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How can you stop wasting time?

Take care of the minutes and the hours will take care of themselves.

Earl of Chesterfield

A man who dares waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

Charles Darwin

I have yet to come across a person who does not tell me that they are incredibly busy. Our lives are filled with projects, initiatives, meetings, emails, phone calls, sporting events, church activities and more. All too often, we fail to get the most important things done because our times is wasted.

How can we stop wasting time? What specific steps can we take to regain control of our schedules so we can say focused on what is important and manage the most precious resource we have… TIME? Let’s take some Key Steps together this week and…

Stop wasting time

1. State your preferred method of communication. For years, the only choice we had was to make a phone call or send a fax but now we have so many other channels. In addition, almost everyone has a communication preference of some sort. Email or WhatsApp (especially voice notes) work best for me as I am always in training but if it were something complex needing discussion, I’d prefer a call during my lunch break with a quick email afterwards (if necessary) to confirm the conversation or actions required.

2. Insist on agendas for meetings. Agendas must become part of your meeting culture. Pointless or rambling meetings are a big drain on company and personal resources. Asking for an agenda ensures that you really need to be part of the meeting in the first place and enables you to prepare and contribute fully if you do need to be there. It could also help you to assess if there is a part of the meeting you need to attend and parts you could skip. I’ve often restructured a meeting so my ‘slot’ is later in the day and I can arrive after lunch if it is a whole day meeting.

3. Invite the ‘correct’ people to meetings. Meetings with more than six attendees are known to be less productive than those where numbers are limited. Ensure that there are no irrelevant attendees and that decision makers with the authority to get things moving are present. When invited to a meeting, ask two critical questions: (1) Do I need to be there? (See previous point for why this is so important) and (2) Will the key people needed be there too? Otherwise it might just be a meeting held to schedule another meeting!

Take your power back, take charge of your time and you can…

“be the difference that makes the difference

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