A truly productive work day is possible only by resting and recovering.