If wasting time were money, I’d be a billionaire! I have wasted so much time in my life – that if I could get it all back – I’d only be 18 years old. That’s a lot of time.
I can be very creative in developing ways to waste time. Descaling the coffee maker. Checking Email. Checking Social Media. Checking scores on ESPN. And my all time favorite form of time wasting…Facebook!
How about you? Do you often get to the end of the day and think, “Where did all the time go?” Well, you wasted it. Wasted time is similar to having a hole in your bank account. Each day that you don’t use your time wisely – more money, opportunities, and experiences slip away. Never to return.
Here are 4 universal time wasters that kill your productivity, along with ways to avoid them. Ready?
1. Planning, But Not Really Planning. What? Planning, but not really planning is another word for daydreaming. We have all these amazing ideas in our head of how we’re going to build our client base and take our businesses bottom line from anemic to healthy and vibrant. In our daydreaming state, our phones ring off the hook. Business opportunities drop from the sky into our laps. We see ourselves as successful, happy and healthy. Which is great. The bad part is – we’re only daydreaming. Here’s the cure: Write down your dreams and take action. The idea that seems goofy or just a pipe dream to you could be the next great concept that revolutionizes your business and/or your life. The key is to stop dreaming and start planning and then… “Drum roll!” TAKE ACTION! The greatest plan in the world will never come to anything positive if it just sits in your head or on your computer or mobile phone. Take action on your idea(s). Always! Take action, NOW! Got it? Good. Now do it.
2. Checking Email. If I’m not careful, checking my email can chew up my day faster than a new puppy can chew up a new pair of Nike’s. It’s insane. I hear that notification sound and I think, “That’s my Agent! I must have been selected for that $20,000 Voice Over for Starbucks. So, I open my email and WHAM! It’s either junk, or some one reminding me that I only have 5 more minutes to buy their online course titled “How To Stop Unwanted Emails”. Here’s the cure: Turn off all notification sounds. If you don’t know an email is waiting in your inbox, you won’t be tempted to check it. Or shut down your email altogether when it’s crunch time or you need to focus on building your business. This is hard. So start with 30 minutes of focus and work your way up from there. Imagine what your business or life could be like if you spent just 30 minutes or 1 hour each day, totally focused on building it? Got it? Good. Now do it.
3. Reading Blogs Like This One. Blogs about your business or skill-set is never really a waste of time unless that’s all you do. Set a specific time each day to read business or field specific blogs and/or listen to podcasts. Listening to a podcast is a great time-saver because you can listen while you’re doing something else. Never listen to a podcast on your computer. It’s a total waste of time. Why? Because while your listening you’ll be tempted to check email, update social media, check sports scores, anything. Instead listen to a business specific podcast while you’re driving, walking the dog, working out, walking the cat, making dinner, mowing the lawn, etc. Imagine how much time you’ll save if you read blogs at a specific time or after hours and listen to podcasts while you’re accomplishing another task? Got it? Good. Now do it.
4. Listening to the wrong voices. Admit it or not, we all have a little voice in our head. It sounds like a friendly voice. But this voice is your enemy. This voice whispers things like, “Don’t make that call now. Your prospect is busy. You’ll interrupt a meeting and make them mad.” Or this one. “It’s too early to make calls. Your prospect just got in. Give her some time to have a cup of coffee. And then there’s this voice – “Daddy was right. I am a failure. I can’t do anything right. Why don’t I drop this pipe dream of being successful in my own business and get a job?” That’s the dream killer right there, my friend. It’s the voice that ever so sweetly tells you it’s okay to just be a cog in the wheel of life. It’s fine to be on a fixed income. You’re not cut for this. You don’t have the talent. This is the voice of lies. When you hear that voice – and you will – turn it off. Refuse to allow it one more micro-second of your valuable time. Because there’s another voice you should be listening to. A voice that won’t waste your time. Ever! That voice tells you to build a new wheel. That your income is only limited by your dreams and actions. That you were born for this. That you have all the skill and talent you need to be successful. This is the voice of truth. Listening to this voice is never a waste of time. Never!
The Cure For Wasting Time? Planning!
Make a schedule. Put the most difficult or scary things you must do at the very top and knock them off first thing in the morning. The empowering felling you’ll get from this step alone will jettison you through the rest of your day. Maybe your entire week.
You have enormous potential. If you’re not reaching yours, you can change that right now. Make a decision to stop wasting time. Plan your steps to success. And then TAKE ACTION! Action is the key. And when things get a little rough (they usually do from time to time) stop and listen to the Voice Of Truth. That Voice will never, ever, waste your time.
Got it? God. Now do it!