1. Having too many loose ends
Follow Ramsland’s Rule of Two: don’t start to read more than two books at a time. Don’t buy anything new when you have more than two things waiting to be returned. Don’t start any more projects when more than two aren’t finished.
2. Being tired
Don’t burn the midnight oil to catch up one day and feel dragged out for the next three. Try to get to bed around the same time each night. As Ben Franklin said, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
3. Avoiding time saving devices
Learn to use recording devices so you can watch your favorite shows at your convenience. Use the answering machine (or voicemail) to keep interruptions to minimum. Ramsland says that for each interruption it takes 3 minutes to get back on track.
4. Not creating end times
Set limits to get off the phone or leave an event so you can go on to the next thing.
5. Jumping into your day without planning
Plan tomorrow the night before. Review your appointments and make a list of the top three things you want to accomplish.
6. Not doing first things first
You always have time for what you do first, says Ramsland. So start off with something you never quite seem to get around to and spend at least 10 minutes at it. If you’re the type who tries to get all your work done first, try doing something pleasurable for a change. Take a walk, read a book, and then get back to doing for everybody else.
7. Always being in a rush
It’s wise to group errands, but try to leave out one last errand and arrived home early or on time to reduce stress.
8. Being disorganized
Don’t waste time searching for keys or important papers on your desk. Get organized! Anything you take the time to organize repays you in time saved by the third time you use it, says Ramsland.
9. Putting things off
Instead of saying “I have to do this (and I really don’t want to),” ask yourself when you’re going to start. Set a deadline, or start with a small part of the chore.
10. Saying “yes” too often
Learn to say “no” gently but firmly, so you can balance your personal and work life.
Were you surprised when you saw how many of these you do routinely? Take time to remove some of these “Time Wasters,” and you will be amazed at how streamlined your life will become.
* This Article was originally featured in Women’s Day and written by Franny VanNevel.
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