This is a list of 17 things you shouldn’t be doing any more because they waste time. Old habits die hard and it can be difficult to shift yourself from an old familiar way of doing something to a new, better way.
Take a look at the list and see if there is anything you can change to help make you more productive. If you have any suggestions please add them in the comments.
- Manually Depositing a Paycheck — That is what direct deposit is for. If you spend 15 minutes every two weeks dealing with depositing your paycheck that is 65 hours over the next 10 years. Put this time to better use.
- Writing Checks for Bills — That is what the bill pay service from your bank is for. Use this time for something worthwhile.
- Partially Filling Up with Gas — Yes it might go down 3 cents next week, but how much is your time really worth.
- Looking for your Keys or Cellphone — Always put them in the same place (hook by the door, etc).
- Unpacking your Laptop Power Adaptor — If you go from work to home with your laptop, get an extra adaptor for each work area so you don’t have to unpack and crawl under the desk each time.
- Check Multiple Email Boxes — Get a program that will show you all your email in one place or filter by individual accounts. Apple Mail, Gmail and several other products do this.
- Watching Commercials — Use Tivo to skip them. Use Netflix and just skip television all together. Buy the shows you want to watch off iTunes. If you had a friend who spent 20% to 30% of your time trying to sell you things you didn’t really need, would you put up with it? (If you have a friend in network marketing, you may have already experienced this.)
- Losing Telephone Numbers — Your cell phone should sync with your computer. We are past the days where a phone only held 25
numbers. If someone calls, take the few seconds to record their name in your phone, so it will be transferred next time you sync your computer.
- Commuting to College — Take your classes online. Spend your commute time studying instead of driving.
- Commuting Through Heavy Traffic — Talk to your boss about working from home–even for just a few days a week. Shift your schedule to miss rush hour.
- Dialing into Voice Mail — Get your voicemail setup to send you messages as email attachments that way you only have to check one mailbox.
- Backing Up to CDs or Disks — Get an external hard drive. It will be fast enough that maybe you’ll go ahead and backup more often. Plus if you do it right, you can create a working version of your entire computer on the hard drive. If you laptop is stolen you can start working from your last backup with all your programs and settings just as they were. (Here are some more tips about relying on technology.)
- Visiting Lots of Blogs — Use a news reader like Google Reader. Most people don’t realize how much time they waste looking at the same sites over and over again to see if there is anything new. With a newsreader you’ll know whenever something new is posted.
- Removing Spyware — Use a computer or web browser that doesn’t get infected.
- Wasting Time in the Car — Subscribe to podcasts and get a connector for your MP3 player in your car. Spend your time learning instead of just sitting there driving.
- Getting Lost in the Car — If you spend a lot of time driving to unfamiliar areas, go ahead and invest in a GPS with routing capabilities or figure out how to use your cell phone as a GPS. That way you can spend your time focusing on your work instead of honing your navigation skills.
- Clubbing Baby Seals — Just in case this applies to you, this would be a good thing to stop as well.
Other posts you might enjoy:
- The Iron Chef Productivity Fable
- Convince Your Boss to Let You Work From Home
- The Rat Experiment – Managing Other’s Expectations
- Social Glass Ceiling
- Two Types of Technology Users