How to Stop Wasting Time

How To Stop Wasting Time

Did you know that you waste time when you switch between activities? You’re wasting time because every time you switch to a new task it leaves “attention residue” that negatively impacts your efficiency.

 

Here it is from attention rescue expert Sophie Leroy:

“[P]eople need to stop thinking about one task in order to fully transition their attention and perform well on another. Yet, results indicate it is difficult for people to transition their attention away from an unfinished task and their subsequent task performance suffers.—”

In other words you’re still thinking about the previous task when you move on to the next… even if you don’t realize it.

So try this one strategy to eliminate the need for task switching and stop wasting time…

Batch process

This is well known in manufacturing and computer design circles but it’s time to bring it to your work day.  If you’re not batch processing, you’re wasting time.

Use batch processing by grouping like tasks at work to eliminate the need for task switching.

Here are three steps to use batch processing in your work day:

Step 1: Identify recurring task in your workday. Scan your calendar and write those down. Here are some examples:

  • Answering email
  • Filing expense reports
  • Trip planning
  • Returning phone calls
  • Scheduling meetings
  • Reading
  • Cleaning
  • Brainstorming

Step 2: Block time on your calendar and assign that block to one of the processes above

Step 3: Do only that activity for that entire block of time

Notice how that simple shift eliminates the time waste and increases your speed and efficiency.

When do you use batch processing?  Please share in the comments below.

Ben

4 Comments

  • Stroh Morrison

    Reply Reply January 20, 2017

    Great tip, very useful, although the use if a CLEMSON Sweatshirt in the video is probably more appropriate this year 😉

    • benfanning

      Reply Reply February 15, 2017

      Haha. Nice one, Stroh. I agree!

  • Will Henss

    Reply Reply February 15, 2017

    This is really needed by almost everyone. It is nearly inevitable for anyone not to encounter stressful situations in life due to multiple tasks needed to finish. These tools and approaches are very practical so to speak. I found another article ( http://www.lifehack.org/468558/how-to-manage-stress-from-short-term-high-pressure-jobs ) that has approaches to help manage time and stress.

    • benfanning

      Reply Reply February 15, 2017

      Thanks for sharing that resource, Will

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