5 Tips To Minimize Time Bandits at Work

Throughout your workday, you never know what’s going to come up. Something could happen and you are at the end of your day wondering ‘where did the day go?’ We make to-do lists for ourselves but as our workday wraps up, we look at our lists and see what we didn’t get done or what else we need to get done and we find ourselves wishing we had more time in our days.

No matter what field you work in, there are always going to be unexpected surprises that pop up throughout the day that take you away from what you are working on. Sometimes these surprises take a couple of minutes, while some may take hours. There are ways to manage these surprises and feel productive and accomplished at work. 

Here are some ways you can minimize time bandits and accomplish more of your to-do list:

1.   Work Smarter, Not Harder

Your workday should never bleed into your personal life. With more people working from home, employees are finding it harder to separate the two. When it comes to becoming more productive during your workday, you need to protect your time. Look at your day and make a list of what needs to be done. Prioritize that list and use your time wisely so you aren’t left with hours of work to do after the workday is done.

2.   Create Habits

Whether it’s something little or an entirely new morning routine, you need to create habits that will aid in your being more productive during your workday. Time management is about creating strong habits that you stick to every day that allow you to be more productive.

3.   Decision making

After reading a book by David Allen, named Getting Things Done, our team learned a lot about how decision-making affects productivity. If you get a request through email, phone, etc. regardless of what it is, you need to decide which of the 4 D’s you are going to do: do it, delegate it, defer it, or delete it. What decision you make may alter your day, but you need to make smart decisions to ensure you aren’t left with extra hours of work in a day.

4.   Turn Off Audio/Video Alerts on Email

The audio alerts in your email act as a distraction as you work. If you are working hard at a specific task and you hear an alert go off every two minutes, you’re going to think something serious is happening and get distracted — pushing your day back by however many minutes.

5.   Do the Essential Tasks First

If you have tasks that are simple and quick, always do those tasks first. If you know something is only going to take you five minutes, get it over with! This will give you a sense of accomplishment and set the tone for your day.

Being productive at work is something every employee strives for, but it isn’t always easy to do. By lowering your distractions, staying focused, and practicing these five tips, you can be your most productive! To hear more about minimizing time bandits at work, listen to our PK Pods episode on the topic.