Have you ever woken up in the morning determined to give in a good day at work?
Have you ever promised yourself you’d take care of all those pending issues which have been dodging you for days? Have you ever sat down at your desk, determined to solve a recurring problem and take care of all the odds and ends… only to arrive at the end of your working day and realise that nothing has actually been done?
Do you suffer from a chronic case of dithering? Do you ever end up wasting time or doodling along, instead of actually taking the brunt and facing your problems head on? Do you flag and re-flag your emails and put things on hold, instead of just talking to the people who could help you clarify the situation and resolve all the nitty-gritty?
I bet you do.
Even though it might be unconscious, and you may not want to do it, it still happens to the best and most hard-working of us. And although wasting time or not doing enough might be unintentional, we can at least admit it happens, and consciously try to prevent it. It is imperative first and foremost to catch ourselves as soon as we are about to start to vacuously blur the distinction between organised productivity and fruitless diddling, understand why we are doing it, and actually stop wasting time.
Here are some things to look out for, which usually seem to conduct us towards time-wasting:
Staring at the desk – There I am, about to start my working day, when suddenly I find myself thinking about what I’m going to wear on Saturday night, what gift I’m going to buy my boyfriend for his birthday, even what novel I’m going to read next. And suddenly I stop, look around me and realise that I’d just been staring at a cluttered piece of furniture for twenty minutes, doing nothing.
Being moody – No matter how much we try to keep our personal everyday life separate from our working life, it always seems to intrude one way or another. Whether you’re currently seething after a fight with your mother, feeling jittery after having almost been run over by an angry driver, or just have a plain headache, our feelings and emotions almost always seem to colour our moods. These tend to have a direct impact on not only the way we tackle work, but also the way we face our whole day. This is difficult to control, however we must try not to let our feelings overpower us.
Escapism – This usually tends to start happening either if you’re bored or if you’re trying to take care of an issue and have absolutely no idea how to go about it. It happens each time you feel you need a small break or some time out. You log online and start going through the local newspapers, you tune on to a radio station or to YouTube. In fact, I even find myself turning to food and eating out of boredom or stress. You start enjoying something, relax and unwind, until your five-minute pause turns into a thirty minute intermission. In order to counteract this, why not try to switch on the alarm clock on your mobile phone? As soon as the five minutes are really and truly up, get off the internet, switch off the radio, wrap up the remains of your ham sandwich, and continue the task you were working on!
Gossip – It’s Friday afternoon, you’re tired, and you’re making yourself a strong cup of coffee to boost you up. Suddenly, you encounter a colleague who had the same idea. You start talking about how long the day seems to be, then he asks you whether your car is still at the mechanic’s, you ask him about his weekend, then one thing leads to another and you start chatting about the holidays… Need I go on? Being friendly and socialising with colleagues is all well and good, however one must always keep things in perspective too.
Does this sound familiar? Let us know in the comment section below.